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A good life wish

Life never ceases to alternately surprise and distress us. There are times in life when you think the worst is over. At that precise moment, the invisible magician pulls another rabbit out of his hat, reminding you that it’s just the way the karma cookie crumbles. Shalini Rai writes.

india Updated: Oct 25, 2011 02:23 IST
Shalini Rai

Life never ceases to alternately surprise and distress us. There are times in life when you think the worst is over. At that precise moment, the invisible magician pulls another rabbit out of his hat, reminding you that it’s just the way the karma cookie crumbles.


Although it’s been nearly two years, it seems like yesterday that I arrived in the national Capital from Pune. I had hoped Delhi and the anonymity it affords would help me overcome a life-altering episode — divorce.

Divorce as a concept remains a taboo, and the word ‘divorcee’ is used in the same breath as criminal or illicit. Yet there’s as much or as little significance to it as you lend it.

I like to think of marriage as an ‘institution’ that allows entry to a select few members with unique qualifications ---the ones that I did not possess. Wedlock, to me, was an affliction of the heart I recovered from. And the tag “divorced” is the cost of that life-saving surgery.

So, on moving to a new city, although I did not expect understanding, I was ill-prepared for the vitriol that came my way. It did not help that being “sartorially-careful” was misconstrued as attracting attention.

I wondered what brings such behaviour to the fore, especially when it’s unprovoked. Why, instead of a laissez-faire approach to life, do we have to assign a motive to everyone and everything? Isn’t it better to be more understanding, compassionate and tolerant of others’ differences and perceived “imperfections”? Didn’t Jean-Paul Sartre put things into perspective with this, “As for me, I am mean: that means that I need the suffering of others to exist... a flame in their hearts. (Because) when I am all alone, I am extinguished.”

This buttressed the assertion of Franz Kafka, who said: “Individuals are burdened with guilt, isolation, and anxiety. So, it is futile to search for personal salvation.”

Salvation may sound too ambitious. For me, it would be a “good life” if I can complete the marathon of life on time, albeit with one hand in a plaster cast.