Cruel Twists

I had wanted to blog today morning, but got busy with work. In fact, I got this thought while brushing my teeth, and since then, I’ve been thinking of writing it out. While walking to work, I thought about it, mentally jotting down what all I wanted to write about. Surprisingly, I got another touching thought after I reached office. I did try to write it out, but got busy with work. And that’s again something to talk about! 🙂

So, before I get into the actual thought that triggered this urge to write, let me tell you about a news item I read today morning. If you have noticed, we read a lot of stuff each day; a lot of articles, information and random facts cross our mind. But there are some that stay, that touch your mind enough to make you think! Today morning, while going through some  news updates, I read an article. It wasn’t the first article I read, but it was the first (and the only one, I think) that moved me. Obviously, why else would I be blogging about it?

So, I started my day at work, feeling emotionally moved by this news item. In a country where deaths, accidents, injuries and mishaps play prominent roles in newspapers, this might not be unusually shocking or anything. But when I read it, I kind of imagined myself in her situation, then in her parents’ situation. She was (it feels weird saying ‘was’) my age…and she had got placed in the same company as me (remember the campus interview, the job I decided to let go?). Meaning, I might have met her if life had taken a different road.

Life twists and turns…

She was supposed to be take part in a TV show later this month. It’s easy to say life had other plans for her. But very difficult to come to terms with those plans. Sometimes, life’s twists can be so cruel. This was the one thought that kept ringing in my head, when I started work today morning. Kind of like a reminder that the next moment can be happy, shockingly disastrous or just normal…that all I can do right now is MAKE MOST OF NOW! 🙂

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Are You Afraid To Die?

Yet another day…that brings me closer to the end of college, closer to the start of a new phase in life. 🙂

Yesterday, the father of one of my classmates passed away. He had been hospitalized for a while, so I think it wasn’t too much of a shock. But losing a parent, especially at such a young age, is never less traumatic just because you were already kinda warned. All of us went to her place for the funeral. I’m not personally very close to her, yet it broke my heart to see her sitting there, holding in the pain that she was going through. Coming in contact with death always has a somber effect on my mood. I sat there, watching the people coming and going while my friend sat there, probably lost in memories or thoughts. I thought about how it could have been my parent or somebody else’s…how we were so close to losing someone close to us. I thought about how short our lives are…yet how we never seem to see it! After the funeral, I saw the relatives and others coming out and was surprised to see them chatting with others they knew. They were all solemn and serious one moment, and right after stepping out, it seemed like they had completely forgotten about whatever happened inside. They were busy talking about their kid’s classes or that person’s marriage or this person’s new car. All this, while my friend was crying her heart out over the loss of her father. Of course, it wasn’t their loss, it was her’s and only her’s.

I asked a friend who was near me, about why they behaved so indifferent. She replied that death is not something people want to dwell over. That’s when I realized that loss and death are not concepts that people like to think about, until it happens to them. They prefer ignoring that certain fact until it arrives at their threshold. We know we will all die someday, any day, in fact. Yet that is something we (almost) NEVER choose to think about. Maybe because we don’t want to acknowledge the possibility of having to die someday soon, or perhaps we are just plain scared. I’m a person who constantly thinks about death…not that I want to die. But whenever I want to do something and don’t know if I should, I ask myself: “If I die today/tomorrow, will I regret not doing this?” And that gives me my answer, within an instant!

I see death as an inspiration to live – live more, live better. The possibility of death happening any minute, any second, makes me want to live now, this moment. I don’t want to leave behind regrets or anything that I’d have liked to do. So, I try my best to do what I love and love what I do, just so that I won’t have to die with any regrets. It drives me to do things that I might not have done otherwise, to build relationships that I wouldn’t have cared about otherwise, to be happy as much as possible. Because you can never be sure about tomorrow. And frankly, I don’t think I care about dying tomorrow. I have reached a point where I can say, with complete certainty, that I am not afraid to die. I ask this question to a lot of friends. I have come across very few who say they are not afraid to die.

I say I don’t have the fear (of death) because I know I have done what I wanted to do, until this moment. If I had to die right now, this very minute, I would be fine with it. Because I know I have lived my life, I have done whatever I wanted to, done the maximum I could with the available situation/resources/time. Yes, there’s a lot more that I’d like to do, so much of it, in fact. But that doesn’t really matter. What matters is how much you lived your life. I have had my (more than) fair share of fun, laughed a lot, known, given and got lots of love, made others happy, made some awesome friends, learnt so much… Basically, I have lived. To the full, until this moment. Period. I don’t see why I should be scared to die now. Yes, I’d like to tell my loved ones that I love them a lot, before leaving. But that doesn’t really matter, because I’m sure I’ve already made it clear to them. Moreover, my diary says enough of it for them to know that they mean a lot to me.

So, I think the fear of death comes when you haven’t really lived your life fully, when you feel you haven’t done half of what you wanted to do, when you know you’re yet to live life. I may not have done much, in another person’s perspective. But I know I’ve lived life and that’s more than enough for me. If you have always pulled back from doing something or kept something for later or are waiting to sort out a fight with a loved one (keeping it for the next day and then the next)…in short, if you’re keeping ‘living life’ for later, then stop it now. And start living. For, you never know about tomorrow. Love, laugh, live. Be happy. Kick out that fear of death; it will only stand in the way of living, anyway. And be able to say that you have lived, done what you wanted, what you can, until now…

P.S : When I say I’m not afraid of death, I’m referring solely to my death. I do NOT mean to say that I’m OK with any of my family members or friends (dear ones, in short) passing away.

