Having lost my father quite early to unnatural circumstances I had come to terms with the fact that we are not immortal.
We are just like the tree, the butterfly, the sparrow, the deer, the leopard, the domestic cow. We have a life cycle and when our life is complete on this earth we have to exit.
We cannot live forever. But we have a soul. Does it exist? Can we see it? Where does it go? Fortunately or Unfortunately I got the answer to this question during the lockdown.
It was truly uncanny but I felt the existence of a soul- the soul of my uncle who I lost during the lockdown. I got the news of his death not from any living cousin or aunt of mine. I got it right from him.
During the lockdown we were unable to celebrate the Durga Pujas the way we used to earlier so I was busy cleaning up the house on Panchami.
For no reason whatsoever I opened the drawer of my mother’s writing desk and found an album. After asking my Mom if I could take a look at it, I sat down to leaf through the pages.
As soon as I turned the 2nd page I found my uncle’s graduation picture. I felt a shiver run down my spine and I took it out from the album. He was all of 21, fresh out of the University.
But what was his graduation picture in our album. Hadn’t he taken all his photos with him? The picture called out to me. We had lost touch in 2016.
I felt I should locate him on Facebook. After my father’s death he was the only one who kept in touch during the Durga Pujas, sending over new clothes as was the custom. He would never take a no. After I got a job I had gifted him a book during the Durga Pujas so that he would stop sending us clothes. He understood the gesture.
I searched Facebook with his name in different spellings. No luck! Then I searched for my cousin and there she was announcing to the world that she had lost her father to COVID. And to prove the point she had posted her photo lighting the pyre. My uncle’s feet were visible.
I looked at the date. It was exactly a month before. I had the most eerie feeling. He wanted me to know that I would never see or meet him again. He wanted me to know that he existed even after his body had been burnt. He wanted me to know that he had been enlightened.
My understanding: The soul is never dead.