“You are a failure, Prabhu. You are an utter failure. You can’t even take care of my simple desires. That’s it. It’s all over. Let’s break up.” Priyanka said.
The voice kept on echoing in my ears. Even as I close my eyes, the same voice keeps echoing again and again. It’s the same voice which used to say “I love you” many times during a single day. It’s the same voice once said that “I can’t live without you.”
This month was a disaster for me. First up, I had to shut down my first startup. I was pretty upset, as my dream was getting shattered right in front of my eyes. But I was ok, I managed to get past it. By now, I had become tough. With an accident that nearly killed me and doctor giving me almost zero chance of recovery, I did manage to crawl my way back to my life.
I gathered a lot of courage during that phase as my near to death experience helped me in shedding all the fears. Probably that was the reason I went for my startup because by then, I knew that I no longer had to fear about failing at a startup, because I had seen worse.
But I was still upset. How much ever I tried to hide my feelings, I was actually pretty upset and emotional about my startup. I was one step away from a break down, emotionally.
One thing in my life that gave me a lot of hope was Priyanka. She loved me a lot, but had high expectations of me. I would go to any corner to spend time with her. We met at our previous company, a large corporate, where we had plenty of time to build our relationship.
But I wasn’t satisfied with my work, so I found my passion elsewhere and started this startup. A startup can be taxing at times. Especially in the very early days. Luckily I had a cofounder who took a lot of burden. But it wasn’t enough. I still had lot of work to do, which meant I had less time to spend with Priyanka. What used to be a weekend meeting and lot of calls and chats between us during the weekdays slowly reduced to a monthly meeting and occasional calls and messages.
We had a lot of misunderstanding due to this. We had fights. And then we had patch ups. Even that felt good. Not the fights, but the patch up after the fights. Because the more we fight, the more emotional we felt during our patch ups. But those moments were temporary.
They vanished quickly and resentment would set in. How she could talk like that? How she could not understand me and my passion? All these questions kept lingering in my mind. That would lead to bigger fights.
It came to that point in our relationship, we would call each other just to fight. Then patch up would happen over message. We would say sorry just for the sake of commitment in the relationship or I wouldn’t have enough time to fight because of my work.
And all these had an effect on my performance also. A startup can be cruel especially if you aren’t prepared enough. All my personal problems weren’t helping much, which resulted in a spat between me and my cofounder.
Then, we patched up again, but once a fight erupts between co-founders, rarely they return to the earlier state.
That reflected in our works, our collaborations started to deteriorate, we became egoistic, we started taking decisions based on our emotions and egos rather than logic.
Then one fine day, it crumbled. My dream was getting shattered right in front of my eyes and I couldn’t do anything except to see it shatter.
But one way, I was relieved. I could spend more time with Priyanka, I thought. But now I had a problem, I had invested all my savings in my startup and we weren’t taking any salary. I became broke and was trying to get a job.
By now, our relationship had become very sour. But I had one last chance to patch up. It was her birthday last sunday and I could have gifted something and patched up. She always expected gifts, sometimes expensive gifts.
It was her fifth birthday after we met. And she used to talk about me getting her a special gift.
Since, I was broke, I bought her an inexpensive gift. That triggered an intense reaction. All the feelings that she had bottled up, all frustrations, sadness, anger, deceit that she had inside her came out and she exploded today.
The very place where we used to sit and chat in the park for hours together today became my nightmare. I am sitting her for at least two hours now thinking what to do in my life next.
I am still not out of that shock. It’s been a week since the breakup happened. But I’m yet to regain my courage. In short, I feel so fucked up.
That’s when I thought, why am I living because I am a failure. I never expected her to tell that I am a failure. But she did. It hurt me, probably more than the breakup itself.
As I felt so overwhelming with grief and anger, I felt suicide is the only option.
That’s when I heard some children shouting. They were playing something. When I started observing, a group of 7 to 8 players were targeting one kid, saying “You are a loser. You are waste.”
That’s when I felt similarities between that kid and myself. It was a simple game of throwing the ball at the stumps. This kid couldn’t hit the stumps for like ten times. Every time, the other kids ridiculed him. Then they left.
But this kid standed there, dejected. He went near the wall, took out a piece of brick and drew the stumps with the piece of brick. Then he began practicing hitting the stumps with the ball. He didn’t hit for at least a 50 times. But he didn’t quit. Then all of a sudden, he hit once. He was elated. He missed again.
After a few minutes, he was hitting the stumps with more consistency. After a while, he was hitting every ball at the stumps. He felt so satisfied with his achievements. All of this happened in an hour.
And this hour had taught a very important lesson to me. I should never quit. Now, I knew not to quit. But what to do next? I thought.
That’s when that kid took the ball and started walking. Curious to know, I started a conversation with him.
“Hey, good work.”
“Thanks Uncle.” he said.
“And where are you going? Why did you stop? Did you become tired?”
“Uncle, it’s getting darker in here due to the shadows. I’m going towards the sunshine. Are you also coming?”
I thought for a moment and said “Yes.” and we started moving, towards the sunshine.