The Invisible Problem



(Story Vs Article)


As the name suggests, what you’re reading right now is neither a story nor an article, at least according to me. I just can’t choose to categorize it under any of the two heads. I would rather say “It’s a story told in the form of an article or an article presented in the way of a story.” Now, coming to the title of my piece of writing, I think a short description can explain my point of view to you before I get started with the real topic. As about my intention behind naming the problem I am going to write about “The Invisible Problem”, it would of course be disclosed at the end why I call it so.


In this technological era, there is hardly anybody who can say that he/she doesn’t have a problem and if someone says it, he might not be knowing himself properly (which is surely my personal opinion not applicable to every person). Everyday as we wake up at the crack of dawn, we actually open our eyes to a wide array of supervening problems which surround us. As our eyes begin to adjust with the daylight, we realize that we are not the lone travellers in this hideous journey. We find people battling with a lot of problems like financial crisis, marital disturbances, familiar matters, health issues and varietal other difficulties. Our eyes flutter with agitation as they slowly catch even worse problems. We stop with horror at the sight of handicapped and disabled (differently abled) people. Our eyes refuse to move towards other areas when stuck at the sight of people fighting to lead a normal life while suffering through severe physical ailments.


Big or small, simple or complicated, short-term or long-term, we walk through the problem mustering different ways of solution and finally solving it. In this process, members of our family, friends and our near & dear ones come forward extending their hands full of love and moral support. We also do the best on our parts to help others out of their troubles. Believe it or not, this help can work wonders. Even if it practically does the problem no good, the strength that it produces is magical. It’s needless to mention that there are plentily available proverbs and real life examples which clearly signify the power of mental strength. People have touched great heights inspite of being physically challenged only due to their determination and the strong upthrust that the emotional support produces.


But then there is something that our eyes miss. Our eyes become so focussed on diagnosing other problems that they fail to capture it even if we undergo it ourselves. These are the unseen, INVISIBLE ones. These are the problems which we can’t see (generally). We don’t notice it until it worsens for the worst. It’s not our fault, neither it is of the person suffering it. It is just that the problem is invisible. It is not visible to our eyes. Even if we observe it partially, we dismiss it right away due to the natural compulsion to reject anything that we are not able to see through our eyes. This is the problem where the sufferer himself doesn’t realize for long that he is in a certain problem, and by the time he does, he also realizes that nobody is there to believe and support him. If the case continues to be so and the problem takes it’s toll over the person, unless help is received from some unexpected quarters or the person is potent enough to fend for himself, it can produce disastrous outcomes.


I don’t say that the problem I am trying to pinpoint is the only Invisible problem. Definitely, there are a lot more. The thing is that this is the only one I know about. I also don’t opine that this is the biggest problem ever. But it’s not even the smallest. The root of all it’s miseries lies in the fact that it’s invisible which is why I chose to relate it to you through a story. Here it goes.


The story– Garima stood proud in the midst of all the applause and chorus with the CM of the state beside her and trophy of The State’s best runner in her hands. She had won the Unity State Championship running race in the 500m category just an hour ago. A great victory according to the prevailing standards! These days fate was  extremely kind towards her. She had made three State level accomplishments in a row. Recently, she had also secured the second positions in Dreamers’ swimming race and the long jump competition conducted by Unity. But running was her passion for sure! So this prize was the most precious for her. Morever, soon she would be representing her state in the national sports event. Ecstasy and Elation were surging up in great volumes inside her. Suddenly her parents beaming at her caught her attention. Happiness and pride were simultaneously sparkling off their faces. She held up her trophy in response. Her entire journey since childhood to today’s rubric moment lay crystal clear before her.


12 years back, she had been born to Rajat Karmarkar and Pooja Karmarkar. Her father at once named her Garima who, in his eyes was destined to be the glory of their family. Their family was one of the richest families of their city. Garima typically had access to everything she wanted. When she came of age, her parents put her in the best school they thought according to infrastructure and facilities. There she got admitted to Krishna English School, the dreamschool of every student. Inspite of its deluxe amenities and high profile resources, it always fell short of prestige on the basis of academic records and co-curricular activities before other schools. This is why Garima happened to be the star, actually the Polestar of her school. From day one, she showed extraordinary dexterity in almost every field. She was among the few students of the school who scored above 90%. She was simply superb at painting, dance and music. But these were only faint traits of her talent’s vast arena. Sports was her ace of spades! And running her trumpcard! This was her master weapon which had earned her instantaneous fame and made her the honour of not her school, not even her city but her state at a go. She was a girl of sky-high confidence and strength! Never had anyone witnessed her getting weak or nervous. Challenges held a magnetic attraction for her. She rarely did rest despite her parents’ constant insistence. She had remained consistent enough to be called the polestar, the name her school had given her. She was now the brandname of her school and the gem of her father’s golden identity. And now all these consequent achievements! She was clearly making big time for herself. But then the twisting twirl spun her life around.


