A Lesson in life

How to move on? What happens when something untoward, tragic, earth shattering happens? How do we as normal human beings deal with it? Do we deal with them in a heightened emotional state? Do we deal with them in a rational, practical manner? Do we try to be strong for the people around us? Or do we break down and don’t know how to get up and move on?


Before I set down on the route to detail out my personal experience about moving on let me first discuss what are these events that require us to move on?

These events can be any loss at any time in your life of someone or something that you hold most dear to yourself.


For example:

In your teens –

  • Your best friend is leaving town forever
  • Your parents are separating
  • Your first break up

In your 20’s and 30’s

  • You lose a big contract/ job
  • Your seven year long relationship just ended
  • Your pet passes away
  • You are unable to pay off your loans
  • One of your parents passes away
  • Both your parents pass away
  • You have a situation with your kids

What are these events?

At any phase in life what we construe as extremely important is taken away from us or we have to face a harsh reality about them. Situation will be the same around the world; only our experiences and the people around us make it slightly different along with our ability to deal with it.

If you are in your teens or early twenties and reading this then I would like to just say that life is long and many difficulties come in life. Only the strongest are able to survive them well. Do not fear what you have just faced, just look at it as an experience of learning.

Yet, I know, these are just mere words. Most times these words are annoying, irritating and frustrate us completely.

So please take advise from me with a pinch of salt.

I am here only to illustrate what my experience has been and I am also learning how to deal with a tragedy that has affected my very core, shaken all my foundations and I am floundering to understand myself on some days.

To give you a brief background I am a product of a single parent, my father; my mother passed away when I was about seven years of age. I was brought up to be strong, confident, smart individual who always protects her family. My father was a smart businessman also in politics and was extremely charismatic. When you grow up around someone with such a great personality, who touches everyone’s lives with equal zest and passion then it becomes second nature for you to admire him. I held him with greater respect because while occupied with doing so many things he also gave enough time to raising his three children. He always observed where he was falling short and would never shy away from entailing help.

He always encouraged me to follow my dreams though he had much reservation for my joining the film industry to produce and to direct film and television.

Anyhow I did. And he guided me all along. He left us many years too early. He was still very young with a desire to do many more things in life.

On 31st October 2014 life as I had known for 31 years of my life came to an end.

When such a tragedy befalls on someone you carry on with life. You arrange for the last rites. In India we have “chautha” and “tervi” after the funeral where we pray for their soul on the fourth day and the thirteenth day, where people come to pay respect, remember him, and meet everyone. We are not supposed to cook any food at home till the fourth day so family and friends bring it.

My father was a very loved man and so many people came to pay respect and many people arranged for food and everything we may require. I realized how important family is at this time. How family gathers around you keeping aside differences, problems, issues and just rallies for you.

Anyhow coming to main subject of this post, So what is moving on?

I did get up in the morning. I did eat. I slept. I met people. I even smiled. Soon after I even started working. Going about my daily routine. Is this moving on?

Somewhere in my heart I knew I haven’t. When some good news would arrive I would unconsciously pick up my phone to dial his number to share it with him. It is still saved in my phone under favourites. I just can’t delete it.

It is also very difficult on festival days. India as a nation has many festivals in a year. We have all communities from various religious and sub religious backgrounds and hence, since childhood we pretty much celebrate a lot of mixed festivals. Of course the ones that are most important to us are Holi (usually in march) and Diwali (usually end October or beginning November). Besides this we celebrate Christmas and Eed as well. Maybe not in the most traditional manner but we do. And these festivals arrive every few weeks (as there are so many of them!)

These festivals are just a reminder of how many we celebrated together; of all the happiness we shared, of all the lessons learnt.

So here’s the truth: I still haven’t moved on. It’s been five months and every day is a reminder of what I have lost. Everyday I wish it wasn’t true, that this was all just a bad dream. I laugh and try very hard for it to be genuine but sadness has taken a permanent residence in my heart and I am struggling.

Today as I sit writing this, trying to accept reality, face the truths of life I want to research and find out how to actually move on? What do theses words actually mean?

There is a lot of help available on the net on the subject. Yet here I am trying to still figure…

And have come to one conclusion, finding peace in something my father told us when we were kids and missing our mother:

“Don’t question life. Don’t howl in vein. We must move on. Life is long. We must laugh. We must be strong. We must face it head on. Whatever crisis it is, it will have to bow down before us.”

I still don’t know what moving on means. I do know this: I will take it a day at a time. I will follow his advice. I don’t know if the pain will ever reduce. I don’t know if I will ever stop missing him.

I do know this, I loved him very much and so I will try…


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