Sarita had been recently married to Gangadhar. It was an “arranged” marriage. The Damleys had 3 children. Gangadhar was their only son, aged 26, Vimla aged 21, and Rutuja aged 18. The Damleys and Rathods had been friends for quite a number of years. Sarita Rathod was the only daughter. Sarita had neither brothers nor sisters and had been brought up with lot of love and care by the Rathods.
The Damleys and the Rathods were Maharastrians. Since there was good matching of vibration between the 2 families, they felt it would be good to further strenghthen their “friendship” and promote it to a “relationship” through the marriage of Sarita and Gangadhar. Gangadhar was a clerk in a bank and Sarita worked as a primary school teacher.
The marriage ceremony did go off well.
Sarita moved into Damley’s family. Six months passed and it was enough time for Sarita to “understand” the new environ. She DID NOT feel happy and comfortable at the end of it.
The reason for Sarita’s growing frustrations were:
1. She did her household chores very thoroughly everyday but nobody including Gangadhar appreciated her for her efforts. Her mother-in-law talked about her own childhood days and HOW wonderful a girl she had been at school etc.. (quite boring!!! for Sarita) since her M-I-L never gave time to “listen” to Sarita. Vimla Damley was a beautiful girl but arrogant. She thought Sarita bhabhi was responsible for the house chores and never came to offer her help. Rutuja Damley, was a high-temper teenager. She always screamed, overreacted, was abusive and noncooperative.
Sarita saw that they were “rude” to their parents too and Mr. Damley, the head of the family, was not respected at all. If he said something or asked Vimla and Rutuja for a small favor such as even a glass of water or newspaper, they would just put their nose high in the air and walk off rudely… and presently they would just say “ask Sarita bhabhi.” “Poor papa” Sarita thought as she compared the environ to her own papa’s house. Everyone was so kind, so lovable, and helpful, and her papa’s home was such a lovely place with lots of respect to her papa.
She spoke to Gangadhar about her observations and he, being a mama’s boy, went and told his mother, Mrs. Damley, who was a suspicious and negative thinking woman. Her interpretation was negative and she felt that that Sarita was beginnning to “spread her wings” now and needed “trimming a bit.” So, thereafter everyday for some reason or other began the “heated” arguments between mom-in-law and daughter-in-law. Sarita too was very bold and never had hesitation in speaking out her mind in a voice as loud as her M-I-L, which made Mrs. Damley even more angry and agitated. Sarita did NOT, however, desire for this type of environment and felt sad at heart but could do nothing. She only had to cry at the end of it to console herself.
2. Nobody in the house seemed to be “honest” with her. Even Gangadhar, her husband, would go to meet some friend, but would say nothing more than that, or he would even lie. He was attached to mom and felt his mom was always right and that Sarita was to blame for everything… and Sarita would pick up an argument whenever provoked and “overreact” but soon did end up crying. She felt very humiliated often with no support from anyone.
3. There were times though when Sarita found some happiness for herself, after an evening walk, or after listening to some music, and after watching some comic show on TV, and she found that this made her in-laws jealous and they cut it short. Mrs. Damley would suddenly come and switch off the TV or radio and tell..”Sarita, come with me to the kitchen, there is lot of work to do.” … Sometimes, Vimla or Rutuja would tell her “You are disturbing me with that humming tune Sarita bhabhi (meaning sister-in-law). I am studying for my exams. So please shut up.” and Sarita would then pick up an argument with them. Mrs. Damley would side with her children and it would 3 to 1 fight.. again leaving Sarita sad and unhappy.
4. Sarita helped everyday to wash Vimla and Rutuja’s clothes, iron them, help them with their lessons, help Mrs. Damley with house maintenance, help her husband with his office work too. But during an argument, all of this was FORGOTTEN and she was verbally abused and made to feel she was an “outsider” and did not belong there. They just did not seem to like her.
5. For Sarita, it seemed like there was no reciprocation for the care and affection she showed in her efforts. She was terribly confused and did not know whether she too should adopt their attitude. Should she too be behaving like they did?.
Sarita was alone in the house today. Her mind was racing on thoughts on all the above points and with every strong emotion that surfaced it made her cry bitterly and involuntarily. She thought “despite giving my best to make the family members happy, my efforts do not seem good enough for them. O God.. I am going to go mad in this house. There is nobody to love, nobody to care, or share my sorrow.
