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  • Writer's pictureATISH MATHUR

Let there be light


First, here's wishing you and your loved ones a beautiful Diwali and splendid year ahead. May you find all the happiness you are looking for.

If you are with your families this festival, please spend as much as you can with them, and if you are away from home, always remember, we are family :)

I know 2020 has been a trying year for you in many ways but you have already crossed the tough seas sailing swiftly to the shore. It has been a while since I wrote to you, so thought of writing to you this auspicious day.

Some of you must be burning not just the midnight oil but the entire petroleum field given your mains is approaching sooner than one thinks, and some of you may have been upset with how the results turned out to be. There would also be some of you who would have started your prep just a while back and things might seem a little too overwhelming. This letter is for each one of you.

You know festivals are very interesting occasions, not just because of what they represent but because of how we often look at festivals such as Diwali to be a fresh start or a clean slate. Well, to be honest, there is no such thing as a fresh start. The smarter and more evolved way is to start again remembering how things were so you use your past to change your future by being in the present. I know this might sound very preachy but I have come to realise it works rather well.

In a way, this festival, like other festivals across different faiths, celebrates good over evil. In the world we live in, most of the evil we think we know of often emanates from within. In your context, the evil you must overcome is whatever that is holding you back from you and consequently, not allowing you to be unabashedly focussed on the exam.

This could have different meanings for each of you. For some of you, it might be battle to concentrate, someone might be fighting a slow pace, for some it might be a break up that might be bothering you, for some it might be loss of someone close to you. While it is easy to categorise them in a letter, when it comes to us, we often have a tendency to manifest reactions in very mysterious ways often not knowing what is truly causing us pain.

The most important and perhaps, the most difficult part is to truly understand what is bothering you. The real reason versus what triggers you might just be two very different entities thereby affecting you and your efficiency. It is not easy confronting this but it inevitable that you do. It is always in your best interest to do so.

I usually do not like to share personal incidents but I think this might be a good time to do so. More than a decade ago, our very close knit group of 7 friends lost 4 friends in a span of 12 months. The first two succumbed to injuries at a bomb blast and the other two met with a road accident. As young law students, the remainder of us decided to drown ourself with work seeking to achieve the best academic scores and jobs out there. We tried and tried and were simply not able to get it right. We blamed everything external there is to blame, It took us a year to realise, we never sat down and came to terms with what happened and what we could specifically do to get better. A day still does not go by when we remaining friends do not think of the friends we lost but instead of striking a nerve that hurts, we often to cherish the times we had, and let me tell you, those were very incredible times. The reason I wanted to tell you this so that you sit down and understand what is truly bothering you. Once you do this, only then would you be able to figure out a way to get this make things better. I would not want anyone of you to ever feel as distorted as we felt more than a decade ago and I know it can get very overwhelming.

So, on this Diwali, I would like to do something for you which I was planning and contemplating for over three weeks now, and today seems a good day to finally let you know. No matter where you are and who you are, you may be in any corner of the country or you may or not have been my student, if you are someone who needs any professional help in getting mentally better and are not able to afford it, please let me know. From this day onwards, if you are someone seeking mental health treatment and are not able to afford it, it would be my honour to pay for all your sessions. No questions asked. Your identity will always be extremely confidential. This initiative would never ever be used in any manner for any commercial purposes nor would ever be marketed or promoted for any gain whatsoever. This is just you and me helping you get better. The fact that you want to is half the battle won. If you need help and are not able to afford it, I would make sure you get it. Just drop me an email and we shall take it from there. It is as simple as that. On that note, happy Diwali :)

Be kind to everyone and especially to animals especially today.

Love, Atish

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