Are we grateful enough for whatever life we have been blessed with? Often, when troubles seem to be overwhelming, we end up afraid of the ‘monster inside the head’ which looms larger than life. The clouds seem darker, the whole world shrinks to a single pint of pain and we sink easily. Two incidents have perturbed me in the recent past. News about the suicides of two brilliant girls, leaving devastations in their wake. Both were adored children of their respective set of parents. Excellent academically, loved by everyone, no indication of any trauma. Just one unimaginable phone-call.

Shaking in grief, I ended up speaking to my own daughters about the deepest fears of parents. It does not matter what the trouble is, we are there for you. Nothing matters, more than your smiles. Stay happy and healthy. We shall overcome together. Realize that our lives are your safety nets and we shall love you unconditionally. It is true, parents tend to be harsh when it comes to discipline at times. But limits are drawn for your own good, mostly. I write mostly, because parents are fallible creatures too. We make our decisions based on whatever experiences we have garnered in our lives. But whether it is Iceland or Australia, irrespective of the language we speak, the colour of our skins, the god we believe in, there is a common factor which binds us together. You : the children. You matter.

Maybe we are at fault, trying to protect you always from life and its troubles. Tribulations strengthen the spiritual muscles. Even the protection is triggered by not wanting you to get hurt. My mother still prays ( and I tell her it is wrong) ‘Give the sickness of my children to me.’ I tell her, ‘Amma, pray that all stay healthy, including you.’ But now, as the journey moves close to autumn, I find myself contemplating about her attitude. And I can see why she prays like that. What she is saying in truth: ‘Let the pain be mine, not theirs. Let the cross be mine, give them the crown.’ That is the way of love, usually.

For any child thinking of ending it all, please stop for a moment. Pick that phone. Reach out. The monster in the head is imaginary. Your parents are not supporting the monsters. They care for your life. Just hold on and call them. We shall overcome together. As always.