Some days ago, I met an elderly man in a Delhi Metro coach. We got into a discussion regarding the government, country, psychology and all. We exchanged pleasantries when train was about to reach his station. Subsequently, he asked my name and smiled after I told. He stood up as the doors were about to be opened and asked me if I live my name, doors opened and he waved with some divine gleam and blessings emanating. I felt awestruck, as my name is very simple but so tough to live by its meaning. He disappeared but not his question. I love my name, but do I live my name?
Abhay is my name. They say what lies in a name, but the game. That we can endorse, however, one can not deny the fact that name is the first identifiable aspect of a person. There are lot of people I met who do not even know the meaning of their names. ‘Abhay’ means a person who is not afraid. Afraid of what? Does it mean, not being afraid of all? If they say, Almighty is to be feared upon, I am not afraid of Almighty as I love him. There is no place of fear where there prevails love. But, does this fact makes me ‘Abhay’ in true sense? Am I living by the meaning of my name? Perhaps not, I am striving for that and working in the direction to overcome the fears. If you do not take the bull by horns, the horns will pierce you. What if we become friends with the bull? Well, that will be something interesting.
If I want to be ‘Abhay’ from within, I should know what is ‘Fear’, what are its attributes, what are its indicators, what are its inducers and so on. Let us delve deep inside. Fear of survival, Fear of unknown and lot many phobias are some segments making us understand different kinds of fears. Well, as per my notion, there is ‘Fear of known’ as well. We can also put phobias under that category as we know what makes us afraid like height, noise, speed, darkness etc. Fear of darkness (a phobia) will be an overlap here, with the Fear of unknown. As one does not know what lies in the darkness and hence there may surge a fear of unknown that what is waiting for us deep down in the dark, may be that harms us, may be something else. We do not know. We are unknown. Its like a hellhole for some and once they light a torch, its all filled with light, fades away the fear of unknown. Now switch back to the Fear of known, for that to understand, we will first put some light on a B’day and a D-day along with the contrast.
Birthday for most of us is a day which brings joy, happiness, a reason to celebrate. Let us keep aside the thought that, with every birthday every year, life is getting short as it is a different topic to be discussed separately. What is D-day? 6 June 1944, Date of the Allied landing in France, World War II. Well, on those historical lines, we can use the term ‘D-day’ as a day when something important and crucial is going to happen and we are bound to keep our nerves else nerves eat up the verve. So, here we see that Birthday (B’day) and a D-day are quite opposite diagonally. At a D-day, let us not shy away and admit that most of us feel nervy and there is a tinge of fear sometimes. Let us juxtapose a day of the likes of a B’day and and that of a D-day. It will make us understand the symptoms and characteristics of Fear.
Zeroth b’day is too much sought after
A long awaited D-day for his mother
D-days are B’days of success or failure
Vital is, how we go through the barrier
One can guess if he is stressed or gay
Scanning the bodily traits on that day
Following verses will guide to decide
If that’s a D-day or a good day beside
The first line relates to a jovial day
Succeeding one confines to an awful day
Here we go with the black and white super contrasting elements of a B’day and a D-day.
Breath smoothens, heart bubbles with verve
Huffs and puffs help in losing the nerve
Feet tap in rhythm as body bounces
Legs tremble, weight reduces to ounces
Comes out crackle, face beams as crown
Face goes blank, lips turn down
Oral cavity lubricates, stomach feels fine
Tongue dries up, guts stick to spine
Ears get enchanted, pupils playfully sway
Eyes open wide, all sounds fade away
Soul gets joyous, brain plays tricks
Mind crawls, soul feels a lot of pricks
Earth leaps up, horizon draws inward
Latter extends vastly, former slips downward
Stars fall into the hands, zenith embraces
Nadir hugs, gets lost all the graces
Now we are aware of how do we react when we are afraid, nervous or something like that in marked contrast with the situations when we are happy, content and cozy. Issue, cause and behaviour are unfurled, here now we can proceed for the resolution.
Contrasting aspects, here come to a cess
All these apply on all, let us confess
Now confession has to be put aside
Get ready to tackle anything with pride
Convert a D-day into a B’day of success
If not, don’t burn heart in excess
Nothing lies in burning to a cinder
Enjoy the life being cool as cucumber
Take everyday as normal, my friend
Get set to set new outlooks and trends
Running away from Fear will never dispel it from our system. Confronting will be the remedy. Fear comes from within, it does not exists outside the system. Its only you who feel that, nobody else does. Fear is about what may happen and that is in the governance of Future, not present. Does future exist? No, as it is the Present and Future will exist, that too depends on our present course of actions. So, if we just focus on our lives at a moment to moment basis, being live wire, then fear will get itself nudged into some dark corners as we are not delving into the knocking future lying next to our Live present. Notion of fighting the fear makes me remind of some idioms and sayings like ‘Take the bull by horns’, ‘Grasp the nettle’, ‘Have nerves of steel’, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough gets going’ etc.
In this balanced Universe, there is always the other side of the coin. Fear can also be understood positively as it helps us in sensing the unwanted situations and dangers. It makes you alert. Carelessness should never be confused with fearlessness. Foolhardiness is the trait of those who do not foresee the situations. Its upon you if you become proactive and tread through by stomping fears under your feet OR just freeze and kneel in front of your own mental devils. And now as I said earlier that befriending a bull will be interesting and that is the unusual third side, not obviously of a coin, but for the subject.
When somebody is afraid, either they exhibit Zero activity (standstill) or Hyperactivity (doing things out of any reasoning or focus, just to pass through). Zero activity and Hyperactivity are the extremities and the middle path is to be sought after. Moderate path is to slow down the course of actions and making the metabolism slower. This can be done by controlling the rate of breathing. Slow and persistent breathing strikes a balance between Zero activity and Hyperactivity. It can only be done when we make our fears as our friends. Being friends with, distract fear itself and you can move through the situation with dormant fear. If being friends does not helps, you can take it as an enemy, disguised as a friend, which needs to be kept under the sleeves. I still remember what Don Corleone used to teach his sons in ‘The Godfather’: ‘Keep your friends close, enemies closer.’
Want to steer or tear the fear?
Cease to be afraid, being ‘Abhay’
Shake hands or step upon the fear
Threaten the fear, Stay ‘Abhay’