Talk With Self-Worth (Part IV)

(This is in continuation to the last article of the Talk Series
(Narrator – Worthiness/Self-Worth)


I was experiencing a new-found sense of self. I remember that day when Ms Affection and I went to the park of memories and had a picnic. She wore a red dress with giant white polka dots on it. On the top of her head was a large woven hat with red ribbon tied across it. She played a tune on the ukulele and I remember humming along a forgotten song. She asked me, “How do you give love?”

To this day, I do not have an answer for it. When mother raised me, she always told me that I wasn’t worth anything, and that I should look for validation in others. I couldn’t believe her at first, but she was my mother after-all, so I listened. Gradually I spent more time by myself. Ms Affection was always there for me and she kept sending me messages tied on to balloons. I didn’t bother to look at them. I had convinced myself that I wasn’t worthy of her. She started spending time with the diseased friend of hers, Mrs Frustration and she started growing sick.

It was my fault, and now she is sick since I was too wrapped up in feeling that I was Worthlessness. Ms Reason looked at me as I circled my finger around my now empty cup of tea. “Refill?” she asked. I smiled and said, “No Ms Reason, thank you very much. But I do have a question for you.”
With a grin suggesting that she expected me to ask my question she motioned me to move to her desk. She sat behind her large and efficiently organized desk and said, “Yes, my dear Self-Worth, I do have those messages. But to be efficient, you can see the messages are stacked here”, she pulled a large folder from the bottom drawer of her desk and slammed it on her table owing to its sheer weight, “and the balloons are up there.”

I looked up to her roof and saw endless universe just rolling around in time. Somewhere between the time-space continuum, my balloons were stuck as if basking in the happiness that my beloved brings. I smiled and I knew I made Ms Reason smile as well. Hope was just too busy clearing up spaces of Ms Reason’s office as he collected memoirs from our previous life and packed them in azure blue coloured suitcases. I whispered, “How do you give love?”

            Technical as always, Ms Reason was about to answer when I smiled at her and said, “It was a rhetorical question, my friend.” She did not understand that. She is Reason, she only understands logic. Romanticism is left for Ms Affection and I. I opened the extremely well organized binder that Ms Reason had handed me. I sat down on the large couch. On the other end of it my brother dear was now flipping through what appeared to be a child’s colouring book. She poured hot jasmine infused tea in my cup again and said, “You’ll need that.”


“When you find peace in their presence and their absence, with no sense of worry or hurt, they are the one, feel better soon, Worthiness, yours Love.”


“Find who you are and do it on purpose.”

“Only you can decide who you are and what you want to become, you are not the projection of someone else’s needs and wants.”

“You are good enough, even when others may tell you that you are not. Don’t let them dull your sparkle.”

“See the universe is an endless opportunity of possibilities, the only person that is holding you back is you.”

“When you think about them, an odd calm washes over you from the top of your head to the tip of your toes and all the chaos seem to get suspended in time. That’s what happens when you learn how to give love and know that you’re worthy of it.”

            She knew the answer, she was teaching me to never forget who I was. She knew the change that mother was bringing was already taking over me, and tried her best to help me stay the same. Worthiness. I was about to go on when Ms Reason’s phone rang, “That’s better! I’ll tell him that, thank you so much!” I already knew by the look on her face that my Love was getting better. I knew what my work was next.

“Brother dear, let’s get those balloons!”


(To be continued)

Hope Talks to Worthlessness (Part III)

(Narration is now done by Worthlessness)

          I know she thinks of me as nothing. I’m just a smudge on her beautiful glasses, blurring her world’s clarity. How could she love me? I don’t even love myself! I felt I was intruding and disrupting her work as I entered Ms Reason’s office. But I needed to save Affection. I couldn’t let her die because I do not matter, but she does. This seemed urgent.

I was shocked to see brother dear sitting on the large couch playing with my favourite snow-globe that played the music to Francis Lai’s lovestory. But he did not look like I remember him. Then again, he won’t notice I was there. Ms Affection has always been so nice to me, but it is because of me that today she is so unwell. Hopelessness looked at me and jumped up. I have never seen him like that. He no longer resembled my mother. He was Hope now. He came over and hugged me.

