Yesterday morning, the secratary of our apartment association called and said “Vejay ji, there is a sad demise of 11 year old kid Sridhar, resident of flat B- 10x.”
Out of the blue this news left me dumbfounded for a few seconds. When I went to his house, the kid was yet to be released from the hospital. He was no more but I still can’t refer to him as ‘body’ that many of us do, however true it is.
He was playing yesterday along with other kids, came back home, vomited and collapsed. Temperature shot up to 105. Hospital says brain haemorrhage caused the death. He had a medical history but he was on his road to recovery. He was playing a day before and a day later he wasn’t there.
Just last week, on 9th June, we all gathered on Saturday night at our friends house to celebrate the birthday of another resident, lets call her SM. She prepared food and made arrangements not only to celebrate her birthday but also to celebrate the birthday of another resident AS was on 10th, so all of waited till 12 am midnight to wish AS, who had no idea about this surprise. (SM, AS: not taking their names as i havent yet taken their permission.)
Those were some touchy moments when we all were celebrating Life of those in 40’s and 50’s And here we are, shocked and in disbelief at the loss of a 10 year old’s life.
As I looked at the cute, smiling face but lifeless form of the kid, life’s uncertainty made me think (happens every time I see someone dead. ) and the questioning started
“If I go away tomorrow, will they remember my today as joyful memory?
If I was to go tomorrow, would I be carrying my grudges and complain or would I be at peace.
If I was to go tomorrow, would I go away smiling at the unnoticed but happy life?
If I was to go tomorrow…
Someone shouted, ” Vejay ji, can you come quickly, Shweta (my wife) is unwell.
Jolted out of my thoughts, I rushed out of the house only to find that she was being held upright by some of her grieving friends . They got her seated in a chair , gave some water to drink. She blanked out momentarily from the mental trauma of the death of this young lovely kid, especially after she looked at his smiling face and rest of him wrapped in white cloth.
Shweta’s friends helped her get home, comforted her but she was still upset. I knew at that moment that i needed to divert her mind.
With all the ladies sitting around in my house, I kept a light smile on my face but in my heart I was concerned. I had to do something. I did something I would never do in front of her friends, otherwise.
I asked her a very uncomfortable question, “Okay, what would you do if a man proposes to you knowing that you are married ?”
This was so out of context, she looked surprised , wide-eyed, not expecting me to ask anything like this in front of her friends. I had caught her attention and most certainly of her friends who moved uncomfortably in their seats. I repeated the question and told all her friends that this question is only for Shweta and not for any of them. Quiet and not knowing how to react, they all eased out a bit and looked at Shweta.
Pointing at me she said, “Life’s tough with one, can’t manage two . So, I will tell him to walk off.”
“Are you sure, this is what you would do? I stressed a bit more. She nodded, puzzled while trying to guess what was I getting at.
I got up, picked up a flower from the vase, bent on my knees, turned to Shweta’s friend next to her (another redirection ), bent my head down looking at the floor, I asked “Will you marry me…. Again! I looked up at Shweta as I asked.
She and all her friends burst out laughing at the unexpected proposal. The drama and theatrics worked. It got her out of her troubled state of mind.
In those moments, having nullified momentarily, the grief of Shweta and her friends, life appeared worthwhile. I wasn’t thinking of tomorrow anymore, I was living the moment.
A few minutes back , I was watching helplessly at a life gone, minutes later I was helping my life (wife) edge back to normal.
A few minutes back the same set of eyes that were crying, were smiling.
A few days back, we celebrated birthdays of oldies, and a few days later we were mourning the death of a young one.
In this paradox, in this uncertainty , the moment of clarity was, what matters is that little act of kindness for a near one or a dear one or someone. By the way would this count for a RAK??
Just a flower and they will love that gift of mine,
for those who stand resigned, a few moments assign.
Whine all along or give them a smile divine.
Walk beside those for they aren’t yet in their shrine.
Choose if you would do it now with them alive,
or you would do all of it when they die.
Timing and choice is the only certainty with this uncertain life!