I am back from Amalner. Albeit with a sprained ankle. I am with my friend pretending to watch the television, but my heart is sinking and I am struggling to keep it afloat.
Yesterday night just before I was to leave for the bus stop to board the sleeper bus for my journey back to Mumbai, I tripped and fell from the stairs outside Bharti ji's house. My ankle had twisted pretty severely was beginning to swell. Bharti ji and her daughter were quick to get ice cubes I asked for. I was in unbearable pain, and yet it was sadness and breathlessness that felt more excruciating. I instantly felt fear gripping me and a sense of failure soon tiptoed behind it. I was trying to fend off tears not knowing their source - were these tears from the pain I was physically feeling or were these from the sense of failure that the fall seemed symbolic of? I knew it was the latter as I also tried to reason with me it has to be the former.
The research project, the traveling, the interviews, the fact that my family doesn't really understand what is it that I do, my being on my own for almost all the trips I have made professionally were already taking a toll on me. Because everything was an effort and yet I was forcing myself to go on, instead of feeling satisfied after two hard days of work, I was still feeling lost. Keep working, I would tell myself. And keep smiling. But my tripping and collapsing on the ground broke whatever I had salvaged of my spirit. I again felt I had failed. I felt I did not have it in me. I again felt my head swoon.
I asked Bharti ji to hold my hand. (I had trusted her from the moment I had met her an year back, so it was ok to be vulnerable in front of her). I told her I was ill at ease and nervous and if she could just hold my hand. She held out her hand and then she hugged me. Patting me softly on my back, as I sat on her sofa and she stood holding me. She could feel I wasn't near tears for the twisted ankle but for something else. Five minute passed and soon I recovered. The pain was there but I could take that. A doctor soon arrived, turned down all possibilities of a fracture, sent for an injection and some medicines and it was all taken care of.
I read somewhere that there really is something called a broken heart syndrome. I do not know much about it - but that term perfectly describes how I feel. As if something is physically broken inside of me and try as I might my heart/mind isn't functioning normally.
Please know that I hate to have to written this, nay, I am ashamed to have written this. THIS when there is so much of real work to be done. When there is so much I am capable of and yet this is what I come up with? I need to understand myself. Discover my place in the universe, truly understand what I am here for and feel life's worth again. Either that happens or I will be doomed to live through this, as if a curse is upon me.