I felt like he needed me. I have never felt needed before. I embraced my brother and could almost feel a smile creeping up on my face. If only someone could see it! “How are you brother dear?” I asked. Without answering my question, he pulled me to the strange corner of Ms Reason’s office. I noticed a whiteboard behind her desk. There were marks of removable ink constantly appearing and disappearing on it. Ms Reason smiled at me as I basked down on her couch. She handed me a bracing cup of tea that smelled like jasmines. It felt nice to have that aroma fill my head. She said, “Hello my dear! I was happy to see you smile.”

She noticed! “What is behind your desk?” I asked as my reincarnated brother played with toys near the oddly stacked cabinets. “Those are the algorithms of logical thinking. You see, once a plan seems infeasible, the pathway disappears. Others stay and are executed.” I kept looking at the blinking lines. She continued, “That blinking is doubt. Even if a plan seems plausible but difficult to a certain level, doubt doesn’t let it execute. It doesn’t let it move to recycling either.”

I was causing those errors called doubts. I remember when I had a sense of loving myself and of believing in myself, these errors did not occur. I lost it when mother raised me. It almost seemed that mother had made me forget that I was not born this way. Ms Reason was now standing beside me, her hand on my shoulder. “Okay, let’s do that”, I said. The blink turned into a permanent mark and the logical execution started. I looked at her; she said, “Thank you, now you can help me with the rest of these too.” The board cleared up and millions of blinking pathways appeared.

“Ms Reason, I am, not worthy of making these choices. My choices do not matter. I’m Worthlessness” I feared.

“No brother, you are Self-Worth”, Hope said to me. He handed a Polaroid to me. Ms Affection was with me in the picture. We seemed happy. Did I forget who I am?


(To be continued)

Talk With Hopelessness

“Hey, how can I help you?” she asked as she saw me sitting outside her office. “You can’t; no one can”, I reply. Let me introduce myself. I’m Hopelessness. She says enthusiastically, “It might help you to at least hear me out.” Ms Reason wasn’t going to give up on me. I could see that very well. And I thought I was hopeless.

“Tell me what’s bothering you?” she says politely as we enter her chamber. There is a suede couch with giant cushions on it in one corner. Cabinets are oddly stacked in another side of the chamber with padlocks on each panel. Rest of the room seems bright with an odd sense of presence and intellectuality floating around. What’s the point of even having a planning board? I say to myself. She beckons me to sit as she gets me some piping hot tea. It feels nice to have this comfort. I then notice she has just one swivel chair apart from the couch that can be used for sitting.

Ms Reason is the success story that I have heard about but never seen or met before this day. She’s supposed to be Reason! She shouldn’t be inviting strangers into her office! But then again, we are all going to die. I guess it cannot hurt.

“Feel better?” she says with a bright look that I have only seen on Mr Determination. He hasn’t been seen for a few months now. One might wonder where he is! Comforted by the warm embrace of the tea in my belly I say, “Do you know me?”

“Well, why don’t you tell me about yourself?” she says as she sinks into her chair.

“I’m one of Depression’s triplets. My brothers are Helplessness and Worthlessness. We were the result of failure and broken expectations.”

Ms Reason smirks. “Let’s talk about you today. Why is it that you see the world the way you do?”

Slightly annoyed I say, “What’s the point of anything? We are eventually going to die an anonymous death and all our labours will be forgotten. The people who pretend to love us will carry on. No one needs us.” She seemed delighted with my answer. It annoyed me even more. She quickly walks to the board and writes in bold letters. LIFE. She turns to me and says,

“You see my dear; this is something that you and I are both parts of. My work is to explain to you why certain events occur in this side-effect of birth called Life. Definitely we are going to die like you said eventually. There’s a possibility of surviving the immediate next day. So I say why not work to make that tomorrow count? Yes, we will be forgotten, but that is a grey area. No one ever just vanishes from the face of the Earth. Family, friends, pets and even nature itself keeps parts of you. If your DNA wasn’t preserved, you won’t be a product of the billions of years of evolution. People who love us will have to carry on. Remember, no one is irreplaceable. Paradoxically everyone is unique. One teacher may use fear to teach and another may use humour. They both can do the job but it is not the same. You cannot let the constant fear of Rejection hold bars at you. Let yourself know that you are capable enough to matter. Being remembered after death is not our worry. That labour lies on the ones we leave behind. Life is futile. It will eventually end; we must appreciate it while we are still here. Alive and kicking.”

