It’s the last day of 2019 and I can’t help but reflect on the year that passed by…
Whatever happened, good and bad, that includes this blog too… We are all fine as long as we know how to find ourselves back through the chaos.
I thank each one of you for joining this blog, for having faith in me and for staying by me through thick and thin. We all make mistakes, I do too… if I have hurt any of you, please forgive me… I am immensely grateful and indebted to you for being there…
Love you all… Stay happy… Stay blessed…
Wishing you all a Very Happy New Year!
Manik was left broken and disheartened. He didn’t know how to react. Nandini was scared to talk to him. She went near him and touched his arm, before she spoke in an extremely saddened voice “Manik, I’m sorry! So…so…so….sorry!!”
He didn’t reply to her. He was too numb to speak anything.
He had tears in his eyes and remorse that was so profound that he couldn’t find an outlet to shed it off. Nandini had tears in her eyes too. Still, she tried to talk to him. She apologised again but Manik wasn’t even listening. He felt so broken.
He stood up to go inside when Nandini stepped before him and blocked his way, “Manik, I know that explanations and justifications are not your thing. You have always said that so clearly. But you should have spoken today. They wouldn’t have listened to me. But you should have stopped them. Why didn’t you talk to your ma?”
He replied in a bitter, angry tone, “Please don’t tell me how to behave with my family. Because of you, I’m facing what I was always afraid of. I was scared of this traction in relationships that you enabled in just two days!”
She had never seen him so angry at her. Never. She couldn’t speak for a moment. Then, with trembling lips, she murmured, “I was talking to you. I didn’t know that they would overhear it. You are aware that I kept quiet every time your mom insulted me. I could have answered back. I didn’t because I know how to keep a person’s respect. You spoke about my inefficiency before everyone, however good intentions you had, it was still an insult. I kept quiet even then… and you are blaming me? This wouldn’t have happened if your relationship with your family wasn’t tangled. ‘You’ are to be blamed Manik…not me… I just spoke what I felt….without meaning to hurt anyone…”
His temper raised, “Yeahh??!!! My fault, right?? You come from nowhere and disturb all the balance I had maintained for years, expose all that I ever shared with you before my parents and say that it’s ‘me’… who needs to be blamed…”
Breaking down in tears, she said, “I didn’t do it deliberately… and you know that! I didn’t let your secrets out. They overheard it. It would have never happened if ‘you’ had listened to me…”
“Listened to what???” He nearly roared, “That my mom is crazy and she needs treatment… do you have any sense… how can you even talk like that?? But why would you try to understand. It is important for you to be right. Always! All the time! No matter how much it hurts others… no matter how it breaks close relationships…”
“You know that I am not like that!” She whispered through her dried lips.
“I think, I don’t even know you, at all. I hate to accept that I thought you were kind and considerate. You are not the angel that I was assumed you to be… you destroyed everything… you destroyed my relationship with my parents and family… I hate it that I allowed myself to fall in love with you and share my innermost thoughts with you… I hate you… and I haven’t hated anyone in my life, more than this… I don’t need you in my life… just go…”
She was stunned. She couldn’t speak more on a choked throat and constant hiccups. She had never cried so much in her life. All her tears till now, before marriage, had been silent and quickly covered by a smile to make her parents relieved that she was not sad. She had never let her ups and downs hamper her happy-go-lucky, fun-loving and talkative personality. She knew how to win over the situation. After marriage, there had never been a situation that she had to cry so much.
But today, she didn’t know how to deal with it. Her tears rolled down in a regular stream and she didn’t know how to stop them without being shattered. Manik didn’t stop her too. He walked past her and went inside.
He had just told her that he hated her… he didn’t need her in his life… and she had to go…
Nandini wiped her tears and followed him inside the bedroom. Manik was sitting on the bed with his face lowered, his hands resting on his knees, curled in fists as he tried to control his rage. His face was so hardened and lost that she didn’t know how to gather courage to talk to him.
