The door bell rang in shrill bursts. There was a loud pounding on the door. My friend Tara put her cup of tea down and rushed to open the door, hitting her knee against the coffee table. “Ouch” she cried out painfully. “Hold on, I’m coming” she called out. The bell rang again. “So much impatience, it has to be my son”, she said to me. I paused midway while popping a Marie biscuit into my mouth, and nodded.
The door swung back against her as soon as she released the latch and her son Raj swooped in. He flung his bag on the couch and started throwing off his shoes as he rushed inside to this room. Another door banged inside and then there was the sound of violent retching. Troubled, Tara forgot her annoyance and rushed inside to check on Raj. He came out of the bathroom, wiping his face, looking ashen.
“What’s the matter?” cried Tara. Tara let loose her typical harangue, and then paused mid-sentence, looking at her son.
Raj had collapsed on the bed and tears were rolling down his eyes. He loosened his tie and ripped it off. Then he kicked the wardrobe in frustration before looking up at her. “I got fired” he declared suddenly. “Seven years of late nights and working weekends, and they just let me go.”
His chin slumped down again and he started sobbing. “What?” Tara could only exclaim. “Don’t worry. We will work it out.” She started pacifying her son and pulled him into a hug. She seemed to have completely forgotten about me, her guest.
As she patted his head in consolation, the doorbell pealed again. Dong, dong, dong. “Coming” Tara called out and rushed to the door. The door rebounded soon as she opened it and Rina rushed in like a storm. She was all smiles and laughed out loud as she was now able to play with the other kids.
Tara hugged her little granddaughter tight and remembered how she would just sit on the fences and watch other kids play as she could not play with them. The other kids would mock at her and she would just sit there crying. Rina was just 9 years old but had lost her right leg in an unfortunate accident when she was just 4.
Raj had the most ambitious plans for his beautiful daughter but Tara now could see all of them fading away. How would Raj now pay for his daughter’s judo classes and her special training classes, how could she now enjoy her dancing sessions at the dance classes? All these suddenly felt like a far reality now.
I pulled Tara aside and made some excuse to leave. I couldn’t stay there to gawk at their misfortune, after all. But I continued to wonder what would happen to this happy family that was thriving just a few minutes ago. Would they crumple under the pressure?
Fate can be cruel, But then, that is just one way of looking at things. I feel inspired by this video that amplifies the #KhudKoKarBuland (Raise Yourself) sentiment. It is a maxim I have tried to live up to all my life. Yes, we can make ourselves so strong through persistent efforts and hard work that adversity cannot affect us.
As long as we are prepared to face the adversities, all that matters is that we survive misfortune and march ahead. Sometimes, the real test is in going against the flow, doing something that no one has done before. That’s when the true character of a person emerges.
So how did Tara and her kids handle their little problem?
Raj proved the strength of his character by providing for all the needs of his family and his daughter never missed any classes. He proudly held Rina’s hand as they entered the backstage where his daughter was to perform later in the night. He didn’t let his misfortune take over his life. He faced the challenge head-on. He made sure that his daughter went from strength to strength. He is currently employed at his dream job, of teaching kids over the internet.
This is a sponsored post for Birla Sun Life.