Sunday, February 19, 2017

Giving to yourself


The old man waved his hand in the air. He was performing a skit from none other than Shakespeare. This was a time before now - it’s called the past. You must understand, at that time, I was enthralled with acting. In this past of mine, I imagined my future - I would be - “the Great Orator” and great applauses would sound out everywhere. In this past, I had no idea that I would make a different choice in the future.

“You have to put everything into the role you’re playing. The very essence of your soul must believe that you are this character.” The old man was speaking now. What does it take to be a great actor? Was that the answer - The very essence of your soul must believe that you are this character?

That was then, this is now - now I’m old, married, have children who are married off to and I… and I have dedicated my life to the cause of others - an NGO worker for those in need. The phone is vibrating over and over. It has been so for the last hour, constantly buzzing on and off. I’m not going to pick it up. But, what if he kills himself?

‘How much do you give of yourself when you’re a social worker?’

“Let’s cut the cake”, my wife declares. I’m standing in the living room. She’s standing there too holding a cake. It’s my birthday.

“Get the candle”, she orders. So, I head into the kitchen, my phone starts to ring again, I ignore.

I enter back into the room, “Give it here”, she grabs the candles from me. Swiftly she places them into the cake and lights them with a matchbox. I look around, it’s just my wife and me. One child is in the States, another is in the Gulf. It’s just her and me.

“Happppppy birthhdddddddaay”, she starts to sing.

I join in, “Happpppy birtttthhhday to me”.

In the background, the phone is vibrating and buzzing. What if Ritesh kills himself?

I’m lost in thought, my wife shoves a cake piece into my mouth. It’s soft, tasty, delicious, I can taste the secret ingredient called love. No cake could taste better.

I want to relax today, no… I am going to relax today. I can only keep giving if I have the strength to give. I just can’t help any today. No one, not Ritesh.

Today, I don’t have the strength to give, the cup must replenish itself. If… if Ritesh kills himself, I’ll have to live with it. I wait for the ringing to stop, then I switch the phone off.  Today, I just don’t have anymore of my soul to give.

I want to be with my wife.

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