Tag Archives: Death

Sadke

1 Jan

Before my sleep broke for the last time this morning, I had a very moving dream, one in which I could truly not distinguish from reality.

In my dream, I was sitting in my old house, in the study with my grandfather before me. Somehow, I was congnizant of the fact that he was about to pass, and sitting there before him listening him to talk of his days, I wanted to keep sitting instead of politely listen and subsequently sneak away upstairs to the solitude I loved so much.

As I sat there, I was aware of the fact that those were his last days. Five minutes later, he had moved to his bed, to rest a while, and I stood around, filled with fear that he wouldn’t rise again. I was almost outside his bedroom, and I could see him taking very deep, uncomfortable breaths. And I was torn between wanting to stay there, with him through his last moments, or run away and not have to witness one of the most painful events of my history. I was conscious of the fact that should I happen to preempt anything that happened then, it would change the last 4 years, some for good (possibly my cousin’s subsequent passing) and some for bad (none come to mind, but who wants to risk waking up one morning and knowing a part of their history’s been rewritten overnight?)

Eventually, I decided to somehow try and preempt the incident. I ran beside him, asking him loudly if he was okay, and he wanted something. He asked for some water, which I ran to get. By the time I returned, I recall him clambered on a wall, and as I brought the glass of water to his lips, he babbled like a child. I screamed for my mother, and that’s when I woke up.

Ironically enough, none of what I had seen in the dream was actually true. My grandfather had passed away most unexpectedly, in the midst of his morning walk one day after my birthday, when my parents were travelling between my college town and my sisters, and both my sister and I were away to college. Only a day before, he had called me to wish me a happy birthday and tell me that he’d transferred some money to my account (which turned out to be unusually large). After his passing, people would say he died a saint’s death, at the time that he had wanted to… having sent away everyone around him, in the middle of his walk, all by himself. At the same time, he had left quite a few things undone.

All said and done, this dream gave me, if nothing else, a few very precious moments with him, prior to the chaos, when we both sat in our old house, he on his standard chair. Except instead of reading as he always did, or watching television, he was playing with plasticine, which in hindsight makes no sense, but in the dream, I had interpreted to be some hobby of his generation of folks.
His voice was clear as crystal, as melodious as it always sounded to all of us who loved him, and that moment… brief as it was… was so valuable.

I was afraid that in these last nearly 4 years, memories of him would fade, and he would become less significant in my daily life, which is true. However, this dream reinvoked his memory and reminded me of just how broken I was… we all were… when he passed away so suddenly; and of how fiercely I loved him, and always will.

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Afterthought

10 Jun

June 2001

The luxury car cruised beside the vast ocean. The waters rippled softly towards the shore as the waves broke against the rocks and receded into eternal blue.
“This stretch is called the Marine Drive,” she swerved her finger. “It’s also called the ‘Queen’s Necklace’. At night, when the street lamps are lit, it gives the appearance of a pearl necklace.”
He listened quietly and nodded. All of 13, he scarcely thought he would remember the buildings she identified to him. But then, he hadn’t been brought up to speak his mind.
He sank further into a corner, intimidated by the sole company of his affectionate cousin, twenty years his senior. He turned his gaze toward the ocean, watching the waves ripple softly towards the shore.

June 2007

“This is unpleasantly surprising and extremely unexpected.” Her tone was stern and grim. “One always thought you were raised as extremely well-behaved and disciplined. These outbursts at your parents are confusing and unsettling.”
He listened quietly, his insides squirming at the tone of her voice. He himself could not completely understand the reasons behind his outbursts, and what resentment he held against his parents. At that point, everything was confusing; the past, the present and the uncertainty of the future.
Her eyes glared at his face in a feeble attempt to decipher. He looked down at the table, seething. His parents, and all others, sat at the table in uncomfortable silence.

June 2010

“The resentment I held against my father 3 years ago was for not earning enough. It stemmed from the expectations my mother has always had of me. If we were wealthier, she would not hold those expectations and I would not be in a position to let her down,” he said, breaking years of silence.

“Why did you think you would not be able to fulfill her expectations?” he heard her question.

“Because I didn’t know for sure if I would always remain part of the family, once they came to know about me. Because back then, I probably thought most of us walk down that same road. That there is no acceptance. Today, I’m not so sure. Father seems loving and accepting of deviants. Mother may not seem so now, but she’ll understand eventually. Back then, I had no hope. I rebelled because I wanted to reject them, before they could reject me. Today, I’m not so sure.”
More silence followed, interrupted occasionally by the sound of the waves breaking on the rocks.

“I wish I could have told you all of this while there was time.” He turned to where she had sat 9 years ago, and beheld the void. All he had now were memories. Memories of her in her resplendent grace as she had stridden through her abruptly short life, leaving behind a grieving mother, widower, family and an innocent young child. A perfect life. Her perfect life.

