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 their car on the highway, which was 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 was dark and scary, 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 on the road, 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 stopped by 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. The driver of the car had died on the spot too.
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 and help to revive her was most important. Her condition was serious. (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 this government 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 and seeing my plight, accompanied quickly, to the ward, only to see a team of doctors and nurses already attending to her. It was a sigh of relief, to see that she was being attended, and I almost broke down with a feeble sense, on the floor of the ward. Why am I not able to do anything for my sister? Why did I loose my parents? Oh! This helpless state, where is God? But that’s what happens when nothing is in your control, or rather when you are helpless. There was so much chaos going within every moment, 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 quiet and sensitive towards respecting and understanding emotions, for space is essential to balance the broken emotions.
There is this strength of the voice within that guides you, that something is also above emotions and attachments and a bigger picture emerges out of the whole, and many times a very quiet time is of utmost importance. But it so happens that, with other people moaning and crying we tend to slip quickly into our emotional turbulence whereas gripping on to our mental strength of balance is the need of the hour at such a point of time.
The mind anyways was totally 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 was 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, with my Granny, all dressed in white, and and finally they started moaning, wailing and beating their chests. Gosh! Not far away a big pandal was created and hundreds of people came and offered their respects, to our dear parents, as Ferozepore was the native town of my parents and many of the people knew them .
Imagine the sight and mental condition of both me and my younger brother who was hardly 18 years of age. Totally baffled and tired of all that was on and on. I was only holding my brother’s hand and he held me too, we both kept pacifying each other quietly. We had no choice but to wait and let it all pass keeping the respect of our elders, and 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 my life , the tests never ending. One has to mentally be very strong and courageous to sail through.
At the young age of 20, 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 stillness, what is life ?..
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, keep moving 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 is the most important, only that strengthens you. And 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! We feel whole and complete at every step 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.
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🕉