I listened to her intently as I stared at the mural of polaroid pictures on the left wall. I saw myself as a young boy in one of them. I was smiling and seemed happy. But I’m Depression’s child. How can this be? “Is that really me?” I questioned.

“No, that’s you before Depression made you. You were Hope.


(To Be Continued)

A Little Bit Longer

‘Why is this taking so much time? When will my meal arrive?’ You might have said this to a waitress at some point in your life if you were lucky enough to have someone bring food to you. Waiting for your food in such situations may not necessarily be a bad thing. You can almost be certain that your food is being prepared fresh and ergo it is taking longer. You’re hungry, so it is understandable that if you start getting jittery or angry. The low blood glucose is meant to trigger the release of adrenalin and hence the rage. But is it the waitress’s fault? No, it isn’t but in that moment your consciousness is too clouded by the puff of adrenalin to think straight. You might even end up yelling at the poor worker. Is it the chef’s fault? No, it isn’t because he is just serving the ones whose orders arrived first or the orders pushed forward by the waitress bribed by the more eager customers. ‘It’s not my fault either!’ But then, what are you going to do about it?

Life is like that waitress at the café you’re waiting to be served at. Sometimes your reward may arrive late, maybe because the universe is taking longer to prepare it perfectly for you; which is not necessarily a bad thing. You can be somewhat convinced that you are going to be given something great. It takes a little bit longer and you start to get impatient. The three horsemen of depression, hopelessness, worthlessness and helplessness come riding in and cloud your consciousness.

At this point you get angry at Life. You start blaming things that is not its fault. It becomes difficult to remember that it is not the waitress’s fault. Now this may be directly related to the scarcity of your life. The stronger the hypoglycaemia, the stronger might be the rage. You might need a job urgently to live-by and hence the lack of opportunity will make it difficult for you to look at Life with kindness.

Some people may bribe Life to get that opportunity. A connection to company offering the job or a hefty sum paid to the broker because you were born to a rich family might make your order move ahead. But even then you will have to have patience for a little bit longer, if you don’t want to settle for whatever the chef just assembles for you because of your impatience.

It is the chef’s job to serve you what you demand. ‘You wish, my command’, says the universe. So you can be certain that what you want isn’t arriving may mean that the universe is busy making it for you. Have patience, just a little bit longer.

          Lastly, if the opportunity is taking a bit too long to present it to you, it might not be your fault either. Sometimes people work hard their entire life only to meet with failures in the wake of their most passionate projects. What you ordered may not be palatable when it is finally served to you. Now, you have two options, one, to try to miserably finish the meal or two, pass it to the one more in need of it and order yourself another one. You’ll just have to wait a little bit longer. Trying to miserably finish your food will not only leave you unsatisfied but might also make you angrier at Life. It is at this point that you must either add a little something to this meal to be enjoyable or go with option two. No one at the café will force you to choose. There’s free will in this existence.

In this grand scheme of this café, you are not the only customer. Everybody who has been fortunate enough will sit at a table where Life will serve them. It is a good sign that the café is busy because you will be served delicious opportunities. You’ll just have to wait a little bit longer.

Talk With Hopelessness: Part II

I was shocked to hear that. “I was… Hope?” I uttered in bewilderment. I had so many questions! I felt thrown into an odd sense of identity crisis. It wasn’t a nickname. It was the entirety of my existence being challenged. Sensing the panic that was set in me, Ms Reason took my hand in both of hers and said, “Yes, that is still you. You just need to be reminded of the emotion you are.”

My mind wandered to the padlocks on the oddly stacked cabinets again. I noticed that one of them was now unlocked and dangling on the hook of the cabinet. Ms Reason said, “Go on. You want to see what’s inside of the cabinet that you and your mother locked.” I couldn’t recollect doing that. Then again, I couldn’t remember being Hope either.

