Around 5 o’clock in the evening I happened to sit in a garden to gather some inspiration to write. Garden was pleasant enough for my inspiration. It was all green with orange, yellow and pink flowers here and there. Far from where I was sitting, there were children who were playing a friendly badminton match without much of a rule. I could also see the laughter and joy of some children playing close to me. There were ladies involved in distinct chatter with their eyes guarding these children. Amid all the fun and blabbering, I heard a sweet feminine voice from behind, I couldn’t resist turning back and that was another woman who looked quite fashionable and infact beautiful. She came in and joined the ladies adding fun and laughter to their conversation. They cracked some jokes together and had fun. She got some hot samosas packed, ladies called out for their children, all of them had the samosas together. Children went back to play and ladies were back to their jokes and laughter.
After a while, while the mosquitoes started buzzing around the ladies decided to leave and this woman decided to stay after them. Other women left with their children while this woman stayed back alone. She was sitting opposite to me, not noticing me who was staring at her. She started to gaze at the children playing far away from us like she was searching for somebody among those children, probably for herself or somebody she missed most. It seemed like she was nostalgic. Her eyes slowly ignored the children and selectively moved towards the sky gazing at it like waiting for some star to shine before its time or pleading the stars, asking atleast one to break and shoot down for her to make a wish. Her lips constantly went up and down between the grim and grin. Between isolation and solitude she lied on the grass. She stretched her legs on that grass for some soothing touch. It seemed like she was ailing and she wished that mother nature shall heal. Garden started becoming dark. Something in her beautiful purse, that matched with her dress accurately, was blinking, probably her phone was ringing and she ignored it.
Children left and the dark trees and bushes casted shadows opposite to the garden lights that were standing tall behind them. After two hours I realised she was suffering and her suffering needs to be addressed. I confirmed to myself she wasn’t in retrospection but in deep sense regression. She was probably searching for the child in her among the children who were playing there a while ago. She was probably asking the sky for a direction which soon turned dark. I was shocked to see that a happy woman playing around with other women, just a while ago now looks depressed and pale. All her fashion and beauty seemed so unreal and it was unbelievable. She was masking happiness to hide her pain. The budding psychologist in me went close to her but she probably understood that I have a similar question all her people were having “what happened?” She looked like she was so annoyed by people, she abruptly stood up and walked four feet away from me and sat down there. This time she broke down for a few seconds and again started smiling back, raising her cheek high pushing her tears back. That transition was so quick, it was evident she didn’t want anybody to know what she was going through even herself. I didn’t want to worsen her pain by asking about it. Recommending time to heal her, I decided to go home, I was already running late and my mom called me thrice by then. Next morning I woke up with a suicide news and sadly it was that woman. I rushed back to the garden and there was no trace of anything. Neither her pain nor her mask that she was hiding behind. Some of the women I saw yesterday came back discussing how happy she was with them yesterday and how unpredictable this was. But this was not very unpredictable for me. I should have predicted this, I could have prevented this if I chose to walk that four feet and reach her out. I should have offered a hug or at least my ears. Who is a stranger when he or she is suffering and you can help?
This piece of regret will probably last forever. The problem with mental health sufferers is they often don’t look like one. All we can or infact should do is be equally considerate with everyone. We don’t have to post mental health slogans, it won’t work that way rather check on your people and ask them if they’re fine. By the way “How are you?”