The Case of the Puzzling ‘Hyperactivity’ of Senses

Recently, I spoke to a close friend of mine. We are really good friends and since we don’t get to talk on a daily basis, we make it a point to catch up with each other whenever we can. During one such conversation, she told me something odd about herself. She said that she could smell death… (Yeah, you read it right!) I began asking her a lot of questions, being the ever-inquisitive person I am. She explained that it wasn’t like she could get a kind of unique smell. But there is a certain smell she can sense, at times; a smell of something familiar (she describes it as something similar to the smell of some plums, weird as that may sound) but one that she has come to associate with death. Whenever she gets this smell (this happens very much at random and quite often, with old people), she hears about a death very soon, sometimes on the same day. This does not extend to unknown people, though. Or maybe she just hasn’t bothered to notice it with strangers. Anyway, she can smell death, very strangely.

Death beckoning...can u SMELL it??

As we continued talking, she told me that she has this weird ability of being able to get the taste of something when she smells it. As in, when she smells a flower, she gets the taste of it too. Might be an odd manifestation of synesthesia, I really don’t know. But I was super-curious, nonetheless. She hadn’t given much importance to it, until recently, when it struck her that it was unusual. Much to my surprise, she told me that her cousin has the same ‘characteristic’ – being able to taste something when she gets the smell. We assumed it must be something passed on to them through the family.

Apart from such unusual ‘abilities’, my friend has an uncanny skill in understanding people after a single conversation, grasping others’ emotions so amazingly well and reading others’ minds. It might not sound very unusual but you need to experience it firsthand to understand the extent of this skill. I have been seeing this for a while now…and that’s why I’m convinced it is nothing like what I have ever seen. It’s really weird, but we realized that only when we put everything together. I felt that, at some level, this must be something like an extraordinary or otherworldly power…though, in a more believable and ‘humane’ manifestation.

I would really like to know a lot more about this – what, how and why? But at this point, I suppose I don’t have the required facilities for it. For the past few days, my mind has been getting flooded by such ‘supernatural’ thoughts. There’s a lot we know, but a hell of a lot more that we don’t. Damn! If only I could get hold of Sherlock Holmes. This would have been, as usual, singularly elementary for him! 🙂

The Vagaries of Life

Yesterday (23 December, 2008) had definitely been very much like a rollercoaster ride of emotions. It started off on a very happy note. But very soon, the day turned into a nightmare!

  In the morning, one of my classmates called me, interrupting my reverie, and told me that the father of a boy in my class had met with an accident and passed away. I was asked to get to school soon. I was shocked, stunned, lost… I hurried to school, all the while hoping that it wasn’t true…praying that it was all a mistake.

  Unfortunately, my prayers were not heard. After a while, all the students of our class were taken to the boy’s house. On reaching the house, I was pained more by seeing him (my classmate) standing there, still and devoid of any emotion, than by seeing his crying mother and sister. I tried to say something to him but when I looked into his eyes, I found them filled, suppressing all the pain that was tearing him up from within. I couldn’t find words to talk, I couldn’t find the strength to look into those eyes again.

  Since that moment, I have been wondering about a lot of things; realizing so many things that were always so obvious but never properly heeded. On the way back to school, there was only one image before my eyes – that of my classmate standing there, holding in everything; his eyes betraying him. It struck me, suddenly, that it was something that could have happened to me. I realized that life was truly unpredictable. We can never know what the very next moment may have in store for us!

 I felt an intense longing to go home and tell my parents how much they mean to me and that I love them a lot. I wanted to tell my sisters, friends and everyone around me that I love them, that life would never have been the same without them. That is one reason why I wrote this. Just so that I can tell my near and dear ones a simple message – I love you a lot! Thanks for being part of my life.

  I have also been reminded of how precious life is. It has put in me a zeal for life, just to live each moment. There is nothing we can get by worrying, it’s going to get us nowhere. I think we should all realize the value of life and just LIVE!

  The day’s incident also provoked some profound questions in me. I began asking myself and those around me, “Why do some people, who might be good and needed by others, have to die, and some people get to live, when they don’t even deserve to live?”

 This man was needed by so many, loved by so many, and I am sure he must not have done anything so wrong to get such a cruel punishment. What did his family do to go through all this? What did my classmate do to have to go through this torment at this age? Why did it have to happen to them, of all people? Why not someone who deserved it?

  I have been thinking of all these ever since I got back home yesterday. I don’t understand this whole business of life and death. On what basis is God choosing people to die? I really want to find out the answers to these questions. If there’s anyone who can answer them, please do help me.

  Knowing, or rather, realizing that life is completely unpredictable has helped me in many ways, and it has also caused me to ponder about what exactly is going on…

  I write this to put through to everyone out there a singularly plain but deeply meaningful message – LIVE LIFE! 🙂 Love you all….. ❤