Sarita, however, never spoke about the “hell” that she felt she was going through to her parents. She loved them dearly and knew they would feel hurt for her. So she could not give them “that.” The only option was she had to brave the “storm” in her mind and keep going on, fighting a lone battle. She was no coward, however, and therefore despite such a “chaos” environ, life went on. But she could not have a control on the emotions that welled up because of the above, and she did pray to God daily to give her a “direction” to handle this effectively to get peace and happiness in the house.
Maybe as an answer to her prayer, the next day she read in the paper “Consult renown psychologist Dr. Sunaina Tripathi if you have coping problems in your life.” Sarita never believed in shrinks and thought they dealt only with “mad” people. But the last part “coping problems” made her curious and with some hesitation finally she fixed up an appointment with Dr. Tripathi.
The next day at 11 am she sat in the consultation office of Dr. Tripathi and was soon asked to meet the doctor in her consulting room.
Dr. Tripathi: (with warm smile) Come in dear. Sarita is your name isn’t it? Hmm.. I have gone through the form you have filled and submitted.. (and smiled again).
Sarita: Doctor, do you think it is fair?.. I mean the way the Damley family members are treating me. I work like hell in that house. Leave alone appreciation, I am not even spoken to kindly. Every conversation is just an argument and heat generates fast… and everytime it ends up with me crying and feeling humiliated. I am convinced that NOTHING can really make things change. Honestly, I am not even sure YOU can help, but I just came in to see you and hear what you have to say.
Dr. Tripathi: (smiling) Relax a bit, will you and answer me these 3 questions.
1. Do want to follow others or do you want others to follow you?
2. Do you care for “your internal system” to be “optimized” and “best working” always or you don’t care about internal organs health?
3. Do you want to wear a new dress and then walk into the rain without a raincoat or umbrella?
Sarita: (to herself – what strange and stupid questions this lady is asking)…(aloud she said).. Hmm.. let me see.. (and then she proceeded to answer the 3 questions).
1. I do not want to follow what others do. I don’t mind if they follow me.. it is up to them, but I want to be myself and do not want to change.
2. Of course.. who would want to get sick and unhealthy, ending up with a kidney or heart problem? I want to be in the best of health always.
3. Is that not stupid? Who would wear a new dress and walk in the rain allowing themselves to get soaked wet and their brand new dress spoiled? Not me!!!
Dr. Tripathi: (with a serious look) Are you sure about your answers Sarita? No mistake in your thoughts??
Sarita: (arrogantly) No.. no mistakes at all. I think everyone will answer the same… the questions are very SIMPLE and only stupid people will NOT know to answer it right.
Dr. Tripathi: (Smiling) Good Sarita.. I am glad you stick to your answer and feel that the answers to the questions are SIMPLE. NOW with these simple answers let me tell you, YOU YOURSELF have given the “SOLUTION” to your current “PROBLEMS.”
Sarita: What!!!??? How does it relate to MY problems.
Dr. Tripathi: You said you do not want to follow others… which means you must keep YOUR attitude and let others keep theirs.. Read this please and you will understand. Mrs. Tripathi now gave Sarita a placard that read
Most people in my life are unreasonable and self-centered.. I will forgive them anyway
Though I am honest, most people cheat me … I will be honest anyway
When I am happy, some people are jealous of me…. I will be happy anyway
I do lot of good, but people forget it in no time… I will do good anyway
I like to love, care, and share for people, but they do not seem to appreciate my affection… I will love them anyway
I give my best to people, but they still think it is not good enough … I will give my best anyway
….. Because, in the END, it is between ME and MY attitude .. and not between ME and THEM anyway!!!
So, Sarita.. if you mean what you say… don’t you think you have to BELIEVE IN THIS ABOVE Mantra??
Sarita: (deep in thought for few seconds, then..) Wow doctor!!! it DID something to my mind just now when I read it…. I realized that I have started to “follow others” rather than make “others follow me” and Doctor… every damn line that is written on this placard is SOUL TOUCHING, convincing, and sort of healing. I would LOVE to turn this into a BIG POSTER and put it on my bedroom wall. I can “feel” the mindset working hard already within me. Now tell me about the other 2 answers.
