Death, a question mark?

Nearly a month of moaning is over. It was only last month when things were going… as usual. One usual day the mobile rang. It brought the most sad and unpleasant news of the demise of a loved one.

Death, a disinterested topic of discussion, had knocked at my door after a long time. So, how was I to take this?

I moaned and cried and questioned as I imagined a dead body lying motionless on a bed. Normally, I had gulped down the topic of death like some bitter pill but today while gulping it down I chocked… and tears started streaming from my eyes. My heart became heavy and I could feel my body sinking to the ground.

What troubled me at this moment was that the physical body which had symbolized someone would no longer radiate energy. It had turned stiff and motionless and very soon will be reduced to dust and ashes. My mind started working on some images from the past – some, good time… spent together. He was like a father to me, and I had lost him forever. Although, I knew that the energy form would still be present somewhere, I moaned for the physical body which would be destroyed no matter what. I deeply prayed for that energy to be at peace.

Death always raises the question of existence but in a different manner – of the dead, and not of the living. It conjures images and ideas about life after death. Perhaps, that’s why so many fear death as we know so much about life and so little or nothing about death. Perhaps that’s why when we see death, we contemplate our actions, our behavior, our relationships with others and the journey of life itself taken so far.

Life happens… and so, does death. Everything could change in a quick second. In a quick second, when the warm breath of life is lured or hijacked to the valley of death… things change. Living is transformed into dead.

We might have progressed and advanced a great deal in scientific technology or curing of diseases or even have much knowledge about the functioning of the body, but there is only one question – What or who decides to let go or lead that warm breath of life back to its rightful body?

When a motionless body turning cold, regains its heartbeat it is no less than a miracle. Life so, is no less than a miracle as we exhale this warm breath of life each second. So, what is death? Death to me is that hard truth that is nicely covered in a glossy sheet of life. No matter what you do or how you do death will always be placed at the center of life.

Death happens because there is life; it happens because it has to happen. Life would not make sense without death and we would continue forever. Life, a giant wheel of warmth and activity, halts when death pulls the power plug of life. Everything comes to a stillness and in that stillness we try to make some sense of death. But, death is death – it generally doesn’t make any sense at first. We work it out the way it seems suitable to our human minds.

A death of a loved one always leaves a big hole in one’s life. Time, although a great healer, sometimes turns to be a failure at this job, and thus the vacuum created by a death is sated only by another death.

Life allows us to find answers but death retreats into silence. The cause of death can be known, but…death in itself remains a mystery. The questions about – souls, life after death (i.e. if, it is there), are we reborn, do our deeds really count after death or is it only till the time we are alive. We would never know about death while we are alive, and when dead we cannot experience life.


Tale of wrinkles

wrinkled face

The term “age” generally means “experience and learning” to me. For a child things are simple and original (atleast it was to me when I was a child). I remember my aunt bringing a talking doll for me when I was six or so, it was a new thing to me; I had only seen the normal dolls, blinking their eyes and raising their arms and legs, so this was new (a couple of years later she will bring a crying baby doll for my sister, that would also be new to me). Many things are new when you try to look from a child’s eyes.  The pencil with floral prints, pencil box with a musical note to it, pencil erasers of different shapes and sizes, a card that plays music as you open to read it, band-aid with colours and faces of cartoons (than just a plain one). Then you see- the age of black and white television sets and then coloured ones (they were the box that had magic in them, you turn it on you see people and things come to life, you turn it off they go away), computers (that were replacing work force. It was also difficult to understand as to how could a machine do the work of ten/ twenty or more people), mobile phones (simple, complicated, 2Gs, 3Gs, 4Gs and what not). They all were new at some point in time. But with growing age, I became wise (as it is said and believed that old are wise) to know that these things were losing its originality and value, they no longer surprised me.

We humans have a tendency to relate age with death (Atleast my grandparents and parents thought the same, so I believe it was centuries old thought, but now we have replaced age with beauty). The wrinkles on our faces tell the years of our survival and life on the planet. I remember my grandmother she had wrinkles, lots of them. But in the folds of those wrinkles were hidden life’s experiences, learnings, based on these she would tell me stories and narrative incidents to strengthen my life. They also had lots of love and hidden emotions to convey her feelings, which was difficult for a child like me to show. I only had a few emotions to play:happy-laugh, sad- cry, surprise- jump, not too many you see. But today, even I have a lot of emotions to play from my experiences in life, from simple to complicated. What do they do? Sometimes they make simple things, complicated and the other times I succeed in making complicated things, simple or even more complicated.

The rising age is suggestive to a lot of things like: more and more friends and acquaintances, life’s experiences and harshness, hoping for a better tomorrow, looking at your family tree growing with newer branches and leaves, being with your family during both happy and sad times, it shows you the reality of the world, now these could be the positive things on the list.

There is only one negative point though “your age is increasing in number” (one digit…two digits…13…25…34…48…and till you are alive). We girls don’t like that at all and will do anything to hide it at first, and then comes the knowingness that it will be futile to do so. You cannot run against time in any way possible, so you run with it, your choice to run fast or slow (I think that is fair enough at least we get that much choice to make). So, lesson learnt: you cannot fool time so we learn to accept the growing digits in our ticking age clock.

Animals grow old like us, hard to comment on their level of experience and learings though. But they show physical signs of aging as in slow, lazy, staying at one place.

Then comes the non-living things, they tell a different tale altogether.  Talk about a historical monument or any structure as a matter of fact. If you visit an old cathedral or an old fort you will be amazed to see it vastness and magnitude of the structures. They give a glimpse of a bygone era… and leave you wondering about its life and how life would have been at that place. They help you to relive and construct a past that is no longer there. It gives you the power to imagine and be a part of a life that was lived in that particular structure or a monument. Sometimes structures also tell the sad story of human life and death inside those walls. If you go to a deserted mental asylum or a prison building it will give you an eerie feeling. It will give a sad feeling making it hard for you to breathe…but it will tell a story, not of a rich culture but of miseries of those people.

So, everything catches the dust of age and they all tell stories.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Years