I offer my obeisance to you Rev.Sri. Om Swamiji🙏🕉🌺

A mark of respect to my dear family this day…

The whole idea of sharing this story is to remind, to humbly make the best of your life. Be love, spread love, cherish, and respect your near and dear ones. Be kind.

It’s been 37 long years today since you departed Maa and Pappaji , Didi, and my little nephew Happy. For good  10-12 years memories were ever fresh, eventually one comes to terms, that the departed ones are never going to come back,   but the memories ever linger on, the difference, as of today my emotions are sorted or strengthened, hence able to share.

The fatal day, 15th July 1983, the accident of your car on the highway, a head-on collision with a speeding bus, that took place in Sirhind ( near Patiala)while you were coming back after the darshan of Maa Vaishnodevi.  The sight so dark and terrible when me and my younger brother, reached the accident site the next day from Calcutta with some dear friends and relatives. The car was badly crushed, a pool of blood everywhere, Mata Rani’s Prashad scattered everywhere, a small milk bottle of the sweet little two-year baby boy of my elder sister,  lying on the road, on one side.

Mom and my little nephew breathed their last on the spot, the driver too was no more, Pappaji braved getting out of the crashed car on the highway, asking for help, profusely bleeding and finally a gentleman stops and helped him reach Patiala govt. hospital, but he too breathed his last, the moment he reached the hospital. The rest of the bodies eventually were taken to the hospital.

Only my sister survived, but she had slipped into a coma , the doctors tried their level best to save her, some from the team even donating blood,  as she was badly injured, for each one knew how fatal the accident was of the whole family.  (we were not permitted to take her to Delhi as her condition was very delicate and had to wait till she was stable).

I still remember being by her bedside, she was on a ventilator, and from time to time she was being closely monitored. There were unending anxious moments, with the hope of her regaining consciousness…This one time she started breathing heavily and it so happened that the doctor on call was on round, and it is a govt. hospital, was massively stretched, the only area I knew was the emergency help desk, so I started running bare feet, searching for the main doctor, to attend to her, finally one of the senior doctor on hearing me accompanied quickly, only to see a team of doctors and nurses already attending to her. But that’s what happens when nothing is in your control, or rather when you are helpless. There was so much chaos that was going within, to save the life of my dear one…

It was a big general ward and many patients and their family members who visited them, after seeing my plight would speak in Punjabi and Bless me that my sister would be fine. There was empathy and sympathy both…  Though the truth is at that point I did not require both. Because in such a situation,  the emotions already are gone for a toss and only thing one waits for is a miracle.

It now seems a bit harsh but I guess every individual is different when it comes to dealing with emotions. I have always been very sensitive towards respecting and understanding emotions.

There is this inner strength of the very voice within that guides you, that something is above emotions and attachments and a bigger picture emerges out of the whole, and many times a quiet time is important.  But it so happens with other people moaning and crying we tend to slip into our emotional turbulence easily rather than gripping on to our mental strength of balance which is required at such a point of time.

The mind anyways was numb as me and my brother with dear friends and close family members had got over with the rituals and cremation of our parents a day before, which was the worst, with 3 dead bodies together. Finally, after 7 days the doctors advised us to take my sister to Delhi for dialysis as her kidneys had got damaged and the hospital was not equipped for it.  Sadly she too breathed her last on my lap, on the way to Delhi.

The agony was three folds for me and my younger brother,( as we had to ritually do a lot of things in three different places). The cremation of all my loved ones happened in Patiala, where my paternal Uncle stays, then there is this ritual held on the 13th day, for which we had to accompany our maternal Grandmother who had come from Ferozepore to Patiala for the last rites.

Once in Ferozepore, the sight was beyond imagination. There were these respectful middle-aged women sitting in the lane, where my Granny stayed, all dressed in white, and they were all beating their chests, crying and moaning. Not far away a big pandal was created and hundreds of people came and offered their respects, for our dear parents. Imagine the sight and mental condition of both me and my younger brother who was hardly 18 years of age. I was only holding his hand and pacifying him to quietly let everything pass, for honestly, we did not even understand anything of all that was occurring around, for we had to respect our elders who made us participate and witness all this.

It was a relief when both me and my brother headed back to Calcutta, but the thought kept pricking my mind, as to how others felt more pain than us, sometimes our rituals with all due respect are even more killing. Back in Calcutta for days at a go people kept coming to pay their last respects, many we did not even know, but they kept mentioning how our father had helped them at some point in their life. It was a very tough phase of life, though life never stops to ever test you.  One has to be mentally very strong and aware to sail through.

At the young age of 20, it’s a period when we so look forward to spending a good time as friends with parents, siblings,  all was snatched. Could never understand how and why this happened? So much confusion, so much numbness, so much stillness, as to what true life is . ..

What remains behind after death…just good memories…

Why do our loved ones leave…

Where does the soul go…

why so much suffering…

Is it the past karmas…

Do we keep repaying it all our life…

Is there no way to wash away the sins, if any of the departed ones…

How can such a vicious cycle of death be avoided in the future …is there a reason behind it?.

The quest was never-ending…

All I can say is, we just have to allow goodness and peace to take over and heal.

Whenever I felt low or weak I used to remember, a very beautiful couplet that my father you to repeat at times by Allama Iqbal…

Khudi ko kar bulund itnaa ki har taqdeer se phele…

Khudaa bande se khud pooche bataa teri raza kya hai

”Elevate yourself so high that even God, before issuing every decree of destiny, should ask you: Tell me, what is your intent?”

Have come a long way….carrying forward the legacy of my parents... May Sri. Hari Bless them always.

A protected childhood full of love, clueless of how the world functions, life was sweet and simple and life we did lead. I still remember keeping in mind the picture of my father and mother and doing everything possible the way they carried and conducted themselves. The even bigger truth is, there is nothing called easy in life, one just has to learn, choose with experiences, and lead a decent life. As much as possible sharing love and quality time with family is important. Sharing like minded time with dear friends is uplifting, being grateful for each day and  best to live in bhakti of the Divine peacefully and serve well. But at all times we must maintain the respect of our inner sanctuary.

I was lucky to have parents who instilled good values, conduct, discipline, and made me strong-willed. For even after so many years I still feel their strong guidance in me, isn’t that a vital answer to what life is of a soul!  We feel whole and complete with strong guidance, the same feeling that I get today from Sri. Om Swamiji.

A simple profound teaching by our very own Sri. Om Swamiji🙏
I think pain is not only inevitable, it’s necessary. Indeed, it’s absolutely required for our emotional and spiritual growth. It pushes us out of our comfort zone and thrusts us into focused action. Once you are past the anxiety, sorrow and bitterness brought upon by pain, you find yourself stronger and wiser.

Yes, loss is painful, but can you name even one thing you can have forever? The truth is everything we have is subject to ‘loss’. It’s the fine print of life.

🌺🕉Keep walking🕉🌺

Sri Hari Bless All🙏

The above picture is of my dear parents Shri Sadhu Ram Bawa, Smt. Surinder Bawa, My elder sister Yogi, and nephew Happy🕉

Hari Om🙏🕉

Siddhika Umesh

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