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Soul Searching In Times Of Existential Dillemma

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By Pratik Mantri:

As the day falls over and night begins, you start thinking about the various turns that life has taken; you cannot help but feel frustrated and ask yourself, “Why was I brought into this world?” You meet people who have discovered their passion and true calling. You find your friend celebrating life after having been through a life threatening illness. Sitting quietly, you think about a near and dear one who is no more with you. You go deep into the things you possibly could have done better in your life and at the same time, recalling those beautiful memories bring a smile on your face. All of a sudden, you decide to begin life afresh and vow not to look back. This is really the story of life, all of us, some day or the other, go into this soul searching mode. If you are going through all this now, then you are not alone for there are millions who have experienced this at some time or the other.

soul searching

The quest for the ‘soul’ or the ‘truth’, that little thing inside us catches up at different points of time, at varying ages. The answers often push us towards some more questions probably more complex than the previous ones. And since life is difficult to comprehend, how we interpret and relate to it is extremely significant in becoming the individuals we ultimately become. During the course of exploring and discovering, there may be lots of confusion, hassles and disappointments in dealing with the challenging circumstances. This confusion may have serious implications. But a person who derives a lesson out of his experiences, education, relationships and other such events is likely to be closer to their soul and can easily connect with their soul.

Sometimes, I feel life’s truths lie in small, insignificant events which occur mostly in innocuous settings like the words and actions of a child, putting your head in your mother’s lap after a hard day, reading a good book while the breeze is gently blowing or helping an old man to cross the road. The beauty of life can be easily felt once we feel all these moments. Also, going through the rarely visited memories, talking with long lost friends, getting a hug after a long time from your siblings brings out the magnificence and the essence of life.

But, it is very important to draw reflections from each and every event whether good or bad and in the process there might be some feelings of regret, guilt etc. But as a person, you need to clear the mind, apologize and leave behind the irrational thoughts. Once you find your true calling, your soul searching in all probability will come to an end.

In the end, the ability to draw conclusions and observations coupled with a desire to improve remains the only way for all of us to become more evolved.

You must be to comment.
  1. Baldeep Grewal

    I personally feel that the best part about having a brain capable of thought is being able to talk to one self. Rant, argue, converse, create, cry, scream, sing, sigh, croon – throw words at the canvas of your soul and then stand back and admire the masterpiece of your life 🙂

    1. Pratik Mantri

      Thank you Baldeep for sharing your views. And yes, I do believe that ‘being able to talk to one self’ is the best part about having a brain.

  2. Saumya Sahni

    The article is very identifiable especially in times like these where there is a lot of isolation. Everyone is so busy in their lives that human contact has taken a backseat. When you go back to introspect, you realise and look back at things which only cause a lot of frustration. In this process, we forget valuable lessons like whatever happens, happens for the best. Life is more of an adventure which doesn’t need to be taken too seriously. True happiness is found in random moments.

    1. Pratik Mantri

      Agree with you that human contact has taken a backseat. We, sometimes fail to appreciate the happiness found in random moments. And if we start doing it, the world would definitely become a better place to live in. And, Thanks for sharing your opinion.

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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