Jun 13, 2022 in Therapy

Distorted Reality

Love, support, can be a magical cure for mild symptoms of delusions, cognitive dissonance, amnesia, and distorted perception

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It was a bright, beautiful day during Summer. My day for a free visit to the beggars lining up outside the temple in Gaia. I started this free community service a few years ago. Patients responded well to the treatment and I was happy to see them getting cured. A great win-win situation. Today, seemed to be unusually busy; however, an old man sitting on a cornerstone caught my eye. Sharp jawline, straight nose, straight posture, dressed in casual but clean clothes. He didn't look like a beggar.
His right prosthetic leg couldn't be ignored with the crutches sitting alongside. I noticed, that someone gave him a gift and he accepted it graciously. He grabbed his crutches and walked toward me. "Good afternoon Dr... I may have a problem with my right eye. I had a cataract operation in 1999 for my left eye. " I was blown away by his authentic English and asked him out of curiosity what was he doing there? He visits the place and sits there everyday for 2 hours. I was surprised as he seemed educated. He laughed sarcastically when I mentioned it. First, I thought he was joking. Unfortunately he was serious. I was trying to figure out what was going on? He laughed again and said," Why do you want to know everything? What can you do even if you know the truth?" He nudged me in a corner so we could sit and have a chat.Otherwise, people would think the Dr is mad too. He heartily laughed at his joke.

By now,I was both nervous and sad about this whole episode. He began his story," Well, Doctor, I am a Mechanical Engineer. I worked with a multinational company as a Senior machine operator. While teaching an intern, I met with an accident and lost my leg. Since then,crutches have been my best friend.. I received a handsome amount for VRS from the company. Who wants a damaged piece? Haaa...," he laughed again at the irony. I was shaken from inside by his story. He opened a workshop and helped other people. His son became an Engineer too. With the expansion in mind, his son sold the house and the company.. The couple was left behind like Japanese puppets. His eyes and laughter reflected the heartache he had been through." You have skills,and you can kick and mint money wherever you go," I said. He looked at his broken leg and said, where and how can I kick back with this broken leg?" I was ashamed of myself. Inspite of all this pain, he did work in a workshop. But I was puzzled with this question- What was he doing here?

He continued," I stay with my wife in a rental shed. My wife is bed-ridden with paralysis. My friend's 92- year- old Mum stays with us too." I was amazed by his courage and wit now. " Were you not mad at him for not repaying back?," I asked nosily. His son snatched his father's belongings. My judgemental mind despised the act. The old man's wisdom showed me the essence of the forgiving father. He said," Not at all. It was all earned for him to secure his future. We evolved from monkeys; our tails were cut off but the habit of snatching and stealing left the trail behind." 

His wife and the friend's mother only knew he had taken up another job in the evening. Hardly, were they aware that the money he earns as a beggar goes towards the medical bills for the old lady. He didn't care if anybody criticized him or called him a beggar. But his wife and family's integrity should remain intact. I offered him to pay for the medical bills and extended a hand like a son. 

With tears in his eyes, he asked me not to entangle him in relationships and false hopes. He cannot handle it anymore. What will happen when I am not there? He would be co-dependent on others rather than himself. He rejected this new relationship with his speech but blessed me by keeping his hand over my head. The unspoken silent gesture touched my heart with the acceptance of this beautiful bond. He bid me farewell saying both the ladies were lying on the bed waiting for dinner to be served...

We often compare our lives to the wealthy but sometimes, it's wise to look down at your feet.The poorest people could be the wealthiest of all with their generous, rich, beautiful hearts. We cannot understand others' journeys unless we walk a mile in their shoes. Only if we could see beyond the facades of anger, resentment, abuse, frustration, humiliation, pain, and fear built in us.

Author: Pranoti Gupta

Disclaimer: This heartwarming story depicts the essence of being a human. We can inspire and appreciate the innate strength, beauty, power, virtues within and without . A legacy to be left behind when we bid farewell to this world.

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