What would you do, when one random day during your normal routine lectures you start getting calls repeatedly one by one from your mum and dad, but you stall them, ignore them, reject them all till the end of the lecture. But once the lecture’s over, you rush out, dial your mum (because you’re closer, more affectionate with her and always have been mumma’s boy) only to find her voice all ‘cracked up’ and ‘broken apart’ and the first words she speaks up to you is, “ beta aj tujhe meri kasam, sachi sachi bata tu kis ke saath rehna chahta hai, ab aj k baad se? Kis se tu jyaada pyaar karta hai mummy ya papa? Aj tujhe batana hi padega.. Because ab divorce final hai… bas ab humara divorce final hai…” while sobbing up on pauses. (My beloved son, swear upon me and tell me, who do you wanna live with now onwards? Whom do you love more? Mum or dad? You have to decide this as we’re getting divorced. And this time its final!)
These few lines are enough to throw you into the deepest levels of depression, stress and anxiety altogether at once, spreading total numbness throughout your body, putting you in the front-most seat of a roller coaster destined to an eternity of the worst nightmares you could ever imagine of. All your dragons and demons, jokers and spiders, all put together in one epic saga of scare tactics episode (a TV series where victims/participants are scared to death). Your life is never gonna be the same the second that call ends. Whatever plans you had craved for, planned for, drawn as a kid on paper, to take your parents on a world tour after settling in a well paying job, for all the royalties they provided you since you were born. You think about the delicious dishes your mum made for the whole family, while your dad sarcastically gave you the ‘words of wisdom’ about life and world. You think about the day having them both at your wedding, for their blessings for a successful married life and years later them reciting bed-time stories to your children(their grandchildren). Suddenly everything would seem breaking apart right in front of your eyes. Yes, you knew they fought every now and then, sometimes bitter quarrels, to ugly mishaps of physical abuse, but they did make up, caught-up with each other, tied up the loose ends temporarily every now and then, because that’s what marriages are all about, which is to love unconditionally till your last breath despite anything and to take care of each another till you grow old. But why this sucker punch of splitting up, out of nowhere, now?
By now, the numbness would have spread all over your body with the levels of anxiety, stress, over-thinking at scorching levels. Negativity is at its peak. At this point, you find yourself no longer in control of your mind. You’re physically somewhere, but mentally far far away. You start day dreaming and over-thinking, their combined recipe to be named as ‘noon nightmare-ing’. Your little brother(s)/sister(s), where would they go? Would you be able to meet them once you’re separated? How often would you all be able to catch up? What about your tutoring expenses? Brother/sister’s school expenses and their future college expenses? What about our monthly allowance money, clothes and other basic necessities? How are they all gonna be paid? Will they be shared? If yes, how? If no, who’d take care of it all alone? Who will take the house we currently all live in and where will the other one go? Will we have to move to another city at grandpa’s? Who are this ‘we’ anymore? Running numerous simulations in your head on how life would now be starting the very next minute, the stress, anxiety and anger you held in like a pressure cooker finally pushes out in the form of tears like the steam. Only difference, the steam headed upwards but your tears had no idea where they were headed or whom they belonged to.
So the patient is in front of you, bleeding profusely off its numerous wounds. You’re the doctor, with the life saving question, ‘which wound should you work on first’. So you prioritize everything, evaluating risks and assigning significant values to every single small one of bruise, cuts and wounds. You feel the heat with every passing second. It’s inevitable that the patient will never be the same as before. You feel guilty for the patient, start having a sense of remorse, sympathy for the patient because you’re absolutely familiar with the patient’s life as he/she is bleeding tears in front of you. Obviously because you’re looking right into the patient’s eyes, who’s standing in front of you. When you suddenly realize the patient being you yourself, standing in front of the doctor, in front of the mirror.
The amputation is inevitable.It’s guaranteed that you’re gonna lose some part of you. But never think of it as a nightmare which ‘only you’ are going through. Your parents may or may not have always been proud of you, but they’ve loved you always (most certainly). So, filing an application for ‘your‘ custody has to be the second worst thing a parent would have to face after watching their child lay dead in front of them, because the risk of losing you is not something they planned for when you were nothing but a mere sperm and an egg in two separate bodies.. They both want you as much as you want them both in your life ‘together’ but unfortunately not everyone is that lucky enough. In the legal battle for the custody of the kids, no matter who so ever wins, its the kids who lose. And when that same kid is asked,”for whom he/she wants to be with in the future”, it’s big ultimate question of the life, one which could take an entire lifespan to answer as correctly and as aptly as possible. How can a kid, in its sheer innocence, be forced to choose only one out of two of his best and most beloved toys..? Being an adult, ask yourself. Can you yourself do that? Chose one out of your best two? So what would you do…?
In chess, its called ‘Zugzwang’, where the only viable move…..