Why the world maintains its silence?
Today I saw a man walking barefoot in this scorching Delhi heat crying like a baby. A grown old man in his mid-40s or 50s. He wore a white and black striped shirt with loose denim jeans. The visuals were both heart wrenching and scary. For a moment I thought he must have lost his loved ones to COVID and then I skimmed my surrounding. No hospital and cremation ground was visible. Just when I thought to go and ask if he need help, my cab arrived. I was waiting for the cab when I observed this man crying.
After reaching home, I cooked dinner, ate with my family and went to sleep. Did I mention I am a doctor myself? I have heard and seen people mourn all my life. Everyday we discuss how many deaths happened, how people are finally recovering, how there’s hope and despair, and how that man’s face is stuck in my head.
While returning from my work I saw the same man at the same spot in almost the same attire crying again. The moment I saw him, I told the cab driver to stop. I rushed towards him and asked his name. What does he need? Why is he crying? He looked at me aghast. He shouted, “you’re asking me why am I crying?” I was stunned to hear that. The swollen teary eyes were now in a rage, absolute aggression. The kind I haven’t seen before. He gazed into my eyes and I stepped back in fear. He said, “I am crying to be heard.”
and then he left.
He ran away.
What exactly happened? A small inconsequential event that I should have forgotten by now.
But I couldn’t.
It’s been 3 months and I still feel I saw that man today. His anger, the pain and those words are stuck in my mind.
“I am crying to be heard”
I can draw multiple spiritual life lessons from this saying but how can I forget that man who looked like any one of us. A well-to-do common man.
For a moment I felt sorry for his pain thinking he must be going through a terrible phase. Then again, I stopped myself.
He didn’t ask for my pity.
He said, “I am crying to be heard.”
It’s been 7 months since this event now. I have consistently thought about him and his words. Not a day goes when I write my own interpretation of those words. My husband, friends and family feel I have losted to give my seven months to that. At times I feel the same. But you know, once in a while something out of blue happens and we choose to either act on it or let it go. I clearly couldn’t until recently when I finally did. I let go.
Seeing that man, hearing his words, observing his rage I decided leave my profession. I will serve my COVID duties and then I shall retire. I decided to invest my remaining life in the service of next generation: children.
In my capacity I want to ensure people around me are heard. They learn to hear others as well, and most importantly themselves.
This small event brought a drastic change in my life and how I see the world, and to be honest, I am thankful for it.
Now I am happier person and so are people around me because I learned to listen others and myself.
Written by Kalpana Pokhriyal an educationist and a mother.