How I learnt to fight for life and accept love in the face of suffering

I fell 40 metres during a rock climbing accident and was left with a cognitive disability as a result of a brain injury.

 |  5-minute read |   22-12-2017
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Rumi once said, "The wound is the place where the light enters you - if you let it."

Similarly, this is what I can say about love - if you are touched by it or if you let it enter, it will engulf you in its glory. It is like an adrenalin rush or like alcohol to an addict. The first drop hits you with its welcoming note. Then after a glass or two, you are little hysterical. You are either talking a little more than you should or are just a sitting duck.

Then gradually as you spend some more time with the person, you become more incompetent, less reliable and then slowly every part of your body except your heart becomes redundant. You are breathing - but you are not living, you are eating but you can't taste it. By this time your brain is in its final stages, surrendering to your heart. You need that person 24 hours a day - every second, every minute, every hour of the day. This to me is the perfect description of a love addict. Just like any addict you will beg, borrow and steal and even be ready to publicly humiliate yourself for love.

I have met a lot of different people in my life and I can confidently say that we have all chased the fairy tale. Personally, I went and looked for it but never found it.

Coming from a Bengali family, I grew up listening to conversations, sharing memories and sentimental moments. My father, who was a great lover of art himself, never missed an opportunity to tell a good story which he inevitably told by creating beautiful films. I think that growing up listening to all those stories at the dining table one could not help fall in love with storytelling.

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Being a dreamer, I have always wanted to understand the theory of love. Is it a feeling or is it some sort of attachment? The bond between myself and my father led me to believe that every man on this planet is just like him. Fast forward six years, and I met a beautiful man. I didn't see how old he was or how young he could have been. What I saw was a man who showered on me undivided attention, wrapped me in cotton wool and an unconventional romance took over my life. I was convinced it was a fairy tale but in reality, I was chasing a father figure. The 33 difference created a façade between us and the rest of society. I didn't look at him as old until the society made me believe he was. Still we were okay, we were the odd couple, but we were happy - until finally it created a boundary between us. The fights, the suffering and the blame game overtook us. I don't know who suffered the most when I decided to walk out of our seven-year-long relationship.

A few years later, I renewed my search for perfect love. Instead, I encountered blackmail and an abusive relationship. I was confused and suffered enormously at the hands of love again. I cried, I screamed and blamed men but no one was to be blamed. It was all my creation, I wanted all of this so, it happened. The universe only helped me by introducing the scenes. But there was silver lining in all of this. I was growing as a person. I was accepting life's changes even when I was not ready to accept them. My soul was searching for a greater meaning and god. I was desperately trying to understand the creation of love within god and among people.

In 2010, my search for meaning in my life brought me back to India. I was searching for god in all the temples, trying my best to speak to them. Eventually, Delhi became too much for me so I fled to Uttar Pradesh's Vrindavan, where I found peace. It was during this time, I came across Krishna pandemonium. One night, I happened to watch a 1940's Indian classic on the Hindu poetess, Mirabai. After a three-year-long study, I developed a deep sense of urgency that this is a story that needed to be told.

Back in Australia in November 2011, my life took another drastic turn. I fell 40 metres during a rock climbing accident and was left with a cognitive disability as a result of a brain injury. I often find that with suffering comes a greater sense of peace because during the time of suffering we are more in tune with ourselves. We listen to everything that goes on around us. We fight with ourselves to evolve and to grow. The uniqueness is that with every little disappointment, with every failure, we do grow. To me that is the key to life. We don't know why it happens or how it happens but that growth, that fight for life transforms us and for me Meera Rising is the result of that growth.

This story has been very emotional for me. I had to write this story for all the above reasons. Around June 2016, after the assessment of Meera Rising had been done, I had to restructure the end. At that time I was going through some deep personal turmoil. I had two choices that day and thankfully, I chose to live to tell the tale. My condition - my cognitive disability - is actually my ability. I have changed it for the love and passion for writing. I believe love actually changes people but one can only accept this change if they are willing to love themselves.

Also read: Why Virushka makes us happy

Writer

Nandita Chakraborty Nandita Chakraborty @chakrabortybook

Author of Missing Peace: Love Life & Me and Meera Rising.

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