Dr. Tripathi: I think you are educated enough, Sarita, to know that our health depends on the health of our “internal organs” which in turn depends greatly on our “control of emotions”… BP, heart problems, kidney trouble, indigestion etc.. all have a direct bearing on our “thoughts and actions” in addition to our choice of food. Healthy mind and healthy body is just TOO TOO important aren’t they as compared to ENGAGING IN ARGUMENTS and damaging these precious organs??. Is that right Sarita.. hmm?
Sarita: OMG!!! Doctor. YES!!!! indeed it IS RIGHT… overreactions, outburst, agitation all could only result into explosion of some delicate blood vessel inside the body.. and might cause irreversible damages. How easily we ALL tend to forget this SIMPLE thing. Thank you again Doctor. Now the last one please.
Dr. Tripathi: When you wear a new dress, meaning when you have decided to “change your mindset to new” will you allow yourself to step into an area where external factors will soak you wet and spoil your new mindset??? Like the NEW DRESS you MUST guard your mindset too by exercising control and NOT stepping into the “rain.” isn’t it???
Sarita: Wonderful!!! just too wonderful!!! I call this “awesome counselling, Dr. Tripathi.” You have even changed my opinion about psychologists from today. It is not ONLY “mad people” and “mental disease people” who require psychologic counselling and treatments, but even ordinary people can benefit by learning these simple but “EXTRAORDINARY” ways to cope up with daily stress and have more SMILES in their daily life rather than the “dreadful and horrible confrontations” and “horrid” times.
She now gets up to go. Dr. Tripathi rings a bell and her assistent brings a roll of paper with her. Dr. Tripathi gives that to Sarita, says it is a “gift” to her (from the doctor) and asks her to open it. As she opens it up and begins to read the text, Sarita is TOO thrilled with the “gift.” There it was what she had desired at that moment. A BIG poster of the MANTRA of LIFE SUCCESS to be put on her bedroom wall. She thanks the doctor profusely again and expresses her joy and promises her that she will turn a new leaf and hope things will change for good. Dr. Tripathi just watches her, smiles a smile of encouragement, and rings the bell for the next patient.
Sarita returns home a “new” person. She puts into practice the above MANTRA very religiously. She keeps control on her anger, does not involve in arguments, and does not allow the others emotion to engulf her and does not follow their arrogant and rude behavior. Though initially desired change does not seem to happen, yet slowly but surely over a period of time, the yelling, screams, and outbursts within the house diminish. The Mantra’s spell begins to take effect on the environ. Vimla and Rutuja astonishingly start involving themselves more and more in household chores. Mrs. Damley too, now, approached Sarita with soft heart and gentle tone of voice and their conversations began to evoke smiles and happiness. Her husband Gangadhar too felt more attracted towards her and the direction was very positive indeed.
What had actually happened here???
All members in the Damley family began to LIKE Sarita’s attitude gradually for she always appeared COOL and handled situations with UNDERSTANDING AND SMILE, and they began to FOLLOW it to some extent too. They all now realized that they were more happier to lead life THIS NEW way and slowly the environ of the house returned back to normalcy progressing rapidly to a better and better level. Before long, Mr. Damley openly proclaimed one fine day that his house was a better place today ONLY because of his BAHU (meaning daughter-in-law).. which made Sarita go red with pleasure and she muttered a silent “thank you” to the wonderful psychologist, Sunaina Tripathi.
After about 1-1/2 years passed now, and on the routine as Sarita was going through the daily newspaper, she came across again the small headlines “Meet renowned psychologist Sunaina Tripathi if you have coping problems in your life.”
Sarita had told family members about HOW she had changed herself. Today when Sarita said Dr. Tripathi was in town, they ALL wanted to MEET this wonderful person who brought LOVE AND HAPPINESS into their house. Dr. Tripathi was happy too that Sarita had kept her promise and stuck to the Mantra regiously and wished them all to keep their focus on “High standards” and “Better quality of life” and move on to get abundant happiness and contentment in life.
BOTTOMLINE: Readers, the name “Sunaina Tripathi” is fictitious but is synonymous for “right thinking and good mindset control.” Where such Mantras are followed, you will always find “High standards and Better quality of life.” I follow this Mantra myself and am always happy and cheerful therefore.
Friends, a line from you if you really found this story thought provoking and good would be highly appreciated. Thank you in advance. Wish you all a happy married life. 🙂