There comes a time in our life, when all seems lost, there is no hope and the future looks bleak. It is at such times, that we need to muster up enough courage to come out of the grip of gloom and negativity. This is easier said than done, but as they say, nothing is impossible, if only, you will it. Something like this had happened to me too…..
We were a happy family of four, my parents, elder brother and myself. Things were great and life was sailing smoothly. My brother went on to become a highly successful Army officer, while I was studying to become a counseling psychologist. The days went by beautifully, until one fine day, when calamity struck. My brother Shyam was faced with a tough situation…
Joining the National Defence Academy was Shyam’s dream come true…..and he had the best time of his life there…..all the ragging, punishments and the tough training saw him come out with flying colors. Even a fracture was not communicated home lest the parental worries pull him down. The final year at the Indian Military Academy equipped him with all the necessary qualities and skills which made for a solid foundation. He won the best officer award in his very first rank as a second lieutenant! At this point of time he had helped several soldiers financially, for their education , marriages and other pressing needs.
Having led many successful operations, his expertise in leading from the front was undisputed. As a major at the age of 27, he was leading an important operation in Kupwara, J & K. Shyam had been made the officiating commanding officer of the operation. One night while returning from patrolling , it had started to snow heavily and the soldiers had fallen into a deep pit full of snow. Without worrying for his life even for a second , Shyam spent the entire night rescuing his soldiers. All the snow had gone into his lungs making him ill. The dearth of officers saw him getting his leave sanctioned very late. Upon his arrival at home , a battery of tests was conducted , revealing a rare form of cancer- Non- Hodgkin’s- Lymphoma(of the lungs)…..stage 3…!
During his six months stay at the Command Hospital Pune… . there was not a single dull moment in any of the wards as he would go up to the patients, cheer them up, play board games with them, relive their glorious days in the forces etc . In his last days when he was declared terminally ill and it was anytime for him , he showed uninhibited courage by forgiving the higher command for sanctioning his leave very late. And the unusual acceptance of a life that was being cut short in its prime! On the last day, he had thanked all the doctors and nurses who had attended to him and all the relatives present. He asked my cousins as to how they had fared in their exams and remembered to wish a cousin on his impending marriage. Shyam made me promise him that I would complete my post graduation without going into depression. He then put my parents hands into mine and asked me to take over from him. And then he requested my reluctant father to release him , so that he could pass on……peacefully……it was only after he got the permission that Shyam left with a smile…..He had crossed over…….
My life just changed after he left. But his story, and the way he handled his life and especially the end, put some hope and courage back in my life. As a counseling psychologist, I help people handle their tough times, support the depressed and oppressed. I have taken up writing with the aim of removing the dependence on negativity in the lives of depressed people. After all, you live only once, might as well, live it to the fullest.
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© 2015 Kavita Panyam