June 9, 2019 6 By Pratima Mehta

If you would have told me, back in my growing-up years, that I would be writing on ‘why you should stop asking yourself the question ‘why me’? I would have disbelieved you. I have asked myself this more often than I would like to accept.

You see, each of us ask our self this question, why me? Why is it happening to me?

Maybe once in a while.

Sometimes every day of the year.

And we never stop asking.

Sincerely, you should. Here’s why.

On a mildly warm day in April, after a somnolent afternoon meal I felt the very first contractions in the uterus. Merciful at start, powerful later on. I was 9 months and some days pregnant. Mom and I rushed to the hospital, they made me wear a stupid over-sized gown and took me into the labour room only when they thought I had had enough of those pains. There are other funny chunks to the day I delivered – how I felt like giving a tight slap to someone (really!), how I felt calmness overcome me in the bathroom of the hospital, on the toilet seat , and how I kept instructing the nurse to switch the AC on and off during labour.

Lying on the table, unable to move any body part, I managed to crane my neck to catch a glimpse of her. I was the first to see her, Tejas was the first to hold her.  On such a day a beautiful child was born to us. We called her Ira.

Ira was a miraculous baby. Given my PCOD and weight, Ira was conceived naturally, just when we thought the doctor would advise some treatment to us. I vividly recall the first sight of her. Those tiny fair hands and feet, the black thick mop of hair and those little eyes. She was our family’s treasure trove.

She was perfect, for us, in every way.

She was growing up well, learning on-the-go and crossing all the milestones. On her 1st birthday, she was already walking and running.

Ira on her 1st birthday in a tutu dress.

Her speech was absolutely clear and she construed sentence after sentence untiringly.

She grasped concepts and had a strong memory.

Not a day went by without making patterns of rangoli, painting, sand –play and reading.

Ira & I making rangoli at the door front. She loved the the colors as much as she loved mehendi on her hands.

Ira loved fruits. All fruits! She devoured chocolates but hated milk.

She could dance.

Cham cham  from Baaghi (starring Tiger Shroff & Shraddha Kapoor) was one of those songs that she absolutely loved to dance to. Here is Ira dancing a few steps she learned from her annual day at school. 

She was learning to sing.

Ira was learning to sing from her dadi ma. They had these sessions everyday, always sprinkled with Ira’s naughtiness.

We have been narrated tales of her naughtiness at school. Yet, her tantrums were limited and rare.

She is the noor of our eyes and the sultan of our hearts (words by Khaled Hosseini in A Thousand Splendid Suns)!

She was perfect.

There is no reason why she should have had the tumour. She was always served homemade meals or items-unadulterated food made with utmost love. Who makes jam and tutti-frutti at home? She rarely fell sick– she had had an antibiotic dose only twice in a span of 3 years!

She was playful, lovable and extremely adorable.

Wearing her father’s glares.

And I can go on and on about her.

There is no reason why she should have had to suffer so much. She was just 3 years old!

She should have grown into a strong, power-headed, kind, loving and compassionate woman. But that will never happen. She could have been so much more, which she will never be. She would have climbed her own mountains and run her own paths, which she will not. She would have strayed and faulted but learnt her own lessons in time, which she will not. She would have created moments and made memories, instead her face is always a dreamy thought in my mind now.

So, you see, life isn’t really fair. Neither to good people nor to children. It will not always work its magic with you. May be there is a bigger picture that you are yet to see. May be there is no picture there. You can never know why something happens to someone.

There are no answers. If there is one it may be some time till you find it. So, why fret? Why search for an answer to ‘why me’ frustratingly? Why not stop asking yourself that question?

What you do next is what really matters.

Whatever has happened, has happened. Nothing is going to change that. There is probably no going back. What can be changed though is your perspective towards life, your purpose of life and the course of your life!

If you are stuck, feeling like a failure, suffering abundantly, or lost a loved one, I encourage you to stop asking yourself ‘why me’ and embrace a change – any change that will lift you, enable you to fly and make you believe that ‘life isn’t bad at all times’.

And you, do you ask yourself this question often?  Leave me your story or comments.