Robin – a 12 year old boy was the superstar of the 8:34 am train which I traveled, from Goregaon to Churchgate. He was a short but smart kid, who would flick his shiny black hair in the air whenever he boarded the train. Always accompanied by a notebook, Robin taught Maths during the day and studied by the eve. Agile, mentally and physically, he always had a cheerful smile, making the other travelers journey from Goregaon to Dadar a memorable one every day. He would walk around greeting people from one seat to another like he knew them for ages. Gazing every action from the corner of my eyes, I was quite surprised how he kept everyone’s cheek wide apart, blazing with laughter and smile, creating an aura of happiness by noting minute details of everyone’s lives. He must be a soul pure of richness and positive vibes to keep everyone around him merry and joyous.
Good human beings who are close to God never last long they say! So was he!
An acquaintance of a few weeks for me. His absence made me question my fellow passenger, “Where’s Robin? It’s been quite a long time, haven’t seen him.”
“He attempted suicide last week”, said the passenger.
That response made me numb and all I could hear was an echoing high pitched noise for a minute. Regaining myself from the shock, and after a few inquiries, Robin’s suicide death was the prolonged depression he faced. There wasn’t a frown or a wrinkle of tension which would be visible from his face. Imagining his cheerful face and thinking of how he ended his life disturbed me for a couple of nights. I wish I had asked how he had been lately? I could sense the amount of fear, anxiety he might have held behind his pursed lips of smile.
Having feelings isn’t a sign of weakness, it means we are human. We treat depression as a sign of weakness, like a character flaw and never seek help to get out from it. So was Robin – ashamed to tell anybody, keeping his condition a secret until he lost his breath. We are all unaware of depression, slowly suffering in silence. Depression is just danger lurking around the corner. It can deplete you, keep you isolated and make you struggle with insomnia. Putting a smile on your face and never telling a soul is what you might not want to follow. Sometimes words can’t describe the devastation you feel. I had a sense of connection with Robin but never did I know he was in so much pain. It was shame and stigma behind the reason of silence. The World Health Organization reports that depression is the leading cause of sickness and disability in the world. Therapy, medication and treatment can cure depression.
Life is indeed beautiful! Sometimes it’s a bit messy,and always unpredictable. Things will fall in place and it will all be OK when you have your support system.
I hope that if your burden gets too heavy, you’ll ask for a hand, too. Don’t hesitate, drop me a text and I’ll try to hear you and heal you. Let’s learn from Robin.
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