TW: Mention of Suicide
“If I’m alive tomorrow, I will know that I have to make the best out of this life.”
Sitting on a railway track, alone and injured, this is what thirteen-year-old Daulat Pottana thought. For someone who had lost his parents at a tender age, for someone who never had support throughout his childhood, it was very hard for Daulat to keep himself together. Daulat, now a thirty-three-year-old successful storyboard art director at Byju’s had a life filled with highs and lows.
From childhood, Daulat grew up without shelter on his head. He had to live on the streets and eat fodder. Confused and upset, Daulat even decided to jump in front of a train and put an end to his misery but something stopped him. A voice that came from his own mind and his beloved guru from his village. In the toughest times of distress, Daulat’s guru took him under his shelter of optimism, hopes, and knowledge and helped him be the person he is today.
“I learned yoga from my guru and my mentor and even became a Yogini for over a year. I started eating healthy and indulged myself in spirituality. I have never felt sick ever since.”
Many families approached Daulat to provide him with a home, but he knew their intentions and so never gave up on himself. He was aware of the world and its wrongdoings from a young age. With the help of his guru and his own mindfulness, Daulat made a living for himself and never stopped chasing his dreams.
After his graduation, one day Daulat observed someone drawing and sketching and blindly copied whatever they were doing and voila! Without any prior knowledge or practice, he was able to draw a portrait! This made Daulat immensely proud of himself, and sure enough, he started getting attention from everyone around him. He thought to himself, “Had I known this earlier, I’d have made wonders!”, but it was not too late for him. He decided to pursue a career in the same.
Soon, Daulat started noticing a change in him. He observed that he had become a bit of a narcissist and felt superiority over everyone else. Daulat’s state of mind remained the same for everyone but his guru.
“Back in 2010, I met a girl online and started chatting. Soon, she proposed to me but I was sure not to get attached to her until I see her first. Later I got to know that she belonged to a highly influential family.”
Daulat’s life had taken a big turn. For someone who never talked to someone outside of his own needs, was taking out time to talk to someone who he had never seen before. This was new for Daulat and he did not know how to handle it. The feelings were being reciprocated, but it was tough for Daulat to trust anyone new.
After years of Daulat not agreeing to be with her, she started threatening him about taking her own life. Daulat was in a tough spot at this point, but then he agreed to be with her. Meanwhile, Daulat’s girlfriend’s father heard about this situation, he married her off to someone else. After years of going back and forth, when finally Daulat accepted her, she left him. Daulat was devastated, not knowing where to go and whom to meet. In his own words, Daulat was feeling the madness and was not able to cope up with it.
Daulat was in a state of numbness for six long years. He felt like he had teleported to a whole other world without honesty, confidence, and divine energy. His physical appearance had changed, he had nowhere to go but still, the feeling was not hindering.
“I just wanted to run away. Luckily, I had my guru so I reached out to him and he guided me with these words – Don’t ever let one person’s behavior change you from who you essentially are. I was feeling well again and so, I decided to forget this as a bad memory and moved on.”
Coming from an artist fraternity, Daulat also had a knack for acting and so he shifted to Mumbai and decided to pursue a career in acting. After a successful run in many gigs and theatre performances, Daulat felt like his dreams were accomplished. Everything was going well, and one day Daulat received an opportunity to start a business for his artwork with an old friend. Daulat was looking forward to it, but fate had different plans. He received betrayal from his friend and debt of a whopping five lakhs. Once again, Daulat saw his life crumbling right in front of his eyes, but this time he was determined.
“I tried everything but gained no help. I was literally on the road and it was difficult to even breathe. I constantly asked myself what’s the purpose of my living? Luckily, I found a job at Byju’s at that time and had a sigh of relief.”
Daulat was elated to find a job in a time of crisis and slowly, he paid off his debt over a span of two years. Daulat was, in fact, glad that he had to go through so many hardships because now he was stronger than ever! Life was going smoothly for him, and then the nationwide lockdown was imposed due to Covid-19. Trapped between the four walls, Daulat started feeling more and more lonely.
“I remembered words from my guru and calmed myself down somehow. But the lack of socialization made me feel even more lonely. Fortunately, I had one support called YourDOST, so I started talking to a counselor.”
Daulat got connected with Sudha from YourDOST through Byju’s resources and started sharing his life stories, in order to feel the relief. Daulat had ample space to vent out and he felt relieved after that. He was not looking for solutions, he was hoping for an ear and a direction to follow – two of which he received from his guru and a special friend, called YourDOST.
“Thanks to the sessions, I learned how not to feel guilty and gained more clarity in my life. I feel grateful for the work that I do and the life that I lead.”
Daulat now knows that staying in a state of uncertainty can only do more harm to one’s physical and mental wellness. He is happy that the counseling sessions made him realize that it’s okay to trust others, but not compromise his own integrity.
Despite all the rocks thrown at him, Dault now knows how to make a castle out of it! He rates his journey of improvement 5 out of 5 and can’t wait to tell his life, “Bring it on because I’m stronger than ever!”
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