I woke up to a rather disturbing phone-call yesterday morning. I was informed that dad’s maternal uncle passed away early morning and that dad was flying to Delhi in a while. The news was a set-back, it came unexpected. I met him hardly a few days back and I remember how content he seemed. He was a healthy man. The healthiest I have seen at his age. He was bodily active and I hardly ever saw him weary or exhausted. His wife, my grandmother by relation, too is one of the most content and gratified woman I’ve seen. I had always admired her optimism about life and taking life, one step at a time.
The couple to me was an example of how one should live for oneself, devoid of all negativity around. Only recently they had moved in their new house which was an abode of positivity. Today, when I visited the family to pay my condolences, what met my eye was not the most pleasant sight. The lady who always had a certain poise and aura about her, the president award winner artist, the content woman had disappeared. Who sat in front of me was a much weaker soul captured within a gaunt, feeble body. Her face had lost its colour. She looked weak, vulnerable. I was not used to seeing her like this. I had always seen her wear a smile. In the toughest of moments, I had seen her catch the ray of hope. It upset me to see her supressing her convulsive sobs. The reality hit me then, hard, the bruises tell me so. It was not just a man she had lost, he was her husband. The man who had been her backbone for forty nine long years was no more. The man for whom she could give up all her dreams, aspirations but who made sure she did none of it. More than 2/3rd of her life was about him, for him. The question was not of love or attachment, it was of identity. It wasn’t like she does not have her own identity. It was just how she identified herself with him. I looked at her trying to be a part of the crowd, trying to take her say in decisions about her life. I could see deeper into her then. She had not disappeared, only slightly overtaken. Strong as ever she spoke her words. Her voice was not silenced by her grief. I admired the way she had taken the turn of events. Within minutes I listened to her planning her future life. Not once did she seek for sympathy or comforting words. She knew how exactly she wanted her life to be. She knew she has memories to live by. She knew that she wanted to concentrate all her energies into her expression of art. Constructively, she planned a future. She had no expectations from anyone, she seeked to be by herself, independent. I saw in her a woman, who had lived her life a little too many times, once in being a daughter, once a student, once a girl of her own dreams, then a woman of her own grace, a mother too, and the most of it she spent being a wife. When was she her at all? Now she was, not entirely how she fantasized herself to be, not all fantasies come true, but she was her by being strong. She was her by understanding mortality and embracing the truth. She was her by wanting to live for all those who ever lived for her. Its not like she was not pained, she was most deeply but she knew that she had no option but to live with it, by her will or not.
This turn of incidents made me contemplate on the very basis of life. I realized the temporal nature of all its happenings. Things happen, people happen, they leave and all we can do is either dwell in their loss or bask in their memories. Let not your bad times decide for your dreams. Your dreams are a stepping stone to your good times. You know the best thing about time? It passes. Sometimes too quickly, sometimes too slow, but it passes nevertheless. It may leave scars that heal over time, it leaves you only more experienced, more prepared for what is yet to come. It is on how deal with events. Of whether you let an experience break you or make you. People die to go to a better place. You may please to live off grief, but you are forcing them to get trapped midway. The gates to return have long been closed, to move forward they get conscious by your soul. People die, people go away, and we have but one option- to take life in a positive stride. To bask in the glory of our past and construct a fruitful future that makes us happy. This is how life is supposed to be. Why else would they say Life Moves on?
“Sometimes I feel like if you just watch things, just sit still and let the world exist in front of you – sometimes I swear that just for a second time freezes and the world pauses in its tilt. Just for a second. And if you somehow found a way to live in that second, then you would live forever.”
― Lauren Oliver, Pandemonium