“I wish I could have given you 30 years of my life. You had everything; the perfect husband, a beautiful child. A doting mother, a loving family, eternal wealth, a beautiful life. All I have is impending gloom. I wish I could have given you 30 years of my life.”

The luxury car cruised beside the vast ocean. The waters rippled softly towards the shore, the waves broke against the rocks and receded into eternal blue.

Cowardice

7 Jun

I want to creep into this blanket and stay,
I don’t want to face the day,
I woke at the break of dawn,
To realize that you were gone…

And yet, true realization is yet to sink in. Why do I feel there is no grief? Haven’t I been grieving since forever? So why is it that when it finally happens, I feel so empty? So empty…

The “Nature” of Suicide

9 Aug

[Please read this post all the way till the end before dropping a comment]

A recent post on Pesto Sauce’s blog got me thinking. About suicide.

I’m not suicidal. I’ve never attempted to kill myself, and am frankly petrified at the very thought of attempting it (particularly the thought of the pain one would have to subject oneself to, whatever the mode of suicide was to be, before one’s body would give in.)
But it’s that lack of suicidal trait in me that makes me step back and not judge someone who is.

Confused?

Think of it this way. Lots of people say that being gay is being mentally sick. That it’s because an individual went astray, became perverted or corrupted by temptation or western civilization. Yet, several of us have never known heterosexuality, or what it’s like to be straight or “normal” and would associate with our sexuality from ever since we can remember, but those people who think we’re mentally sick, and do not know that this is how we were born would not be convinced of the same unless they went through it themselves. Frankly, I doubt that even the straight people reading this blog firmly acknowledge or believe that sexuality is something that we were born with, however open-minded, accepting and encouraging you are.
My point is that only a gay person can truly know what goes on in the mind of a gay person.

Hence, only a suicidal person can know what really goes on inside his head, and everybody else is simply jumping to unwarranted conclusions when they say that suicide is cowardice.
What if suicide is comforting? What if death brings bliss? Why should we deny a person his right to what makes him happy?

Back in my school years, there was simply nothing that I had to look forward to (except maybe the next summer vacations… a month or two away from school). I was extremely depressed and pessimistic. I often went to sleep with the comforting thoughts of dying and being liberated from my insipid existance. Today, life is much better but the thought of death brings tremendous comfort. The thought that I wouldn’t have to wake up another day and face a million other challenges.
Challenges are not exciting when you face them alone… not to everyone. Not everybody has something or the other to look forward to. Some live life because they have to, taking each day as it comes with no concrete plan or expectations. When they get tired, they take a blissful moment and think about death, liberation.¬†Moksha.

Thus, when I hear of people who attempt to commit suicide, I do not jump at calling them cowards. Maybe some of them are. But I cannot generalize. Because I’m not suicidal myself, I do not know what goes on in the mind of someone who is. Hence, I cannot draw a just judgement. Just the way that someone who isn’t gay is likely to come to an inaccurate judgement of my “condition”.

I could extend the same train of thought to the case of paedophiles. It is another classic group of people that we’re all too quick to condemn. However, attraction (including sexual attraction) is natural, right? We cannot contain it. Some people cannot help being attracted to people of the opposite sex, some others cannot control their attraction to members of the same sex.
Maybe it’s quite the same way that some men (and maybe women) are attracted to people who are extremely young of either sex. Maybe the feeling is completely natural. I do not know, because I do not have those emotions within me, so I cannot jump to conclusions on those individuals, unless I was in their shoes.
So does that vindicate paedophilia? According to my dictionary, it might, because my dictionary defines paedophilia as “A sexual attraction to children”, and for all we know, this attraction may be in their nature. But does it justify a person forcing him or herself onto a child because of his something that is possibly innate?

It does not. Because it causes harm to someone else. To the child, who is not emotionally mature enough to express consent, or is never asked for it. Paedophilia may not be wrong but acting on it must be condemned because it harms someone else.

Quite the same way, I feel that suicidal tendencies may not be wrong because we do not know what the person with those inclinations is having to face in life. We may not know what are his or her reasons behind wanting to call it a day. For all we know, they may want to commit suicide because the thought of it makes them happy but if the act would bring grief to anyone who is close to the individual contemplating suicide, then that may amount to causing harm to another, and is a factor that must be resolved before any such act, between all the people involved.

Many are quick to say that suicide is an act of cowardice. I think it is cowardly to jump to conclusions about someone else’s life or character without trying to understand it.
Many proudly say that life is beautiful. I think it’s a very subjective matter, and not a sweeping statement to be made. YOUR life may be beautiful, but it is in finding this so-called “beauty” that many of us fail.