Today 

 The dim lights of the tiny night bulb made everything appear lazy and gloomy . The windows displayed the darkness and the foggy mist of a chilly january morning. The room, on the contrary, was every bit as warm as the heater that was kept beside the bed and on the bed, sitting was I. My lips chattering uncontrollably and my hands flipping over the heater like paneer on a barbeque, in attempt to recover it from the frozen state that I’d just put it while brushing and freashing up. 

“Is she here yet?” Mom peaked out from her double layered blanket and asked me to wake her up before I go. Before I could answer, she was snoozing again. I looked at her all covered up in the quilts and blankets and felt a little surge of envy crawling up my spine.

Things at home have not been good. Things for me, have not been good. I had studied so bravely for a year, for my dream college and missed it due to a few questions. The pain was excruciating, I couldn’t bear losing my dream, even a Harvard core admit couldn’t cheer me up. I didn’t have the funds for Harvard anyway. I was depressed in every sense. Leaving an internship that was killing my creativity was a little helpful though. I wanted to shift to marketing or something creative, I wanted to work for someone who would allow me to view the company as mine, who would allow me to be a part of it and let me work as if, I was a part of it. I was ready to throw myself into building a business or a brand and even though I had certifications, I wasn’t getting any shortlists due to various internships in areas of finance. Home wasn’t comforting either, it hadn’t been for a while. 

And I was desperate to find a way out of this mess. I was desperate to stay out of home. In this desperation and well, depression, I had skipped my pooja for the first time in years.

That evening,I received six pictures of Sri Hari owing to the kindness  of Tanvi ji. I hadn’t expected it, but there it was. Though, I have seen the pictures of Sri Hari before, these pictures had a different charm altogether. On the first look I gasped “you are beauuutiful”. The vigraha had a mischievous “you didn’t come to see us today, so we came to see you. You can’t run away” smile. It was the pictures that energized my body that had not been fed for three days. When you are depressed, you don’t really think of eating. At the night, I noticed a long crack on the screen and I was sure that it hadn’t fallen anywhere. 

“I’ll be back before you know” I whispered to the idol and stepped out in the peace and darkness of the dawn. Chilly air was bitting my cheeks but I was so comfortable with this deserted silence. It felt like nature understood my pain and was finally giving me some privacy and solitude.

My friend was waiting for me in her scooty and the five minute drive to gym was no less than a bliss. I was breathing in fresh air after so long !  

Gym! Yes, that was the way I found to escape. My mind felt blocked and I had to clear it. I had to release the frustration,it would be an extra burden on mom, now that I had left the internship butI had no choice. There was no way I could sit at home all day.

I was staring at Sri Hari for I wasn’t in a situation to speak when the decision just came out of my mouth. And that was that. It was decided that I was joining a gym.

After 90 minutes of cardio and strength training, it was almost a miracle that my body showed no signs of dehydration or fatigue given that I hadn’t even drank more than a cup of water in the last three days. Gym was a miracle. It did clear my mind, but I was still depressed.

A teen boy was helping out newbies like me. He appeard kind and we connected instantly. In the 30 secs breaks between my reps, I learned that he had quit his studies after his father’s demise and was now working at the gym. “I am still studying from open and I go out for art competitions” he told me. “I can teach you if you want” I blurted out of nowhere. He was overwhelmed by the gesture, I could tell. After looking at the ceiling for a few seconds he took my number and promised me to call if he needed any help.

Now that was something ! It took of a load of weight from my chest. I mattered to this kid! It cheered me up to a huge extend. I know that he won’t be reading this, but I want him to succeed in life and Help him in every way possible. He had done me a huge favor and I will always always be grateful for it. I came home with a new energy altogether.

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Supriya Patnaik

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