Neha
Someone told me that each one should have their support system in place. A support system consisting of family, friends, companion, near and dear ones; on whom you can rely, trust blindly, who you know will stand by you and with you...no matter how difficult the situation, how hard the circumstances, how testing the times.

Very true. We all need a support system in place as an individual can break down if faced with storm from all corners of life. But what support system are we talking of here? One that stands by you when you take your decisions or the one that stands by you when you take those decisions that they agree with? Which of the two is a true support system?

My pick is the one that is with you, that stands by you...no matter how high the tide or how deep the waters. It IS THERE and you know that you need not worry because you have their support. The individuals in your support system might not agree with your decisions, but even then, they will keep their all aside because they have to be there for you. They will not force their decisions on you; rather, they will back your decision. And they will not do so blindly. They will do it because they have faith in you and your actions, they believe in you and they know you.

A family is a great support system for many of us, especially in India. Each one of us share a special bond with our families. Then we have our siblings, cousins, friends and so on. Think for a moment of your support system - your family, siblings, companion, friends etc. Lost the count....Great for you :)

But just close your eyes for a minute and think who all will be there WITH you if you take a decision against their wishes? .......
....Did you do that? How many faces flashed in your mind (and heart)? You need not tell me, but yes, that is your true support system. I am sure there was a contradiction to who you thought were in your support system and those you know truly are. If there isn't, then, you are indeed lucky.

I, too, closed my eyes for that minute and my instinct surprised me! I saw my father, a person who is not my idol, with whom I do not share the so-called great father-daughter relationship. It's a bond and it is special as despite us always facing towards different poles, I know he WILL be there for me, even when I wrong him, even when I make a decision against his wish, even when I outrage his ego and belief. I know not why, maybe because he is my father.

Then I saw my Dadaji - my hero, my idol. And I know why he was there. Because, he has always been there. And I saw my Godmother - my cousin sister, who has been there for me like my mother would have been, if she were here.

And I say my Bhaiya...no, he is not my brother, he's not even remotely related to me. My friends who know me will know who am I referring to here. He is a God sent Messiah for me, in whom I have most trust and faith.

And I saw a couple of friends - who I can call at 2 a.m and cry my heart out; who, I know, are just one call away.

That's my support system. None of them live with me, but they are never farther away. I don't talk to them all the time, I don't share everything with them; even then, I know they will be there always. My actions might hurt them, but their love and belief in me will never waver.

Take that minute out and think earnestly of your support system. Going with the flow is easy, it's going against it that makes the going tough. When life hurls situations, that is the true testing time not only for an individual, but for his/her support system as well. It's one thing to say and another to do. On a crossroad, you will always have options - one, that your heart agrees to; the others that your people agree to. Of course, everyone will have ther opinion, which they will think is right. But how many will take into account what you say and feel and then say - 'Go on. I am with you. Right or wrong, good or bad, we will face it together as that is what you want to do.'?
That, my friends, is true support system!
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Neha

Life seems to have come to a standstill again. Yes, this Neha has changed back to her old self. She can no more see the magic wand, which she hoped will change her life. Her dreams of and for future have been shattered. She is weary of fighting to save her identity, her happiness, which were truly never there. She thought that a changed and positive perspective can win over the world, but she was wrong.

Yes, I was wrong! And here I am, crying in pain, misery and lonliness. Of course, I am strong...for have I not fought with my own destiny to reach where I am today. But does being strong mean that you can't fall weak ever? It is a common saying that never mistake your enemy to be weaker than you or your over-confidence will let you down. Life is my opponent and I have never mistaken it to be a weaker one.

I know it's strange to read such thoughts from a person who always wrote about the brighter side of things, who always sounded positive, chirpy...happy. I seem to have lost that part of me and I confess that I have lost it to my strongest opponent - Life! I have failed.

My readers might find it wierd and may have words of wisdom and consolation for me; but dear friends, no words or thoughts can soothe the pain I am going through. The medicine has to come from within me, I know. But I am afraid, I have lost the strength to fight it out. I have lost it all...

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Neha
When life throws lemons at you, make lemonade out of it – I read this somewhere and found it rather amusing. For how many of us really get such ideas when they are being stoned with not so lemony lemons from all nooks and corners of life.

But as a friend pointed out, it’s a matter of perspective; how you perceive things is all that makes a difference. A very close friend will simply curl up in a corner even if she senses the slightest turmoil in her life. She’d excuse herself out of every trouble saying that she cannot handle responsibilities. It all seemed to gel in with the personality of a college-going girl. Such remarks then would simply make me start on one of my ‘Grow Up’ lectures (how grown up was I never bothered me). I got chatting with her online yesterday and she made the statement again. Now, she is a wife and a mother. This statement definitely did not suit her now. And then I realized that it had actually become a part of her being – to close all doors and windows and hide in the safest corner even if it became a little breezy outside. Does the wind scare her or the aftermath – I still have to discover. But what I still wonder is whether we can make such statements when we have so many responsibilities to shoulder? For some, it may be a way of life; for others, running away from life. A matter of perspective again.

Another friend will smile even after bricks fall on her head…literally! Not that nothing affects her. Everything does. She faces them, reacts accordingly (right or wrong) and gets over with it. Nothing stays in there for any longer than it is required.