But she had to…
She whispered, “Manik, we need to talk…”
“Didn’t you hear what I said, outside? Just go… leave me… I don’t need any more pain in my life…”
“Okay… I’ll go!” She stepped closer by the bed and tried to stammer without breaking down, “I won’t stay more… now that you have decided that you don’t know me at all… that all the understanding of the last four months was false… you are blaming me for destroying you and your life… so… I don’t want to impose me on you …anymore… but…”
He stayed quiet at this. He was so angry that he neither listened to her nor he wanted to understand her. He closed his eyes, waiting for her to finish what she wanted to say.
She knelt down on the floor before him, right where he was sitting on the bed, “Just give me two minutes…listen to me…and then, I won’t speak more…”
He kept his eyes closed and face lowered, with a tough grimace on his face, tears on his cheeks.
She continued, “Don’t get agitated, just listen to me once… My chacha, my father’s younger brother, had a bipolar disorder. He was a very happy, effervescent personality with so much of life in him, but he would suddenly undergo bouts of depression without a major reason. No one really took him seriously, until he committed suicide one day… no one knows the reason. No one tried to know him. They just assumed he was like that. I loved him so much. He was my best friend, and even today I feel guilty that I didn’t even realise that he was suffering… I could have stopped it, I used to feel… but then I read about it… read a LOT…a LOT… you cannot stop suicides if a person is having psychological issues because that is a tendency deeply ingrained in serious cases. Only medical treatment can help…”
He clenched his jaw and opened his eyes to look at her. She was relieved that he was now, at least listening to her. She added more, “I’ve had a distant senior in college who was depressed due to family issues, two pregnant patients at different times of life who had MDP… all of them committed suicides. You don’t know so much because you don’t see such people every day… so it looks like a one-off case when you read about it in newspapers… but we see such patients frequently. Some get help…some don’t… I’ve had a bad history in the family… so I was scared…I didn’t want your mom…”
“Nandini…” He started to scold her again but she interrupted him.
“Listen to me… please… please… 2 days were enough for me to see the symptoms… I haven’t wasted 10 years of my life in hefty books and patient care…I ‘know’ what I am talking – she was happy the first day, then she started feeling distressed when she found that you were close to me… she hadn’t expected this connection in four months time… so she began to feel insecure and so her statements changed the very next day. Her attitude toward me changed. You would argue that it is normal for any mother-in-law and I was thinking the same, but her restlessness was not normal. I had a doubt when she taunted you for being close to Meera masi after you defended me. Normally, an evil, difficult person would hide the contempt but she couldn’t. Then, papa said that they can’t say anything to her, and that was what confirmed my doubt. He said that twice they tried to correct her and she landed in hospital ICU with high blood pressure. Manik, I know that your mom suffers from low blood pressure and dehydration most of the time. There are very feeble chances of her getting high B.P. after a depressive or low episode. There are very high chances… and my sixth sense says that… she had tried to commit suicide…”
“What nonsense?!?!?” He glared at her.
She nodded, “Maybe, they didn’t tell anyone to protect their reputation… how would you know? You were always away… I mean — I’m not sure, that this happened… but my clinical acumen and your mom’s history says so…your dad has always been a busy man and you were always distant from them… she had support in Gaurvi di who got married and now has her own family… Trisha is busy in her studies and I observed her, she is a baby… she might not have ever realised that your mom needs a person to share her issues… Your mom has always seen life as responsibilities and household work… she doesn’t have a life beyond this… so nothing to look forward to… It is not necessary that there are clear-cut reasons all the time… some people are depressed for no obvious reasons… It is very hard to notice for family members because you all have seen her like that… know her well… you don’t expect or imagine anything THAT serious… I could quickly notice because I have seen my chachu and patients like her… her responses, behaviour, her words, her emotions, and her history – nothing is consistent… why I needed to push you to think about it because you were not even listening to me… I was scared that this issue was an old history of a psychiatric problem… I could see her getting depressed every moment, trying to cover up some way or the other… I didn’t want her to…”
He didn’t know what to say, except to notice that even after telling her to leave him and go, she was not pleading him to be with her. She was least bothered about that. She was firm on her stand and was still talking about his mom.
