“An Apple ipad, one 1 carat diamond ring, an iphone 6, gold ornaments…..a long list of costly items! How will you feel if you receive these from one of your distant male Facebook friends?” Aparupa, my hostel mate in University asked me suddenly few days back on phone.
I laughed loud and said, “I will take them all, and then say bye bye, ta ta to that guy!!!”
“No yaar, its serious……don’t make fun of it!!!” She started weeping.
I became a bit serious. I asked her what exactly happened.
“It’s been just three months Richard and me are talking…He is saying, he is in deep love with me. He deadly wanted to come to India to meet me. I refused, that’s why he vehemently asked me to accept these gifts.” Weeping continued.
“What will I do now??? How will I explain to my hubby if he sees these stuff at home?? What should I do? Please help…..” A polite request from this senior, who once upon a time ragged me in the hostel.
Aparupa sent me his picture on Whatsapp. The picture made my jaws wide open…..Damn handsome the guy was……Damn Dashing!!!! For few seconds, I envied Aparupa…thinking how lucky she was to date such handu guy!
But, after giving a deep thought and research, I was almost sure, what kind of friendship that was……
I took the number of the custom office from Aparupa and dialed the number to enquire about the packet, and to sniff deep to understand what fuss was going on…..One guy picked up my call and started in Hindi, and kept the receiver in the side, shouting out some other guy to respond the call as I started in English. I could hear some jazzy Hindi item numbers from far, probably from FM Radio.
Another guy who picked up the phone, switched off the radio and was quite polished in his English conversation.
“Is this Aparupa?....Some Richard Grey has sent lots of gifts for you Ma’am! You need to deposit 30k if you want all these items…as the valuation of these items excceds Rs.3 Lakhs.”
“How will I have to pay Sir? Can I pay by cheque?”
“No, Ma’am, you will have to make the payment by cash. I can send someone to your home.”
I had no more doubt left about what kind of custom office was that. Probably, this custom office and Richard Grey is based out of Gaffer Market or Chor Bazaar of Delhi.
But I wondered…Why my dear senior, Aparupa fell in trap of these guys? Was that a symbol of mid-life crisis? But, she is not even 40, then what mid-level crisis she is having now?
I talked to her closely. She opened up. The age difference between her and her husband is 10 years. According to her, her hubby is no more romantic, energetic, neither keeps any interest in Social media. He is just busy in the television News, or otherwise in his own official work. Sometimes ofcourse, he teaches the children in the evening. She tried her level best to make him lively, romantic for last few years, but she was just unsuccessful.
Now, Aparupa has good friends on FB, her Whatsapp alerts are continuous all through the day and night. She can not be dull…..she wants to live life…..So, she accepted friend request of Richard Grey and many others like Frank Mark, Raymond Richardson, Hacky Oxford, Henry Anderson, Mike Jones etc.….Richard became more closer and started giving her emotional support. “Now a days, my hubby do not even look at me, whereas seeing me beautiful or praising my new Saree or suit is a matter of oblivion. So, why not I look someone who too needs me…”
Not only my hostel mate Aparupa has this problem, but so many Aparupas are there in our society. One person has to undergo so many troubles because of his or her own mid life crisis or because of the spouse’s crisis. So, how to tackle it?
Men and women, both can experience a midlife crisis any time in between 35 till 50, but a bit differently. Men focus directly on their achievements, and their desire to prove their success to others around them, while women tend to grip on their physical appearance, sexual attraction, and what they can do once their parenting duties have ended.
So, what are the Signs and Symptoms of a Midlife Crisis? Here are few :
How to alleviate the Crisis?
Learning how to handle stress during midlife can help evade a crisis becoming a major depression. Though I am not a psychologist, or expert, here are few thoughts I have……, which I felt like sharing :
2. Try to be a bit ‘Bindaas’. Remember the fact that there is only one life …so, forget about the sorrows and trouble. Introspect and find out the sources of stress and try to think coolly and light heartedly.
3. Set up a support group, may be on Whatsapp or may be close group of same age guys to explore various food, to go for tracking, biking, long driving etc. Just sharing and discussing your feelings and thoughts can be a huge stress reliever and create a fountain of ideas.
4. Regular Exercise. Physical activity can relieve stress and lift up your mood. Even a quick few minute walk around your neighborhood everyday can help tremendously. Few fitness activities after 35 yrs of age are essential for mental and physical health. You can include your spouse, children or even neighbors in these fitness activities for additional support.
5. Healthy diet. Get up early, eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper, and you will feel better. Start eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and nuts than other junk foods.
6. Sleep at least for 6 hours is extremely important. It makes you feel relaxed and refreshed. If your sleep is less, you should consult with your doctor or do regular yoga, deep breathing or meditation etc.
7. Try to be extrovert and learn to let loose your frustrations. It's a period in your life to let go. Thinking on the issues and resentments of the past will only keep your arms full and make you unable to recognize the joys of today. Look forward, talk freely with your friends and family for support or seek a professional to help excise difficult frustrations.
8. Laugh loud, crack jokes. As we all know, laughter can be one of the best medicines for stress. Find out humor in your day to day life…. And try to embrace a joyful attitude.
9. Engage yourself in your favourite hobby. Take out time and engage yourself in your favourite task, may be singing, writing, reading book, watching movie, cooking or gardening etc. Don’t forget to share your happiness with your well wishers!!! J
10. Above all, be nostalgic, remember all good days with your spouse. Be empathic for your spouse, plan for some surprises, may be a small lovely gift, cook his / her favourite dish and have a candle-light dinner……and share your feelings openly.
Please note: These are just my thoughts. 'Aparupa' is an imaginary name.