1st February 2021, my grandmather passed away. I have blogged about her before.
Somehow, I feel the world has been crazy since then. The second wave of covid happened. So many people died. Age or health had no connection, people just died. The war started.
And as insignificant as I may be in the grand scheme of the universe, for whatever it is worth my life has turned upside down as well.
On one such painful day, I went to my grandmother’s room and I willed her to resolve my problems. I told her she just had to fix everything. There was no other way.
The next day, I did receive some positive news.
Dadi is listening to me. All I have to do is reach out to her, I thought.
Few days later, I had gone for a brief vacation. The hotel room was very cozy. There is something about the white sheets and blankets of hotel rooms that I find so comforting. And if you get to sleep late in the morning, then nothing like it. I never switch on the air conditioner as it makes me cold. I just had the fan switched on, at low speed. The curtains were all closed. The room was pitch dark, just the way I like it. I went to sleep, feeling a sense of perfection.
In the middle of the night, I could find myself in a nightmare. I started feeling suffocated. I was willing myself to get up. It must be the high temperature in the room, combined with the fact that there was no ventilation, and a fan at a very low speed. It was one of those dreams, where you are telling yourself, ‘Wake up.’ The suffocation from the heat, the mind not able to comprehend that I was in a new place, the suppressed stress of so many months had finally culminated into a whirlpool of horror in my mind. I was trying to make sense of my surroundings, but it was taking me some time to understand not just where I was but also who I was! It was scary, and I kept willing myself to wake up, except that I couldn’t. It was like I was in a Black Hole, unable to reach out for help, unable to recognize myself, lost, without any source of light or hope.
Wake up. Wake up..
Finally, I woke up and gasped for breath. It took me some time to realize where I was and that it was not my bed. I felt the side table with my bare hands, and after dropping a couple of random items like my hair clip and a plastic bottle, I found my phone. I reached out to switch on the light. I had water. There was another light switch for which I had to get up, as it was at other side of the wall. I did that too.
I noticed that my heartbeat was fast. I tried to calm myself that it was just a dream. I was okay. But the thought was highly unsettling.
The truth was that, I was not okay. When I woke up from the nightmare, it dawned upon me that the reality was so much worse. One moment ago, I was wishing to wake up from a nightmare, and the moment I was fully awake, I wished that I could undo the reality and somehow go back in a time (or future I don’t know) when everything would be okay. I hated myself for waking up, worried that I would not be able to sleep again and the few hours of escape from my life was also cut short.
And then it struck me.
It was me who was in a Black Hole. Not in the Room. Not in the dream. But in my life!
If anyone else reading this, also feels stuck in a Black hole, remember one thing. There are a lot of people who will help you come out of it. I know my Dadi is watching over me. But first you have to decide to get out of it.
The Black Hole is too deep a place for others to reach out to you. But once you start crawling out of it, slowly you will find your way up. And once you start seeing some light, guess what, maybe it is coming from you! You don’t need anyone to rescue yourself.
You will find that voice somewhere…
A sense of presence in a deceased loved one’ s room
A voice urging you to wake up from a dream in an unknown hotel room
A scribble you find somewhere in a school notebook, of a more innocent you – 20-30 years back. Before the ruins…Before the labels..
I have decided to come out of the Big Hole. I have lived in fear and distress for too long now. I can feel strength I never knew I had. I have been asking my mother for some jewelry of my Dadi to wear all the time. Maybe I will ask my Aunt the next time I meet her. But actually, I don’t need any tangible object to feel close to her.
She is in me as my strength.
I am reaching my mid age, if I am generous enough to consider a life of 70 years. I swear on my dead grandmother, I will not live any moment of my life feeling scared. I will not operate out of fear. I will live my life fearless, with dignity and will never lose myself in a Black Hole again.
To anyone reading this and struggling in a Black Hole, find your voice. Find your reason. Find your Guardian Angel.
But please take the first step out of the Black Hole.
Because you know what, life is full of infinite possibilities. Opportunities and doors waiting for you to unlock.