Feb 25, 2010
Quite so often, we hear people saying ‘Take it easy’, ‘it’s okay’ and things like that, when someone is hurting or struggling through a difficult situation. It’s worse when they say that, when they themselves are the cause for it. For, taking it easy is easier said than done and takes a lot of effort on the aggrieved party to really make amends with the situation and move on, if at all.
Years back, on her return from travel to a distant place, my friend had a lot of photos in her camera which she longed to see, but the camera was not a digital one, so the photos needed to be developed. However, the roll was not completely utilized, so she had to wait. Soon after she returned, she left for an urgent errand leaving the camera on the table asking her sister to keep the camera inside. Later, when she took the camera to the studio, she was shocked to learn that all but three photos were exposed. She later came to know that her sister had forgotten to take care of the camera and a young child had played with the camera doing the unintended. When confronted, the lady casually said, “Now that the photos are gone, no point in fretting over them. Take it easy, these things happen once in a while.” My friend reluctantly swallowed her resentment but to date, does not trust anyone easily. Once bitten twice shy, she says.
Many a time, not just actions but also wrongly said words can create havoc in another person’s life. Which is why it is said: Words & hearts should be handled with care, for words when spoken & hearts when broken are the hardest ones to repair.
My friend Reema had adopted Naina while she was an infant and she had shared this with her daughter over the years. Naina was as comfortable as she could be, with the fact. For some reason, Naina had fared badly in some subjects in school and so the teacher spoke to Reema in detail. All went well, until the teacher remarked, well in the presence of Naina, “You know madam, Naina is an adopted child, so she craves for a lot of love and attention, and that tells on her performance in tests”. That remark coming from an outsider, devastated Naina and she wept inconsolably well into the night till she caught fever. No doubt she had accepted the fact that she had been adopted, but she detested hearing it from outsiders and that too so insensitively. It was her private matter and the teacher did not need to refer to it so casually.
I empathized with Naina, for that was the best thing I could do then, and very soon took up the matter with the teacher. All the teacher had to say was, “It’s okay madam, I only said what is fact. What is the big fuss about?” I thanked God that Naina was not in our midst then.
I recall a recent incident that happened when I took my daughter to office on a rather free day. The little one was busy drawing something when a housekeeping lady walked in to clean the table. The moment she saw my daughter, she remarked, “Madam, your daughter is a little coloured, as compared to you. I suppose she got it from her father?” I tried to soften the effect of it saying, “No, no, I don’t think I am all that fair”, even as I cringed at the statement and its unavoidable implications. Needless to say, it took a lot for me to convince my daughter that I loved her all the same, whatever her ‘colour’.
All said and done, human behaviour being so unpredictable, expecting perfect interactions would be impractical. The least we can do when someone is feeling miserable, is offer our total acceptance of their injured feelings and help them cope with them.
Like in the case of Naina, when she was through with weeping her heart out, I told her, “You know what? I too was adopted, but at such an age that the whole world knows about it. My hubby adopted me as his wife.” Her giggles confirmed to me and Reema that very few are indeed blessed with the gift of ‘taking it easy’.
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