Holding a blood report in his hand from one of the best laboratories in town, an expert hematologist was about to make his pronouncement on it…

A moment when I experienced a pain that  cleaved my heart. Not a drop of blood was shed.Yet just that one memory suffices for me to indubitably claim that labor is not the biggest pain.

While talking of pain there are very many pictures, big and small, that flash through my mind. Ones that I cannot write convincingly about.

Like while going  to the children’s ward and seeing 12-year-old Saloni, whose mother was trying to put her on a weighing machine to check her weight while she wailed inconsolably.The mother’s helplessness and the child’s, unable to stand upright-her crumpled  face and her wails still linger as pain in my eyes and ears even today…. The cruelty of cancer that had eaten so much of her blood cells that she was unable to even stand on her feet. 

For days afterward, we listened to the incessant weeping of the child admitted in the next room. Biting back the unbearable pain of her heart shattering into a thousand splinters the mother sat there benumbed hearing her child sob endlessly on in agony.Unable to lie down, the child passed days and nights leaning her small chest riddled with tubes delivering medication directly to her heart on a stool set up on her bed. The cruelest face of pain.

Repeating that over and over she dissolved into eternal peace. It was only then the days of shattering pain this duty-bound mother endured poured out upon my chest and shoulders, a flood of tears spreading their stains.

That day Saloni must have been free of pain.

”Auntie, tell my mother that it doesn’t hurt anymore. I am going to God’s house”.

Repeating that over and over she dissolved into eternal peace. It was only then the days of shattering pain this duty-bound mother endured poured out upon my chest and shoulders, a flood of tears spreading their stains.

Pain went on teaching me lessons.

The young man who, unable to bear the pain of body and heart leaped off the terrace of the 11 storied hospitals .He lay still on the street shrouded in white; As if in impudent reply to the taunt of Pain.

The helpless father fetching water from the cooler in the corridor for his son deranged by the diagnosis of his terminal condition. 

Who can speak the equivalent of Pain…Every moment taught me that Pain is a condition that cannot be described. 

When you live in constant proximity to the world of pain, it changes your outlook on life. It makes you reflect on how much do you actually need at all,  the material things in life.

It makes you understand that pleasure can never penetrate the soul to even a fraction of depth that the root of  Pain does. This is not something that one gets sitting cocooned in joys and pleasure.

We learn that Bliss is what we receive when we spread light and goodness to others. It equips us to live closer to the truth of Life. It reminds us of the perishability of the Body and the uncertainty of Living. Those who bear pain seek to awaken the soul. Miseries teach us that life is a sum total of random occurrences. And Misery is, but Pain. 

 Pain is the better guide of Light on the path than the stars are …(to be contd.)

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