The Rock Bottom.

Read.

Listen.

Understand. And love.

We’re here. And we care.

*****

“Life is not all good. It is a combination of the good and the bad. Most of us want our lives to be a pocketful of sunshine. I was no exception. Although later on, I realized that wouldn’t one be tired of being happy all the time?

I don’t know.

Let’s go by basic human psychology. We take things for granted when they happen daily. Say our parents, or even maybe ourselves for that sake. According to me, life should be a healthy mixture of both.

College was brilliant. And here began my little experiments with alcohol, cigarettes and ganja. Now that I look back, I wish I had known that these would be the very thing which would become my beacon of escape.

After college, I got a job in one of the best construction companies in India. Good salary, huge company and the likes. But I decided otherwise. My decision was mostly because I wanted to satisfy my parents and their happiness. My say in it was very meagre. So I left a job that would pay me well, ensure a perfectly good future and I devoted all my attention to qualify for a Government job. For those who are from India they’ll know how difficult it is to get one. But this wasn’t my biggest problem. Boredom was.

It changed me in ways I couldn’t imagine.

Initially it was all well and good. I was working and the preparation was going well. But, with time I began to confine myself within the four walls of my room.

I shut myself from the world. I set a list of objectives, but sadly that really wasn’t of much help. Slowly I lost focus. I started believing that there was nothing more to life. I played the blame game. A part of it was true, but another part of it, maybe was not. You see it was my life. And in the end, any decision I would take would actually be on my shoulders. Adding on to that, there were several personal issues pertaining to my family.

I had no one to talk to and I couldn’t really focus on anything. I even gave up music which remains my one true love till date. Before I even realized, alcohol and nicotine started consuming my life. Intoxication was absolutely essential every single day. I would stay over at my friend’s place, giving excuses like I was going over to do group study. Instead all I intended to do was fulfil my lust for alcohol.

I was dying. Literally and figuratively.

My friends were not to blame here. They didn’t really know that it was a daily affair. In other news my exams were getting closer with each passing day.

I could never really open out my heart to my parents. My elder sister was always there for me. But others couldn’t really find me a way out of this misery.

My conscience hit me hard when I failed miserably in the first exam I gave. I was far away from the vicinity of being competitive. God sent me a Messiah and a chance at redemption. He was my best friend from college, Gaurav. This chap, unlike others was patient with me, and believed in me a lot more than I did in myself at that time.

He tutored me, monitored my level of alcohol. He made me count the number of cigarettes I smoked. For the first time in months, I felt good. I could even say I had a reason to smile. But, it didn’t really last long.

Gaurav left for his B-school a month and a half later and almost immediately I went back to my self-destructive self.

I had two weeks to the preliminary exam of my dream job. Convincing myself that there was not much to life anymore, I prepared myself for the worst.

It was Wednesday.

I kissed an old family photo that I found in an album and tried calling her one last time. Her phone was busy. I was happy that she was not like me. But at that moment, it didn’t matter. So I sent her one last text saying that I loved her, and took one last sip of the alcohol. I finished one last cigarette and went to the roof. God! Everything looked so small from there.

I closed my eyes and tried hard convincing myself that my freedom was just an inch away. I knew it would hurt, but slowly the pain would consume me and I would be history. I had one foot in the air. But I suddenly held on to a pipe nearby.

I realized what a coward I was…

I did not have the courage to live nor did I have the courage to take my life! I heard my phone ring and it was Shrea. She was almost in tears. That girl. I’ve hurt her enough. My mom and dad! What about them? Did they pay for me for 23 years just to see me give up?

No!

I came down, threw away my cigarettes and the empty bottle of rum. I took a vow to give up smoking and drinking. I promised myself I would work hard.

Quoting Satyajit Ray – “The only solutions that are ever worth anything are the ones that people find themselves in.”

I would chew on toothpicks, drink a lot of water, but never again did I touch alcohol or a cigarette. It has been two months.

I cleared the preliminary exam and I am very hopeful about clearing the main exam too. I am back to singing, not for the world, but for myself.”

***

Kuldip Sarkar

 

 

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Author: Aitijya Sarkar

You know that bright little star next to the moon? The one you've never really noticed for some reason. That's me.

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