Disappointments, and living with them

I meet the word ‘Disappointment’ with a wry smile and a slight shake of the head. Is there anyone you know of, free of setbacks and mishaps in their lives? I for one, do not. After all, it is failure that actually gives birth to success. Probably the worst thing I can do is to dwell on my downfalls and feel bad about them. I daresay, my life, albeit short, has seen its share of embarrassments and discouraging episodes.


The pain felt at loss of love is perhaps the most brutal of all. Although, to go red in the face when you promptly forget a speech when on stage and stutter unbelievably in a worthless attempt to make things right is pretty bad too. Until some time back, the hair on the back of my neck rose in embarrassment as I thought of this particular episode. I was giving a speech so perfectly prepared I knew it would fetch me the first prize, and halfway through it, my mind went blank and I stood on the stage, in front of at least 500 people, dumbfounded. When I pulled out the transcript from my pocket moments later, I realized the point I had stopped wasn’t easy to find and I began to stutter. Once I did locate my mess-up point, the speech had lost all coherence and after a few mortifying moments, it ended. That was disappointment, sure, but it was nothing compared to the pain of love. That is real torment. A few years down the line, you forget about such incidents like the aforementioned, and in fact, you grow as a person because of them. But if you can deal with heartache, you can handle pretty much anything.


Then there are generally nonplussing occurrences in our day-to-day lives. I once emailed someone, addressing her as Dear Sir, every time I sent a mail. Her name had led me to believe it was a man that I was corresponding with. Few days later, the woman called me and said my article had been picked for publication but I had been addressing her as a man all the while! Imagine my discomfort when I heard that… Or the time when someones toddler screamed the parents’ secret nicknames of each other at a party, on the top of his lungs. Lets just say, they (the pet names) weren’t exactly… noble. Or maybe when your infant hollers for milk in public, and as everyone presumably understands with the weird gestures she makes, that no, its not the bottle she’s talking about! There are umpteen such instances that I could relate (but won’t!), that have occurred with me or with the people around me. But I feel my message can be delivered easily enough with the ones I have told. That its okay to be embarrassed. As time goes on, we laugh at ourselves, on the very same events that made us cringe with chagrin before.


Similarly, the best healer for heartache is time. Or perhaps secretly shed tears which help to absolve the heart of misery, bit by bit. We all have had our fateful junctures of grief, and it is easy to get bitter, and lose interest in life, in general. What takes real courage is to face our disappointments, look them in the eye, and abolish their very roots. Life goes on, in its monotony, caring little if we are torn apart or hurting inside. And do not worry, I wouldn’t dream of delving into the gory details of my heartbreaks. With some luck, I shall soon be smiling my characteristic sardonic grin and swearing under my breath in cynicism on the very latest one.


Excuse me, if this has been a waste of perfectly good time… but the whole purpose behind it was to heal, myself, and others who, like me, have a knack of getting into sticky situations. And of course, to expand and contract simultaneously, fourteen muscles of your face, thereby forming a rare, upward curve of the lips. This complex reaction of the human face is otherwise known as a ‘smile’! And I call it rare, because nowadays, a genuine smile, from within, is indeed, unique.


So, until the next time you come across my confused meanderings of the pen, keep smiling!