If you are lonely in each other’s presence, it’s probably best to separate!

Loneliness is a virtue if you are alone, a learning if you are in a crowd and a curse if you experience it in a relationship – particularly in a marriage!
Someone who read my recent blogpost on Bajirao Mastani (http://avisviswanathan.blogspot.in/2015/12/what-we-can-learn-from-kashibai-about.html) shared her perspective: “I don’t think Kashibai deserves to be deified for her choice of separating from Bajirao. Perhaps, she was uninteresting and very traditional, housewife-ish? Perhaps Bajirao found Mastani very refreshing, vibrant, oozing mohabbat from every pore…perhaps the trappings of being a Peshwa and being bound to tradition – wife, kingdom, mother, army – shackled Bajirao and he just wanted to break free? And Mastani’s offer to be his companion gave him that exit route?”
Hmmm….! In the absence of the real Bajirao, the real Kashibai and the real Mastani, you can’t entirely disagree with this reader’s point of view. Besides, if that is what drove Bajirao go with Mastani, nothing wrong with it at all. It is definitely a better choice than being lonely in a marriage – which, interestingly, leaves your spouse lonely too! In the movie The Lunchbox(Ritesh Batra, 2013), Lillete Dubey, who plays Illa’s (Nimrat Kaur) mother, poignantly alludes to how lonely – and dreary and traumatic – her Life has been until her husband’s passing away. In fact, she confesses, not in a grief-stricken state of stupor, but in a moment of absolute clarity, that all she really wants to do, to perhaps celebrate her new freedom, is to eat parathas! The reference to parathas is purely figurative. It could be anything that you love doing – anything except feeling lonely in a relationship, anything except suffering alone, anything except being shackled!

A marriage is nothing but an arrangement, equivalent of a business contract. If, for whatever reason, it doesn’t work out, the arrangement must be dissolved. There’s nothing to grieve about, feel sorry for or berate when a marriage fails. A marriage fails because the two people in it have stopped looking forward to each other. They can’t relate to each other anymore. They are lonely in each other’s presence. How much more banal and painful can it get? When you put up with loneliness of this kind in a relationship the entire responsibility of your suffering is yours. Remember: you have a choice. And that choice is to opt out.


I am not trying to suggest that all of us must break away from our marriages. All I am saying is that if you are unhappy, lonely and suffering in a marriage – or any relationship – exercise your choice to break free. The brutal truth is none of us has too much time left here. This Life has to be lived – each moment is to be celebrated and you must be happy every step of the way! When something or someone pins you down and makes you lonely, sad or unhappy, either get it or them out of the way or you get out of the way yourself! Simple!!


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Sharing when you are feeling low and lost is not a bad thing

Don’t ever feel embarrassed to admit that you are sad. If you are feeling low and lost, accept it, express it!

There are times in Life when you feel lost, tired, worn out and vulnerable. It happens to all of us. And when it does feel that way, the best thing to do is to share what you are feeling like. You will then find that the whole world around you comes together to make you feel warm and wanted. Truly, there’s more compassion in the world than you can even fathom – though, most often, it just doesn’t appear that way at all!

Most of the time we fight shy of sharing what we are going through with others because we wonder what they will think of us. Or we don’t want to “burden” others with our “sob stories”. Or perhaps, we don’t want to take any help from anyone should any be forthcoming after we share openly. There could be several other reasons. But all such justification does no good – neither to our morale nor to the situation. And, of course, many of us like to blame God for our trials, tribulations and fate!

A man was once sitting forlorn on the steps of a temple that he used to visit every day. His wife had deserted him. As had his young adult children. Because he was always grumpy, he had even become a social outcast. No one wanted to even call him to find out if he was alive or dead. That day, the man was very lonely and was feeling miserable. At the temple, where he meditated daily for an hour, the man had prayed for someone to whom he could tell his woes and cry his heart out. He asked God, in his prayer, if God could appear before him. After meditating, as he sat on the temple steps, a middle-aged woman approached him. She wore tattered clothes. But she looked very beautiful. There was twinkle in her eye. She approached the man for alms. When he looked away, the lady asked him if he needed help. She said, “You look lost and sad. If you want to share your grief, I can offer you a patient hearing.” The man simply continued to look away. She waited around for about an hour. And then she walked away. The next day, the man sat down for meditation again, at the temple. He asked God why God had not heard his prayer. Suddenly God spoke in his ear: “I heard you loud and clear. I even came up to you and asked you if you needed to share. I was willing to listen. But you looked away.” The man realized his folly and vowed never to take a prayer lightly again!

That’s pretty much the way many of us are. We don’t want to accept that we are feel low, weak and lost. We don’t want to share our grief when someone reaches out. We don’t want to express what we feel about ourselves, about Life. Indeed, to wear your Life on your sleeve or not, is a personal choice. But if you choose not to, don’t pine anymore about your situation. Don’t wallow in self-pity and grief. It doesn’t get you anywhere. People are so busy with their own lives, they have no time to “surmise” that you may be having a problem and that you need help. But if you bring it up, and share it openly, people will pause to listen and help. Or connect you with someone that can help. Or perhaps they will give you a hug – which will make you feel warm and wanted. Or, surely, they will pray for you!

At the end of the day, it’s your acceptance of your feeling low and lost and your humbly seeking help that leads people to shower compassion on you!