Last week as I was driving back home from the gym, around 10.30 in the morning on a weekday- at a busy junction where the signal never works and that remains unmanned despite the maddening rush- my car was brushed by an auto rickshaw. Before I had time to react, the auto sped off. I couldn’t stop in the middle of the road , so drove aside and parked. I got down, examined the damage and flinched. The right rear side of the car was dislodged , just above the back wheel. I cursed myself for not reacting earlier, I should have got off hastily and confronted the guy, I sighed. Since the damage was already done and the guy had absconded, there was nothing much I could do.
In hindsight after speaking to a few friends who brave the Pune roads daily I realised, there was little I could have done, even if I had confronted him. Some of them , on seeing the picture of the damage, brushed my concerns aside and said as a driver on Indian roads, it’s highly unrealistic to expect your vehicle to be unscathed. It’s the first scratch that hurts, more like a dagger driven right through your heart , but then after the 2nd and 3rd and more that follow you learn to ignore it. You cant possibly run to the garage to mend every scratch.
And as a writer, this got me thinking of life and just like the car, the bruises that others inflict upon us or at times are self inflicted (just like my car owning a few of her scratches thanks to my parking skills).
So what do we do of these bruises? Do we just ignore them and toughen up over time, accepting it as a part of growing up or we make a choice to mend them? Some of this mending might mean taking life altering decisions – and life comes with no guarantees. What if the healing that we hoped for never happens? Was it worth the pain? Only time and how life unfolds will answer these questions- however when we summoned all the courage we had to take such a decision, we will find the courage to face the consequences as well. Whats the point of bearing a bruise that you know will only get worse and engulf you, rather take that plunge and it will only be better.
Sometimes however , we may decide on inaction- the reasons could be multiple. Inaction need not imply cowardice, it’s sometimes that inner voice thats assures you to stay put , and this will heal with time. Maybe that time may come soon or take far too long or what if it never comes? Well, thats a choice we made and as with every choice we will have to face the consequences.
And sometimes that scratch or bruise could be something we are self inflicting, the mirage of a perfect life, spouse, career that someone else has and the question often is “why not me?” As cliched as it sounds, isn’t it the plain truth that we all have our own story, our priorities, what we derive fulfilment from and our story is bound to be different. Shouldn’t this be a wound that is completely within our power to self heal then?
Too many questions and I know very well that the answers are never easy, and they are never black and white. If life were that simple? But these bruises and the choices we make about them define our lives in more ways than we can imagine. So on this auspicious day when I chose to write a post after a hiatus of 2 months , let’s all find the courage and wisdom to make the right choices.