Do you know A Mrs Sen?
With years of roles foisted upon her, she has forgotten what it is to be herself.
A certain Mrs Sen was staring hard at life. Four decades of scathing remarks and constant belittling had reduced her to an entity she could hardly recognise as being her true self.
Irritable and lost, all that she could remember of her past was the warmth of her childhood home and the amassing accolades for her performance.
Marriage had bestowed on her, activities and engagements, but untimely and unknowingly, halted the flowering of the self. Doing the chores and tweaking her life in the larger interest of the family soon became her habit and the only way to be.
And then one day, life seemed to have passed by in a whiff. With her fledgelings flying out of the nest, age and ailments catching up on her, the gnawing presence of the spouse and every morning a span of twenty-four long hours hurled at her, she barely knew what to do.
In those yesteryears, she never had the time (though she did nurture a secret inclination) to make friends, to cultivate a hobby or to delve into the purpose that could have defined her being.
You know her as much as I do…She is…everybody’s somebody.
But today when time is the currency with which she can buy the world, such finer aspects of life elude her. Trying religiously to gather herself from the meaningless heap of accumulated impressions and assorted roles that others have made of her life, she often gets baffled and spent. Nothingness looms large as she refuses to celebrate the wasteland that she has conquered.
Now tell me, do you know this Mrs Sen? You would be beguiling yourself if you answered in the negative. You know her as much as I do. She is beyond gender and age, belief and barriers. She is your mother, my father-in-law, your aunt, the neighbour’s cousin and everybody’s somebody. We meet her every day and almost everywhere but refrain from acknowledging her reality and rift.
Consciously engaging myself in this disturbing discourse, I have decided to put my wee bit into the restorative process. I have taken it upon me to look closely into every Mrs Sen that I know of and unearth those sparks which once ignited her.
After all the filament is fine and just needs a little twist to glow back to life. That twist is a purpose — the purpose to live. That purpose could be doing any of those things which she always wanted to or being with those people she had built her life upon.
But to do any of these, she needs you and me to step in. To enrol her in a class, to plan her long-awaited vacation, to take her to a community where she can make friends, to hold her hand when she goes for an evening stroll, and yes, to remind her family that she rightfully deserves some time away from ‘their’ busy schedules. By the way, what do you want to do for your Mrs Sen?