I removed the lock and placed it on the small table next to the cabinets. How come there is light emitting out of the dark storage space? I reached out and now I had a musical carrousel made of polished wood in my hand. It was a detailed sculpture; something very beautiful. “Turn the base clockwise”, instructed Reason. I did.

I could hear the sound of a music box. It played the same tune that the ice cream truck played every time a kid would play out on a hot summer day. It was such a happy tune! I felt my mother was slowly withering away, and I did not feel bad! I think I was being reminded of my past self again!

I saw that the padlock and the cabinet had vanished. I felt dizzy with confusion. I looked at Ms Reason. Maybe she could give me a reason. It was obvious, looking at the other locks, which she must have tried to open before. The hinges scratched and paint peeled off told the stories of her unsuccessful attempts.

“Did you try to open them?” I enquired.

She said, “I did. You see, I work with logic and the algorithms that make me reach a corrigible conclusion. For many months, I tried to unscrew the hinges, but that only seemed to reduce the door gap. Then I tried to cut off the padlocks but no instrument was strong enough to cut it. As and when you got schooled by Depression, all of your elements became a representative of a happy memory. They would then get locked inside of a cabinet. You see, these locked up happy ‘memories’ were taking up a lot of space here in my office, so I stacked them in a corner. It only made it worse. I was finding a hard time working.”

I could now see that since I transformed, the success story, Reason, wasn’t able to work so well. Maybe my brothers would be able to clear the junk in her office. She would be able to work better!

I was lost in my thoughts when I heard her murmur on the phone, “… Ms Affection cannot be dying! Bring Mr Worthlessness to my office, I have his brother here.”

Brother dear, if you cannot love yourself, you cannot love anyone else. I was changing.


(To be continued)

The Glasses

In the 8th grade I started to realize that the letters on the chalkboard were smudged. They never appeared to look like that before. I knew with an absolute certainty now that I’m growing up, I cannot see properly. Maybe I couldn’t do that earlier too but did not realize. Now it had become obvious. Naturally, since I was short-sighted, I got glasses.

Everything appeared to be clearer with them. As I grew, my glasses’ dioptric power grew with me. Today at 25, I’m certain that I need my glasses to even look for my glasses.

No, this is not a sad rant about gradually being legally blind. It’s not a scientific recollection of dos and don’ts to keep your eyesight either.

It’s about realization.

When I look at the world without glasses, it appears blurry. It seems like the boundaries of colours and lights dissolve and they fuse into an amalgamation of joy and uncertainty. Funny, how a bit of chaos brings happiness! I have to squint my eyes to really make an effort to be able to barely distinguish between two objects. As I recall, my biology teacher in high school taught me, it is called resolution.

Glasses are like wisdom. When you are naïve you make a lot of effort to squint at things and are still able to enjoy the amalgamation of lights and colours in the manner of chaos. With wisdom (glasses) you see the demarcation between the lines and are able to say one thing from another. But now, you know there is no chaos. Your glasses sort them out for you. You make less effort after things that do not matter. Like if the object on my table is a pin or that long lost earring I still look for. You are sure it is not the earring. You move from being a dreamer-a hoper to a realist.

Experiences make you wise. If you never look up to the chalk board you never realize that you are short-sighted. If you don’t pay attention, the smudged letters on it will get more blurry and before you know, you’ll have a heavy prescription given to you. If you don’t learn from small heartaches, from small fall-outs, a rather large lesson will hit you in the face and you may have to deal with grimmer consequences. And like glasses you will need this lesson more essentially.

We do not wear glasses while we sleep. Dreams do not require their help. You see them as vividly and as clearly as you want. Goals and aspirations do not require wisdom or even touch with reality. You see, glasses are not always essential, but they make life easier. Lest you should like a headache of confusion and chaos that you formerly so enjoyed!

Glasses wade off the headache of trying to deal with issues that are pointless. It kills the hopeless hope. It’s wise to stop watering a dead plant. It’s wise to stop constantly looking at the spot on the wall that appears to be a spider.

A glasses wearer for almost a decade now, I know that if I were stranded somewhere without them, I would be like a lost puppy bumping into things. The glasses make me navigate through the world. And thank the world’s creation! That I noticed the blurry lines on my chalkboard.