He softened a bit, “Listen, Nandini…”
“No…no…no… you listen…why I am saying so much… these people need just one trigger and this was a huge one… If you are feeling so let down, imagine what your mom must be going through. She must be shattered and hopeless… even if she is not bipolar, she will feel lost. You should stop them. BUT if she is one… and we can’t take chances… then, she will try to commit suicide again. Very soon.”
His heart was pacing hard. His throat dried and he couldn’t speak anything except that he was staring at her with a painfully clueless look in his eyes. He was still stoned when she stood up and held his arm to make him get up, “Go behind them. They have gone to the airport. I don’t what you are going to explain to ma…but you have to do it…don’t turn it into a regret of a lifetime… it is better to be safe than sorry…”
He couldn’t speak after this. He didn’t know why he was listening to her and whether she made any sense, except that her words stayed with him…
It was better to be safe than sorry…
He picked up the car keys and waited for her. She didn’t need an invitation to be with him. She did it instinctively.
They drove at a slightly quicker speed, reached the airport and almost went running inside. The visitor’s lounge was not very crowded as expected, in the late afternoon. After a thorough scan in all directions, Manik found his dad coming from the help desk of Indigo airways.
“Dad…” He rushed to them.
Manoj lifted his specks to set properly on his nose, almost in shock, “Manik…Nandini… what are you doing here?”
“Dad, where is mom?” Manik asked panic-stricken.
“There…” Manoj pointed towards a corner where Gaurvi, Trisha, and Latika were sitting with their luggage. He said, “There is no flight to Delhi before 7 pm. So we are waiting there.”
Manik nervously wet his dry lips running his tongue over them, and went to talk to his mom, who was leaning on her folded hand, settled on the armrest of the chair in the waiting lounge.
Gaurvi and Trisha were surprised too. They stood up when they saw Manik and Nandini at the airport.
“Mom…” Manik knelt down on the floor before Latika and touched her to wake her up. She didn’t respond. Not even, when he shook her again, “Mom…”
Gaurvi said, “Mom was very tired, so she took her medicine and slept.”
“Which medicine?” Nandini asked.
Gaurvi shrugged, “She doesn’t have a medication of her own. But she takes papa’s medicine when she feels her blood pressure is fluctuating.”
“What?!?!” This time Nandini was very furious, “Which medicine? Show me… how can you be so irresponsible… why do you allow her to do self-medication? You are NOT supposed to treat yourself…”
Gaurvi quickly picked up Latika’s purse and took out a strip of tablets, “This one…”
It was Telmisartan 40 mg. Nandini said, “She can’t be taking these … she is hypotensive and dehydrated with low water intake, all the time…”
Manoj took the strip from her, “But… in the morning, it was a complete strip… we bought it yesterday only…”
“That means, she has taken them all??” Gaurvi was speechless.
Nandini quickly checked the pulse and said, “It’s feeble but the pulse is there… she needs to go to the hospital…
Manik was on his toes by now, running to get a wheelchair to take her out and to a multispeciality hospital nearby.
She was immediately taken in the Emergency Room for gastric lavage and the treatment of overdose of medication started.
Nandini consoled nervous and apprehensive Trisha and Gaurvi. When Manoj came to her to thank her, she said, “Papa, I just want to know that last time you had a fight with ma after you corrected her, why was she admitted to the hospital?”
Manoj looked at Manik and then Trisha and Gaurvi, before replying in a sober tone –
“She had tried to commit suicide.”
That brings us to 1 year of Tangles & Ties…
I started it on January 1st, 2019… so It’s a T & T anniversary tomorrow 🙂
Thank you … each one of you … for bringing it this far…