They giggled down happily to their home straight from the ceremony. Soon her uncle arrived at their living room with a new coat for her father. “Your chest is getting broader. Isn’t it?”, said Uncle joking. Mr.Karmarkar exclaimed, “So it is. Garima is adding inches to it everyday.” Garima who was standing right behind them laughed along with them, only there was an edge to her laughter this time. The following day, she was called upon by Anshika, her childhood opponent, for a basketball match. Garima’s elder brother Gaurav who had just returned from his Boarding School accompanied her to the ground. Gaurav was a boy too reserved who fared badly at exams. His performance at other fronts was also not praiseworthy. This had led to differences between him and his father but the siblings’ relation stood unaffected by all this. To the utter shock of everyone, Garima backed out just before the beginning of the match saying she didn’t entertain the trial of tramps. Though no one noticed, Gaurav saw her sweat for the first time without work. When confronted about it, she simply said she was tired and needed rest. Though uncertain about it initially, Mr.Karmarkar soon accepted her explanation and declared that he was heading to start a new branch of their office to be named “Garima Industries”. Garima’s expression was a mixture of pleasure and pressure.


The succeeding days saw implausible changes in Garima. Everyone shook with shock when her report card revealed average marks in 4 subjects. Her parents had a hard time to see her spending colossal hours sleeping. Mr.Karmarkar’s  jaw dropped when she declined the invitation to participate in a local Sports Tournament with an excuse of being focussed over the nationals. Nobody could judge what was wrong with her. Not even herself! Things got inconceivable beyond measure when she fell down with her back on the ground at the startline of her school’s running race. Though she was not unconscious, she  was terribly sweating. Back home, she finally had her parents questioning her and charging her with words she didn’t deserve like ‘irresponsible’, ‘overconfident’, ‘shameless’ etc. But she wouldn’t just answer. They had all possible tests done which only approved her physical soundness. This got her parents grow even more dubious about her. They suspected her friendship circle and rang up many to check which Garima overheard. With her finals’ report card announcing just pass percentage, they warned her to play the national sports well, which she had been awaiting since years. Though she tried a bit, it was nowhere near her previous preparations. A few days before the event, her paternal aunt turned up and expressed her desire to attend Garima’s competition. The event was no different. While she didn’t even clear the selection criteria of other sports, she could sorely make it to the second level of running race where she sunk down again just before hitting the target line. Her school coach leaned there, exasperated. She already knew that she had lost all the popularity she had accumulated over her childhood. The laughter of her classmates always rang in her ears. Yet the pain now was morose. Again, she rubbed salt on her wounds seeing Anshika proceed to the third level.


No sooner did they step into the house than her parents began storming over her and alleging her roughly.  When they begged to break her tough silence, she at last unleashed her tears. Her parents watched her distraught. It took them real guts to see their stone-stiff daughter submerged in tears. Her aunt emerged with the suggestion of consulting a counsellor which they discarded at once asserting that Garima was perfectly normal. Her aunt clarified that she wasn’t denying that. She was only concerned that Garima was trapped in an INVISIBLE PROBLEM. She took Garima aside and slowly talked her out of all the hidden pains she was going through. It was then when the truth came to the fore. Garima’s aunt exposed that Garima was encaged in severe STRESS. Her parents claimed that it was very probable and common and they had never put any pressure on Garima. When her aunt argued that even if they didn’t, Garima was definitely under it and that it was not ordinary stress but a mental problem, Mr.Karmarkar burst out. Garima sprang to his feet and pleaded desperately to trust her integrity. Her parents softened and realised their mistake. They hugged her and soothed her down to relaxation. Her aunt threw light that Garima had always been prone to stress. It struck her for the first time when she saw her father’s infinite faith in her when he took his new coat. It deepened when she felt the firm belief her school had in her. Her confidence and strength got slackened by the fear of losing them. Even if she tried seamlessly, she couldn’t just overcome the thought of what would happen if she failed. It pierced sharper into her when her father named an office after her and she couldn’t prove herself befitting for it. She couldn’t explain because she felt at a loss of reason to justify all that was happening with her. She fractured down further to see all her grace and competence melt away into criticisms of her peers and schoolmates. Everyone assumed her guilty when she was not at all at fault…

The present scene is that Gaurav has reconciled with his parents as he was the one who called his aunt at the right time to help Garima out. Garima is slowly recovering from her now visible (only to her family) problem under the caressing care of her family.


The problems like anxiety, stress, depression etc. may sound very common to all of you and they are, indeed. But the root of all evil is that they take the shape of a ruesome mental disease when they touch some vulnerable people. The endless grief and desolation that they bring to the affected person cannot be restricted to words. Yet he is regarded as the culprit for his own sufferings. We recognise these problems only when they are critical mental disorders like Schizophrenia, psychosis etc. Rather, I should say we detect them when the problems persist to develop into permanent disorders. I don’t mean to undermine the sorrows of other problems. I just want to highlight the lack of support systems for these mental problems. We all talk about the strength of will power and dedication. It should also be noted that they are the products of a strong mind. But how do these positive energies find their way when their source has been hacked? It’s apparent that the scale of mental diseases in India is increasing radically. Only our active awareness and attention can help impede and eliminate them.