When confronted with no-go situations in Life, learn to live in the moment, with whatever is.
Rani Mukerji’s Hichki (directed by Sidharth P Malhotra) touched me deeply. It’s a simple film. It is an adaptation of Brad Cohen’s autobiography – Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me The Teacher I Never Had. And Rani’s portrayal of Naina Mathur, a teacher affected by Tourette Syndrome , is brilliant.
I could relate to the powerful scene in the film where Naina sinks to the ground in the school’s balcony – feeling completely hopeless, clueless and defeated – and cries inconsolably. She is felled not just by her the fatigue of having to endlessly endure her peculiar physical condition, her spirit is punctured and she is truly, truly, deflated. I undoubtedly saw Rani on screen, but I empathized with Naina – because I know what it means to feel that way when you don’t know what to do. What do you do when you don’t know what to do in Life?
Hichki left me with an important message – each of us has our own metaphorical version of the Tourette Syndrome. And like Naina Mathur we have to learn to accept it, live with it and keep going on. Sometimes, even people in your close circle of influence – like Naina’s father (played by Sachin) in the film – will refuse to understand you. There will be times when it may appear that the world is conspiring to pin you down and annihilate you. But you must go on. When you don’t know what to do in Life, you just learn to live in the moment. Don’t think too far ahead. Don’t brood over what once was, what is over, on what is past. Don’t sweat over what is not in your control – what is the use of worrying about what you can’t solve? Just learn to last one moment at a time. This may initially seem impossible to do. But the human mind can be trained to obey you – to focus on what is, on the moment. And the human spirit is intrinsically resilient. So, when you take one step at a time, you often end up enduring journeys that you never thought you would even survive.
I have learnt that every Life situation is a teacher. It arrives in your Life with a specific purpose – to humble you, to remind you that it is not you, but it is Life which is in control. Some situations have shorter tenures. And some are permanent. In either case, accepting the situation – than resisting it – helps you to be non-suffering while dealing with all the pain that the situation is causing. Acceptance does not make a problem go away. But it surely gives you a lot of strength to face it, to deal with it.
Vaani and I have lasted this past decade – despite our enduring bankruptcy (Read more here: Fall Like A Rose Petal.) – only because we accepted our own Tourette Syndrome. We know what it means to be hung by Life at the edge of a precipice, we know how cluelessness and hopelessness can suffocate you. And we also know, from our own personal experience, that no matter what your context is, what your own Tourette Syndrome is, Life can and must be faced. Just take one moment at a time, one small step each time.