“Hello Detective Trivedi speaking. Yes Mrs.Clara, What!! another one, how many people? Which area? Did this person also die of a heart attack? Was he also under depression? Wait wait … Please be on hold.” “Hello yes Dr.Kakodkar Oh my God. Did the patient tell you anything before the heart attack? Oh.. okay that’s so pathetic.. okay doctor I hope we find a solution for this. Take care.”
“Yes Mrs. Clara I am sorry for keeping you waiting for so long.”
Detective Trivedi was tense. He had already spent a week with insomnia. This was the 60th person to die within a week in the city. All the victims were healthy just a week ago. The pandemic had nothing to do with them. They did not have any other kind of illness or accident. They were just found silent and inactive for a few days by their relatives. The relatives tried to speak to them and did their best to help them come out of the depression. None of these victims responded. They were referred to many doctors. Even Dr. Kakodkar tried his best as a psychiatrist to walk through the minds of the victims. Every attempt turned futile.
There were no ammunition or nuclear weapons. This threat to lives did not create any external wounds. There was no bloodshed. That ruled out the possibility of finding traces or fingerprints. The forensic department was never informed to look into any of the cases. Many people suspected a foul game like that with The Blue Whale. A few suspected that this could be due to the malignant exposure to dark websites and their vile theories.
The only common element amidst all the deaths was the way they died. Detective Trivedi sent messages in and out of the city. The country was already bound in the tight clutches of the pandemic. He even put up posts on Instagram which discussed the importance of mental health. He only hoped it was not a prank played by a psychopath.
He spent so many sleepless nights. He would only sleep for half an hour and wake up with a jerk as if someone had knocked his head with a golf stick. The collector had given him only a month’s time to solve the mystery as the cases had increased to 85 in a week’s time.
Detective Trivedi kept contacting Dr.Kakodkar for any kind of clues but none of the patients got back to normalcy to explain the cause of the depression. The victims did not belong to a particular age group. The young and the old, the rich and the poor were found in the list of victims.
One night Detective Trivedi received a call at around 2.30 am. It was Dr Kakodkar. He sounded tense and urged the Detective to reach the hospital as soon as possible. With all hope Detective Trivedi rushed to the hospital. A patient named Umar spoke to him. He was the first person to return to normalcy though he had also tread the same traumatic path as all others.
“What is happening to you people? Who is attacking you all? How do you people become like silent zombies? How did you survive it? Who helped you out?”, Detective Trivedi had so many questions. He couldn’t wait for an answer.
Umar broke the string of questions from the excited Detective. “Sir, I shall tell you what I experienced. I am an ordinary man who works on an agricultural farm. I have a happy family consisting of a wife and 2 kids and an animal farm. When the news of the pandemic reached my ears I was scared. My family was also frightened to move out of their house. I was informed to take necessary precautions and I did.
But the people around me and the media kept informing that the pandemic spread like wildfire. This aggravated the tension in my mind with nightmares of death all the time. I became horribly silent and I was tormented and tantalised by those two elements. I wanted to push them away but I couldn’t. I didn’t sleep or eat; neither could I work or even act normal.”
“Who are they? Who is pushing you all to this state of darkness? Have you seen them?”, the Detective went on. Umar looked at the Detective in surprise. “Who told you they are other human beings? We are the culprits. The two things that almost killed me are Fear and Stress. They kept haunting me. The fear that I may die and the stress to somehow escape from the pandemic almost took me to the gates of hell.”
“Then how did you escape from death?”, Detective Trivedi was more baffled and perplexed. “How did the others die? What helped you survive?” Umar looked worried and said, “I am not a research scholar Sir. I don’t know how the others died but I survived because I had Hope.
The animals in the farm showed no fear. I learnt a lesson from them. Maybe the pandemic doesn’t affect them. Yet, even they have their own sources of danger. They are more vulnerable than human beings. When they can be away from the fear and stress of death, I thought I should also train myself to be away from Fear. My animals weren’t stressed. The birds in the sky taught me to be fearless. I realized I have a family to care and I could not leave them.
For a few days I forgot about the threat. I turned a deaf ear to the media. I did my duty as a farmer and as a responsible citizen. I helped as many people as possible and decided to serve till death himself called me. I didn’t want to invite the two agents of death to take me in their custody. I was also in shock but only hope let me recover.”
Detective Trivedi covered his face with his hands and wiped the embarrassed look on his face. He had been hunting for something which was invisible yet omnipresent. If he hadn’t met Umar he would have also fallen into the deadly hands of Fear and Stress.
He immediately instructed Dr. Kakodkar to organize camps where people would talk to the ignorant and the depressed. The victims of the epidemic were treated with medicines but the silent patients were to be treated only with Hope. Detective Trivedi thanked Umar from the bottom of his heart and found his lost sleep as he retired to his bed.
To live a peaceful life, both physical health and mental health have to be taken care of. Doctors and Vaccines are treating physical health. When one is taken care of we are letting go of the other. Be strong in your mind also. We have only one medicine prescribed by all schools of medicine to maintain good mental health. It is easily available. It is within you. You just have to recognise it and live life in its company. Don’t develop fear and don’t get stressed. They are more dangerous than the pandemic itself. Be indoors and be safe. Live life peacefully.
Difficulties in life is like the carbon di oxide in the air.
We don’t refuse to breathe though we know it is there.
Let’s learn to choose only goodness from the environment around us.
Deal problems with some hope without making a fuss.