Day before yesterday, my phone rang at 4 am in the morning, I am not a morning person so I didn’t wake up.But the ringing never stopped.
I picked up, it was in fact my father’s cell phone which I had kept with me while sleeping.
My cousin brother’s name flashed.
I was scared, my pessimistic mind took over and the hour of the day signaled bad news.
My chacha ji (Uncle) had passed away.
He was in his fifties.
He was healthy.
He was hearty.
He passed away due to cardiac arrest.
On the other end was a crying son and what was I supposed to say to him: Don’t cry (He should let the pain vent out), Everything will be okay (I knew I would be lying), We are in this together ( In sorrows like this, everyone is a loner, battling alone).
I didn’t say a word.
I could not say a word.
He has gone, never to come back.
Knowing fully well that death is the only thing that will surely happen with us all, we are never ever prepared for it. My chacha belonged to the millions of Indians who spent a major part of life in foreign countries doing a blue collared job sending back money to their family, remittances to their country and surviving out of meager in the place of their work.
They make plans, plans to have their own house, to wed off their sons and daughters, buy a land back in India and retire. And who does not makes plans, We all do, knowing fully well one single thing at that moment- We don’t know what’s gonna happen the very next moment.
Remembering of plans, I too made some
Two Months Before-
In a small diary that I write I had a well thought of story for my novel, novel based on the people like my Chacha, their lives in the foreign lands, their loneliness, their struggle, their songs, their longings and Chacha ji was my only source. I made plans and plans but alas the plans always came with a later tag. Sometimes career stared in my blank face, sometimes nothing came up but I never planned to execute my plan of going to my paternal village, making my chachaji speak and taking notes.
The evening when I finally decided that this is the best time to relocate to my village turned out to be worst time.
He passed away the next morning.
A Day Later
I was looking for solace, for words of support. I had thought that in a tragedy as big as this everything will come to a stand still. People won’t smile, they won’t breathe.
Did it actually happen? No?
Death- the single largest truth that never ceases to snatch away any of our plans.
Do you ever realize what is the most unsettling truth- the mad rush to settle down. The whole propaganda of settling down breeds survival of the fittest or to better sum up elimination of the weaker.
But can you ever call yourself fittest, think twice.
Can you ? You will always be weak in one or the other departments.
Start enjoying it. Death never leaves you any time to mend a mistake, to undo a wrong, to say the unsaid, to cry over a failed exam, to curse over a relationship gone wrong, to even say a goodbye.
Mend your mistakes, if you can’t just apologize.
Say the unspoken, Silence is what death is like: Brutal and mysterious.
Smile over your failures too.
Move out of a relationship gone wrong.
Say “I love You” to the people who care.
Go on a holiday because holidays make memories and memories support the ones left back.
Don’t equate money with life, money with care and money with family (Believe me, if it was possible my dad would have traded all of his life’s earnings for his younger brother).
Date life because like it or not you have to marry death one day.
P.S.- My words have come out of tears, if it touched you anywhere, go say a “Thank you” to any one person who ever cared for you selflessly. That way share our grief, our pain and this difficult time.
(We will miss you always……….)