Embrace your pain

Life is all about losing yourself in pain said Ruchika a Thirty-eight years old woman to me. Those were the first words I heard from a depressed daughter!!
Oh! Let me introduce myself. I am Julie a counselor and tarot card reader from Bangalore (India). I have been into reading cards from a very young age.I am also a part of the privileged community of tarot card readers which reaches people worldwide. Often we all chat and discuss cases online and call each other too if required. Our small world is full of magic and it gives me immense pleasure and satisfaction to contribute my knowledge and my sincere efforts in making this world a better place to live in.
I was looking through my case files today and recalled Ruchika and her story. I had met Ruchika through one of my clients Meera, who had benefited from my readings some time ago. Meera was also from Bangalore and she and Ruchika were best friends. Bereft of the material and the spiritual world Ruchika had knocked the doors of my house on a sunny morning three months ago. The door was answered by my maid who had directed her towards my “magical room”.I have named it magical room but it is my professional area where I meet my clients. When I met her for the first time she passed a half smile to me. The girl had twinkling hazel eyes and her hairdo was simple. She let her hair dance around and the length of her hair was kissing her shoulders. My eyes were also scanning her attire which was perfect. She was dressed in a white and grey suit and one could make out that the girl enjoyed taking care of herself. But! yes, the story gets stuck when we use the word but. But her voice trembled when she whispered a hello to me while biting her parched lips with her teeth.
I smiled and asked her to take a seat and offered her some water. Her hands were nicely manicured with red nail polish shining on her nails. Looking at her hand I realized it was time for me also to get manicure and pedicure done. After all, that is the time you let go of pains and enjoy some good massage.
She was wearing diamond rings on almost all her fingers. I was gazing at her beautiful rings when she broke the silence by clearing her throat. Sigh! My aura of Venus didn’t last long and I was back to the world where pain lies. I smiled and asked her if she would like to draw the cards first. She smiled in affirmation and I directed her towards my desk where I usually do my tarot readings. She sat in front of me and I shuffled my cards asking her to think about her question and stop me when she feels that her question is crystal clear in her head. I prayed for the divine guidance and started shuffling my cards. Ruchika was too quick to stop me as if she was already ready with her question. I opened my eyes and let Ruchika draw a card from my deck and It came out to be the queen of cups. I asked her if her query is related to her mother and she nodded in a yes with lots of nervousness on her face.It seemed as if I was going to tell her the result of her test. I asked her to breath deep and feel at ease. One more time I offered her water and she gulped it all in one go, spilling some on her clothes too. I asked her to draw another card and this time it was Tower. I told her I could see some major problem and she again nodded in affirmation. I asked her to open up and come out clearly with the question now. She said, My mum, I mean my mother. She has been suffering from throat cancer and what if she dies. I don’t want her to die and she started crying. I asked her to calm down. I asked her if she was married. Her reply surprised and confused me.She replied no I am responsible. Confused I asked her what she meant by these words. She said that she chose not to get married because she had grown up seeing her parents fight constantly.Life is all about losing yourself in pain. She had a younger sister too who had gone abroad for studies and decided not to come back ever. Her younger sister was now happily married and was a mother to a beautiful daughter.

