5 years ago, when I first joined work, I was so excited about my new office, the new-found freedom and the fresh lifestyle that came with it . Within a few days of joining, the salary account was opened and bank formalities completed with a whole host of complimentary services, provided specially to those from my company. A few days later, along with my debit card came its more glamorous cousin , packed in a very stiff envelope. I struggled a bit to open that particular envelope , and succeeded after a few attempts at it. Nevertheless, I finally opened it. But little did I know that I was opening a personal equivalent of Pandora’s box that spawn troubles I had never known before.
The envelope unleashed a devious monster, that would live in my head, feed on my peace and speak to me in my dreams and nightmares. With this monster came impulsiveness and a pseudo sense of security and together, made a pretty strong triumvirate. Not that I was powerless against them, but I chose to let them grow on me. Slowly and steadily they fed, remaining constant in size but growing in power and potency. When together, the won many battles. And on most occasions, they forged allegiances with random forces around them in order to win. A beautiful shawl that beckoned to me lovingly, an exquisite pair of earrings that wouldn’t let me go, a gorgeous handbag here, a shiny pair of shoes there, a glittery bauble in the display , a silken stole on the stand – would all work with the triumvirate and the army would prove that much stronger. And they fired their most cruel weapon – Panic. Much like the monster, this wouldn’t kill in one go either. It would eat and feed with the monster. And grow as well.
Now the small voice inside me that had been tongue-tied by the new found freedom broke all shackles and screamed voiceless words inside me. Loud clear instructions on tying the monster down. To break the forces. To shatter the triumvirate. To cut the monster into bits and finally lock up the box again. But that was too much to do. Too hard to accomplish, especially when the odds were so lucrative. The war had formally begun. Truth and reason fighting the worldly forces, inside my head. I chose to fight in the side of reason and worked first to break the random forces that worked in opposition. My weapon was resolution – to keep away from malls, from stores, from sales. But my weapon was weak. It did not survive the onslaught. I could not avoid these and gave in – I splurged . And sinfully enough, it gave me relief. I felt back on my feet. The headiness was gone. The new bags and clothes were now mine. All mine to keep. It seemingly felt peaceful for a while. For a while.
Now the cycle was in place. Almost like the sequential rings that took the young warrior in The Mahabharata. I got in. I started this. And I was stuck. And I couldn’t get out. Now every time I launched a weapon, the backlash was heavy. Periods of depression set in like the Russian winter and depleted my resources. Long periods of inactivity fueled by the self imposed curfew blunted my intelligence. And often resulted in my breaking my own weapon and seeing a bit of the silver-lining, only to set off the chain reaction again.