Don’t know what is the right approach…or what is correct, incorrect. And who decides it? For in a situation, if u think about others, setting yourself aside…the lemons become sore and if you think about yourself, you are termed selfish. What is the right way? Can someone tell me?
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Neha
OK, what to do when you are really angry? Really annoyed and pissed off! Break something? Curse? Hit Someone?

Ok, and what to do when you are really angry with yourself? Can you break your head? Definitely not! Or maybe try hitting yourself? That's foolish, ain't it? But you know what, I am angry with myself and actually very angry! Why? Well, because I seem to never learn from my past mistakes! I know it's human to err, but to err similarly time and again is mere stupidity. And for this, I can't forgive myself.

And then the irony is that each time I am committing the blunder, I know what I am getting into. Then there is this voice of my intellect (I guess it to be from there :) ) asking me to check myself, but I don't care to listen to it; as my heart still believes that I can't go wrong every time. And then once I'm into it there's no turning back. I truly live that the moment thoroughly and pray that it never ends. But end it does...leaving me sad, lonely and longing for it again.

Yeah....it's so ecstatic. It's very first touch on your tongue sends a cold tickling sensation throughout the body. And in this scorching Delhi summers, it's a blessing in disguise! Yeah..I am talking about Ice creams. Aren't they simply great? Ohh...why do I regard them as blunders. Well, when you are trying to go on a good healthy diet, they are actually SINFUL!

And you thought I was talking about something else! Caught you!
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Neha
The ambience, the people, everything around you gives you jitters in a surrounding like that. People holding their dear ones who are crying in pain; staff in white or green rushing here and there, personnel with instruments around their necks running from one dept to another. And I walking down the corridoor, looking for the right gate no. to collect my reports from. Yes, i was in a hospital - Apollo, surrounded with people in pain and illness.

Somehow, when u are also in pain, you can relate to others who are in a similar situation. Such is a human being. In times of happiness, it's difficult for most of us to understand others' misery; but when we are or have gone through similar trying times, we can understand relatively more easily.

As I was about to enter the dept of Neuro Sciences (I am suffering from migraines), I stepped aside as some people were bringing a patient on a stretcher, lean, pale, with so many attachments of drips. He must not have been more than 50 yrs, but could barely move a limb. His arms and legs were hanging out of the stretcher with his attendants trying to save them from being brushed against the wall or the door. He lay still, with blank eyes staring into eternity, it seemed. My eyes followed that patient with my thoughts wandering. Did he still have a will to live? Did he want to live? Will he be completely cured? Will he be able to walk again? Will he ever be among his own people living and laughing like them?

As he went out of sight, I turned and caught my reflection on the glass door. I was standing on my own feet, walking without support, moving without help, living a life on my own. And yet, there have been so many things I complain of. Has life treated me as harshly as I say it has? What about that man who can barely walk?

Today, I truly feel blessed. I have what many don't and I am grateful for all that I have. Thank you God, for making me 'Me'.
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Neha
'Is life just this what I am living or is it much more or maybe lesser?'

Thoughts like this cloud my mind day in and out. At times, I look at life objectively, chalking out my role in it, my responsibilities, my stake and the risks. At other times, I subject it to being a mere state of existence. Or how else can I justify all those incidents and situations that I have been a mute, passive spectator to? They came, blew everything that seemed to be in their perfect places in my 'life' and left behind rumbles and ages of agony and suffering. And what could I do? Just watch it happen to me.

But no, life could not be just this. I have seen the other phase of it also. The one which has dreams turning into reality, angels blessing you, hard work paying off, love pouring in - the life with the perfect Midas touch to it. And do we complain then? I didn't.

But then, however and whichever way life may treat you and me, I firmly believe that miracles do happen in each one's life and there are incidents that need no proof, no justification; they happen, leaving you feeling blessed and thankful. In those truly dark moments, when the entire world seems hostile, each moment spills pain and even your own shadow turns its back to you, an angelic wand sweeps away all the misery.

There have been many occasions when I have felt the magic wand show its magic. On those fateful times when the entire world seemed to have collapsed before me, a strange power made me hold on....hold on to faith...hold on to life. A voice within me told me to stay put; it echoed that this too shall pass; it affirmed that if He has brought me to it, He will give me the strength to survive it.

Patience, faith, perseverance, trust - all these reduce to mere words in hard times. However, it has been these words that helped me pave my way through those difficult paths. Patience with other and my dealing with them; faith in the Supernatural, the Almighty; perseverance in my endeavor; and trust in those who held me notwithstanding the heat and pressure of those times. And I moved on, making my way to light.

There have been many occasions when life seemed futile and I know that there will be many more. But then, I even know that the same wand will brush its magic on me again, shaking me out of negativity and giving me the vision to realize and be thankful for all the truly wonderful people and things I am blessed with. And the first - this Life. For without it, I would have never been able to live all the beautiful moments that I have and those that I will.

Will life treat me as positively as I think of it? I know not and I don't think so. It is full of uncertainties, I know. But then, does it not depend on me how I take it? They say that happiness is a state of mind; then is living not the same. Or are we calling existing, living?

Whichever way and however it may be, life is surely much more than what I have lived until now. And I look forward to living it to its fruitful completion, whatever that may be.
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