Can you count the number of times you felt ‘hopeless’ in your life? The answer to this will differ for each one of us. At some level, it will be related to the privileges you enjoy.
According to Google, hopeless means ‘feeling or causing despair’ and similar to ‘desperate’, ‘dejected’ and others. However, I can tell you with a guarantee, that the meaning goes deeper than that.
First, let me answer the earlier question, then I will dig deeper into the feeling of hopelessness. I have genuinely felt hopeless only once in my life as of now, and that too, just one month back, when I was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection (UTI). (You can read more about its causes and symptoms here, just for your information).
Let me give you context to what happened, that made me put the hopeless feeling into words.
My office is in Udyog Vihar, Gurugram (opposite to cyber hub) and residence in Najafgarh (Yes, I travel this distance every day like thousands of others).
If you stay or work in Delhi NCR, then I’m sure the massive traffic jam day at the Gurugram toll is still fresh in your memory.
On the same day, around the time of the jam, I got cramps in my abdomen and lower back, I felt a burning sensation while urinating, felt like vomiting and there was bloody urine. Pretty much all the symptoms of a UTI.
In the beginning, I thought to manage for the day and go for check-up after office. Anyhow, the pain got worse by the afternoon.
While I started to think of taking a leave, I found out about the traffic jam, which meant, even if I wanted to head home, I couldn’t. This added to my already increasing anxiety.
On second thought, I decided to go to a clinic/hospital, but there are hardly any clinics/hospitals near my office, which I could reach in 10-15 min.
Nonetheless, I was able to locate an army clinic nearby and decided to go there. Once I got there with all my optimism, and the proud feeling of being so self-dependent, I was denied access, since I didn’t have the appropriate card required to access the facility. (By this time, the pain had reached its peak and I could hardly stand or speak).
With that, I realised this was my last place to get help and even that hope was banished. There are no words that can explain the feeling of hopelessness I felt.
It was as if I would die in the moment, not because of the pain, but due to that feeling of ‘no hope for help’. Believe me, unless you feel it, you won’t know. I hope no one ever has to feel that.)
All these feelings came out with my tears and I started to beg them to give me medicine. I was ready to pay for it but I just needed help.
After 15 minutes of convincing them that they were my last hope, and after some crying, they took pity on me and decided to do a check-up. However, they made sure to tell me that they are only helping based on humanitarian reasons and I would not be welcomed again, without the required card.
In the end, I got the help I needed, but that feeling of hopelessness is still with me.
This has kept me thinking about the lakhs of people who must feel the same when looking for help, especially during a medical emergency.
What I felt at that moment, might not even be 1% of what some have to go through every single day of their lives, who are not as fortunate as I am.
It only makes me feel miserable, but at the same time, it also made me realise how important it is to help and be there for people during their vulnerable periods; even if it means letting go of important meetings, movies, outing or anything else.
Many times on the way to the office, a meeting or an outing, if we cross any person asking for help, we put our head down and act like we’ve not seen that person.
I know I have done that, and later, I try to justify the guilt by believing that someone else must have surely helped. (Yes, there are exceptions).
My father always says we should help people whenever we can, in whatever capacity we can and yes, it might not turn out good sometimes but most times, it will.
To confess, whenever I have helped someone, there has always been one part of me which holds me back. My parents call it ‘Kalyug’, the “Age of Downfall”, which is supposedly the final era in the spiritual evolution of man.
That’s the reason humans have become self-consumed with the only worry about their own well being and status. This is not entirely wrong, I feel the sense of community is getting away from people, especially in urban areas.
However, I have learned that one needs to let go and take chances on people as someday, someone will take chances on us, maybe when we need it the most. I hope that all of us realise the need to help each other sooner than later.