Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The boomerang of existence

This is the first time something like this has happened to me. Actually the thought, as weird as it was, came to me when I was doing the dishes looking out at the maniacal breeze gushing past the rain stained city this evening. In the hubbub and the din that our kitchen can be sometimes, I managed to soak in a bizarre, albeit philosophical, thought. And hence this attempt to blog it out for what its worth.

Earlier in the day a dear colleague and friend of mine – a woman who I have never seen without a smile – broke down inconsolably as she shared the death of her beloved grandmother. I immediately consoled her, as a good friend should, and thought about the untimely demise of my own grandmother (mother’s side) back in the winter of 2000. While I still do not hold any malice towards the Almighty for taking her away before I could show her the achievements I had made at the time, (I was 22 and was working overseas on my first job assignment) today’s incident with my colleague still brought back memories. I was never really close to my grandmother, but I still felt shortchanged at the time when she left us in such an abrupt manner. But then I guess that is the nature of death – sometimes abrupt, mostly sudden and always rude.

The day moved on. I returned home after several mercilessly scathing sheets of downpour had successfully drenched me with their fury. As I sat down with my evening dose of tea, I suddenly realized that another very dear friend of mine, from back home, had gone in for a C-Section delivery today. I immediately grabbed the phone and called up her mobile hoping that her husband would pick it up and give me the updates. And would you know it? He did. I almost cracked into a guffaw of joy when I heard his calm voice say ‘Hello’. I was already convinced it was a good sign. He shared with me that she had undergone a successful procedure in the morning and a healthy baby boy had entered their lives. I, all the while trying to hide my overflowing joy for my friend and unbridled wishes of health and happiness to the newborn angel, was certainly elated. Considering how much she had wanted a piece of their love to be in her arms for so long, it was only just that her husband’s voice was radiating with so much joy, so much relief and more than anything else – so much peace. An attribute so rare in the troubled days that we live in.

And then came this thought. A soul from one end of the world had departed to the Heavens and another had entered, quite possibly at the same time, back into Earth. Was it the same soul? I don’t know. In fact I don’t even care. What I do wonder about though is this – who was the luckier one? Was it the one who left Earthly possessions and headed on into the oblivious wonder that a place beyond death might be? Or was it the innocent bundle of life that had not yet opened its eyes to see the kind of world we put up with day in and day out. Who is the happier one? Who should I really feel sorry for?

As much as the cliché goes that grieve a death and celebrate a birth – I wonder what sort of world we will leave behind for the millions of unopened eyes that are yet to come. I just hope the circle of life continues without anyone having to wonder which is better – release from the comfortable known to the scary unknown…or vice versa.

2 reflections:

chaitanya said...

Hi Shashi,

I actually have no words to express my feeling towards this article. I hope u can understand what i meant, but it did touch my heart a little more & went emotional.

ShaK said...


Thank you for the warm message. Yes, I do understand the emotion that was behind your words. I am certainly glad it touched you and I hope you've been able to make your peace.

Warm wishes,