I could feel that Ruchika was not happy. I asked her if she ever fell in love and she nodded a strong NO and added I am only concerned about my mother. I am taking good care of her besides there are nurses too who are taking care of her but I want to know whether my mother would survive or not.
I wanted to take a deep breath, I wanted to talk to her but I saw how restless and closed she was so without wasting further time I asked her to draw another card and this time it was the Hanged Man. I could have interpreted it correctly for her but this was the first time in my career of tarot reading that I chose to lie. I told her that her mother would be okay soon. The truth was that I could see that her mother was stuck in this world and the world beyond, maybe because of her love for her daughter. But I chose not to tell her. This girl Ruchika was surrounded by strong negative forces and I could see that no amount of counseling would help because she was adamant in not listening to. Ruchika took a deep breath and before I could utter another word she opened her purse and many notes of 2000 spilled all over my desk. I looked at the notes and then at her. She squinted at me and then apologized for not keeping money intact in her purse and asked me how much she should be paying for the reading.
I thought for a while because I knew I had not given her the reading right. I did not want to take any money from her and let her go but if I would not take the money then she could doubt the reason beyond hence I smiled and uttered a 500 rupee note would do.
That’s it! Meera told me that you charge 3000 rs for an hour said Ruchika.
Yes, indeed, but I do not see you opening up to me. You got your reading done to look for only one particular answer and not a solution You are closed to everything.
She looked down as if she was thinking something. I got up from my seat to show her the door. She followed me and then suddenly stopped. I asked her if she was okay?
I am sorry. I just don’t know what I am doing right now. I am confused, disturbed and scared at the same time and while saying these words Ruchika sat on the sofa again where she was sitting earlier.
Hmmm now she is talking I thought to myself. I sat beside her. I held her hand and told her to speak her heart without any fear.
For next half hour, she sat by my side and cried and told me how much she loved her parents. I asked her what profession her father followed and she told me that her father used to be a businessman and after he met failure in his business he decided to shut down everything and stay put at home. He declared his retirement to the family. I was 20 at that time, and my sister was 4 years younger to me. I chose to work for a call center at that time. The downfall that we had faced was recovered in a year. After that, I was offered a job of a senior manager in a factory and my salary doubled to one lac per month. No doubt the job was tough and it also required me to travel. I worked extra hours and made handsome amount. With time, I kept on changing jobs and landed up here in this company that offers me 3 lac per month and overtime too. I was engrossed in earning money to give a luxurious life to my parents and all was going well. My sister was happily married by now and we all were happy for her too.
Then one horrific day, my mother who was suffering from viral vomited blood. We at once rushed her to the hospital and after series of tests, the doctor told us that she was suffering from throat cancer. My mother was kept under observation and was also operated thrice. Last two times she recovered too but this time the doctor says there is no hope.
I have brought her back home with little hope. I try to do all her things on my own.I try to keep her happy. I keep praying for a miracle from God but I am not able to see a positive ray.
I calmed her down and asked her what has she done for herself while earning all this money. She stared at me and said I am a typical Indian obedient kid of my parents. For me, my duty towards my parents comes first. They brought me into this world, they took care of me when I was a kid and now when I am a grown-up woman, it is my duty to take care of them and especially my mother because she has gone thru lots of sacrifices for me and our family.
Yes, you are right and I too have my family values like you but that doesn’t mean that I should get so engrossed in taking care of everyone that when the time comes there might be no one to take care of me.
Now, these words made her sit straight and Ruchika questioned me what do you mean?
What I mean is. It is good that you are taking responsibility for your parents but what about you. You have to have a family too so that when you become old or sick someone should be able to take care of you.
We are born in this world where nothing lasts forever, Your mother, look at her, she is suffering and she is holding on to life only for you because she is not able to see you settled in your life Ruchika.
Ruchika sat there thinking and staring at my desk.
I gave her time to contemplate on what I had said. There was pin-drop silence. I let that silence stay for a while. I sat near her and touched her shoulder as if I was trying to call her back from some unknown world.
Ruchika whispered. You lied to me
Excuse me. I was not expecting her to utter these words.
She looked at me and repeated, you lied to me that she is going to live.
I was in dilemma. She was telling me on my face that I had lied and I didn’t know what to say.
She stood up and I asked her to wait. She looked at me and said why? You could have told me the truth but you chose to lie.
That was when my voice became firm and strong and I knew it was not me who was talking to her. It was some other mysterious voice who forcibly made me say “I did not lie, I said nothing lasts forever and she is stuck between both the worlds because she wants to see you happily married”.
With tears in her eyes, she left in a huff saying she has my number and she will call me.

That day onwards I never met her. I did not discuss this case even with my Tarot community but I believe that whenever the chapter lived repeated it holds an insight. I wonder why after three months of this episode, her name had appeared again? What is the insight? Am I going to meet her again or I am going to encounter the same kind of an episode with someone else. What is my learning and where do I fall in between the war of truth and lies.
I turned her page and closed my diary. I felt cold, the weather signaled the beginning of winters. There was a knock in my magical room.Suddenly my two naughty toddlers entered without even seeking my permission. Hearing them giggle and holding them in my arms was my biggest blessing at this very moment. I took a deep breath and offered my gratitude to God for my happy world


Chapter 2: Julie’s Anniversary


15th August,2018


Its happy birthday for India in just a month, are you ready for celebrations? It’s also time to show the world how patriotic you are. But before that why not contemplate your thoughts on the below-mentioned questions. Trust me these are my thoughts too.

