Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dying is an art, always. Sometimes we use our creativity (like hanging from a fan, jumping in an ocean etc) or stupidity (crossing a rail track, driving too fast etc) and sometimes God paints it (in red). And He is the champ in this arena; imagine the tribulations of planning deaths, with precise timing and form, of so many people, animals, insects, birds… every passing second around the area, 4pi*R^2 (where R= 6378.1 km) and above. It’s unimaginable. And is that all He does?
Well I guess I am going to meet Him in some time, coz I died; just a few hours ago. I am tempted to give more details about it, like if I was crushed in a train accident (many Indians here, in my ‘world’ have filled this as ‘mode of death’ in their death-forms) or was hacked by my girl friend’s brothers (they are the nice ones here, very poetic but violent!) or if I committed suicide (majority, but wretched) but I won’t disclose it. That would totally spoil my mood and once again I will feel so dead; just know I did not die old.
The cardinal thing now is that I am dead. My human life is over. And honestly, alive people, what a life it has been! I heard a sadhu say in my vicinity once, that we get human life once every 64,878 years coz of the high demand of it in the heavens, and when I had heard it in class 7th, I was amazed how much money the phony made by conning my people into his fancy numbers and attire. Now, as I am sitting in this dark corner of this hospital room where my body has been brought, I think he was true; simply coz humans are the best among all living organisms. We rule everything, we make lions leave their homes, and we change the course of rivers, cut mountains and produce babies without parents. We defy God’s creations, we ought to be special. But I should probably omit ‘we’ coz I wasn’t one of them. I was a worthless, unhappy soul all the time, pissed off with troubles I had to face. Like preparing for exams, choosing between Discovery and NatGeo on TV, washing hands after bathroom, pondering over whether I should eat Chinese or Indian and so on. All my thoughts and actions were focused on churning out every last bit of pleasure from life. And since now the verdict is clear that I can’t go back and live life, I feel enervated and morose.
Now you must be thinking that I am in hell, well I don’t know about that. Unlike what I had heard when I was alive that there was a judgement after death and on the basis of the deeds done on earth, one was rewarded Heaven or Hell; when I died it was all quiet and serene. No trace of feelings in my heart, no goodness, no jealousy, no joy, no hatred; only calmness and existing as if forever.
My body is on the bed beside me and I am sitting here in the corner, but I can’t move. I guess Yamaraj has someone else to pick up before me and till then I have to stay. Mom is wailing over my body while dad is trying to calm her down. It’s a typical scene; I have seen many such in bollywood movies. And I can’t help myself but pity her. Since I gained consciousness, I always thanked god for giving me such good parents who fulfilled my every wish, but in my last days mom came up with a new wish.
‘Mera last wish hai beta, IIM karo’, unfailingly I laughed; it was my way of having fun with her, to irritate her until she got annoyed and then I would, in jest, give her the examples of saints and people like Gautama Buddha who had despised all comforts to find happiness. It multiplied the fun and she knew it, although she made the best sad face. But in my heart, I was determined that I had to crack the CAT, or more precisely, like we say in Hindi, I had to tear off (phadna) the CAT exam.
Right now, as the clock is ticking I feel a strange change in myself, which means in my invisible form here in the corner. I feel distancing away from her. I am unable to feel her pain although I know there is; I am beginning to feel like she is an outsider, belonging to a world I have never known. And suddenly I feel no gratitude for all she ever did for me. She used to say that she carried me in her arms all night when I could not sleep at night in childhood, and when I grew up, my studies kept her awake. I can read the clock on the wall and it is 1.15 am now and I think I am going to keep her awake today as well.
All I feel is a huge void in my body, like a 3-D silhouette and no solid. I don’t feel any thirst or hunger now, even a pizza or coke seems so tasteless and loathsome. I try to remember the days when I craved to visit a pizza hut to eat one. Infact whenever I felt bored or irritated in life, I wondered what if I could go to a pizza hut or a KFC now; it was so alluring. All I recall is the excitement and that surge of joy when I would take a bite of that cheesy, spicy soft part and many times my wonderment transformed into reality. I would be elated to see the shining floor, the sleek furniture embellished neatly with the culinary items, the cozy sofa, the gorgeous and well dressed people but most of all the ambient air that smelled of freedom, luxury and yes, the food. However, there was an inkling of extravagance inside the pizza hut and subsequent accusation when I saw the haggard faces on the streets and now, that ignored bit of feeling has escaped my body like air, has bloated enormously and it’s crushing me from all sides with an invisible force and oh! That’s why I can’t move.
I was a loser, and justifiably, always tried to find the shortcut. If I could get God’s grace without much toil, why not and that’s the reason why, in my childhood, I was inspired by a Doha of Kabir, ‘Dukh mein sumiran sab karein, sukh me kare na koi; jo sukh me sumiran kare to dukh kahe ko hoye?’ My Hindi teacher had lucidly explained to me how selfish we were? We always called for His help in troubles but never thanked Him in joys. ‘And the one who acknowledges Him in joys, why would he have sorrows?’ she would literally bellow. She was my favourite miss but I don’t remember her name although I recall I had sworn that day in class 5th, that I will at least follow this rule, if not all, to repel sadness simply because all this ‘rule’ demanded was a ‘Thank You God’. And although I adhered well to it, the sorrows did too, to me.