Why should we celebrate this day?
As a civilian, I celebrate this day because at times I can combine my leaves and take off for a long weekend vacation, like many of us.
I celebrate because this is one day where I fly a kite with my friends playing loud music in the background. No one would dare stop me. You know why because if we look around everyone is doing the same
I celebrate this day with my cousins and friends roaming around the whole city on our bikes and cars proudly carrying our national flag showing the world how patriotic we are. Or taking selfies at a happening mall with friends showing to the world how we enjoyed our independence day. It gives us the reason to forward messages to everyone on our friend’s list who we hardly talk to just to start the communication one more time!
But few of us think the real reason behind this.

How do we celebrate the day?
We change our display picture in the app. We do the same on social media by applying colours of our flags on our face or carrying the flag in hand to show the world how Patriotic we are. We celebrate it with our near and dear ones sitting somewhere having a good time eating and doing things we like and discussing everything missing about the system. Someone in the group is happy with the system and someone is not at all. Only some of us thank the Army patrolling our borders keeping their lives at risk to make our lives safe and sound.
Have we ever given a thought that what have we done for our country as civilians? What does the society do for the country which is giving us shelter and strives each day to give us the simple pleasures of simple living!
Unfortunately, nobody talks or think about what we should be doing for our country to prove our patriotism. Next day we see our country flags lying in lanes or thrown on the roads. This is the harsh reality and definition of being patriotic.
Every year I silently witness this drama around. Unfortunately, there was a time when I too was a part of all this. But my perception changed when last year someone sent me a message on the next day of Independence, saying the patriotic ghost is gone. The day is over change your display picture.
This hit me hard somewhere. It stuck to my mind. I questioned myself that when I forward a message to a fellow citizen saying Happy birthday to our country or happy independence day to our country what gift am I giving as a society or as a citizen to my country? Nothing ! that day I promised myself that I would give a gift to my country next year.
I don’t know whether with my storybooks where I keep on introducing Indian culture or culture of other countries I might have influenced some hearts or minds but I have counted that as my bit to enhance the personality of my countries people and country
I planted trees and plants in my area. Strangers passing by would ask me why I keep doing that and I told them that it would help us have more oxygen around. By planting trees or having a green garden would help us do with our bit to the society. I am not sure whether I influenced them to do their bit too.
I took a help of a local veterinary doctor and some animal lovers around my local area. Together we got all the stray dogs in our lane vaccinated. We do not need NGO’s to do that when like-minded people can stand together and put an effort. We did it and we influenced other people across our lanes to do the same. Stray dogs are necessary as they are better guards to the society. All they want is little love and food 2 times a day. Together we did our bit.
Some frustrated people are full of complaints when it comes to the system or whatever you are trying to do. We too have some people around who complained about doggy’s poo. It is easy to sit and complain and difficult to find a solution. But people who concentrate more on a solution than on the problem helps in enhancing society. We requested the road cleaner to come by 11 am. Trust me the lanes are cleaner than before. I believe the sweeper also did his bit for the society.
I did an effort on saving water by using a.c water for cleaning my marble floors at home. We taught kids around on how we could save water instead of wasting water. We tried introducing an electronic system which stops the water and hence it does not spill from the tanks on everybody’s homes.
This time, I am gifting my country a bit better environment by having more plants around us. I am gifting security to elders, housewives and kids who spend their entire day at home or go out to play by vaccinating stray dogs and giving them food two times a day so they become our best watchmen.
This time, I am gifting my country people their ‘me’ time by creating wonderful posts and writing stories where I have introduced Indian states.
This time, I am gifting more cleaner roads to my county.
This time, I am giving a gift of saving water for my country.
This time I can proudly call myself patriotic. What about you? What you are gifting to your country as a society or as an individual. Do share and inspire me with your views.


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