The day I cleared JEE, I took a page and wrote my dreams. They were
1. Going on a world tour.
2. Standing in the first row in a ‘My Chemical Romance’ concert.
3. Owning a BMW
4. Visiting all the places rich in natural beauty like Kashmir and Switzerland.
5. Doing something great for family.
6. Helping the poor people.
7. Directing a movie.
8. Opening a luxurious restaurant.
But you see, I died! But I don't regret dying as much as I regret clearing IIT-JEE. For one sure thing, I had the illusion that 'I am free and successful', right from the first year. And what do you do after a success? You celebrate! Yes, and those of us who suffered from this hallucination, had a carnival for more than a year. And the chill of nights was our safe havens. We dealt in all kinds of late night activities; chatting, counter-strike, movies, just bellowing or other things. And it had an additional advantage; our days were dreamy from the hangover of sleeplessness. But at the end of first year, God punished us to be happy! He failed many of us and some famous guys got more famous by getting year backs and getting to rejoin the carnival of joys.
I passed with a 6.37; elated and contented. But soon the lethargy from late nights, the choking smell of socks and under wears, the parrot-fashioned learning of notes, the huge imbalance of gender, the suffocating size of hostel room and most of all the lack of strength to break free, grossed me out. And I started counting my days left to get out. My B.tech career was already screwed with miraculous grades, but the eight ambitions stayed, and so did my will. So when I started preparing for CAT, I already became an ideal from the children in my locality coz I had chosen the ideal (rather deadly) combination of IIT-JEE and IIM but for me, I knew nothing but FEAR! Fear to realize my goals and fear of shame to my parents (I never gave a shit about ‘others’) if I failed to get a job. But CAT was easy; JEE had made me do enough Math, logical reasoning; English was interesting and Data Interpretation was a cakewalk. And I believed in my heart that I will do it. It’s funny coz if God had to end my game, why did he make me feel that I would clear CAT? And then snatch it from me. But to be honest, it was my fault that I died (although they say it’s always His wish) and when all my life I believed in this beautiful line, why not now?
‘God has a habit of doing things in mysterious ways’
So to summarize my futile and wasteful life; I was born happy and pure but in the process of obeying my senses, got very adulterated and just before when I was going to do something new, i.e. how to outsell others’ businesses or how to insult a rival manager or how to extract money out of people who had nothing, I was killed. Thank God! I am saved of more hellish sins.
Still life could not have been more blessing for a soul like mine. Yeah I was too busy for 99 % time of my life still there were instances, which I feel now, were worth living for. There was a time when I had fallen in love in class 11th. What love! It showered on me and then flowed through my veins leaving me sweetened. Then in my semester breaks when I came home early at 5 and mom served hot chapattis and bhindi ki sabzi. Oh! It was so hard to control those tears from falling down. Love I felt, unbounded and unexplained like this earth. All I heard were my heart beats and sensed was mom’s invisible shade of love. And when I played with little Nishtha at my terrace and told her about the world and she asked me questions like, ‘bhaiya, wo kaun sa colour hai?’ in her sweetest voice, then I felt like telling her everything in this world in the best possible way. I felt overwhelmed. I realized then that kids were indeed angels sent by God. I also remember that boy, in tattered clothes and bare legs, who smiled with gratitude when I had given him a candy, about 15 years ago. How shy I had felt in giving it to him on the street while people watched and this feeling grew on me, so I decided I will rarely help people so ‘openly’. And there was hardly any altruistic thing I did after that coz I stopped listening to my heart but I never got tired of relishing that magical moment. I wished that someday a miracle will happen and since God favours me (?), I would, in a flash of lightning, fulfill all those eight dreams. That time did not come.
Now I wish to be a little poetic here so pray allow;
If only I could have deciphered when it was written everywhere;
…On the sheltering skies on which clouds sailed like feathers
In the droplets of rain that made up His pearls…and on the
Sun that rose everyday to tell ‘see, how beautiful the world is!’
If only...
My aunts and uncles have arrived now from far and near and expectedly, the crying volume has been raised. Anyway, I am not bothered coz I know what happens when people die. NOTHING. But I am not saying not to cry, it is good; mom soothed me when I was small and cried for chocolates, saying ‘Go on, it beautifies your eyes.’ But people cry as if I was here forever and that they will achieve something if they lived to see the last cell in their body perish. The dead man says, ‘If you want to achieve something, do it now for it’s a present, a gift’ Oh! There’s a violent thunderstorm outside, I can hear the roars and booms and I know the mighty Yamaraj has come. And time for me to bid all you living people ‘Goodbye’ till I tell you what happened to me in HEAVEN (keeping my fingers crossed, figuratively!).
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1 comment:

  1. Writing is flawless...It grips u to d end..howeve the content is saddening..keep writing...