Sunday, March 22, 2009

With the millions of thoughts swarming around in my mind, threatening to spill out in incoherent, entangled sentences I am at a loss of where to begin. A lot contributes to my current semi melancholic, reflective, grim state of mind. The death of a friends father yesterday... which shocked us, yet was felt not as acutely as would've been the death of someone nearer. As I sat through the prayer service, reminding myself that I had to come, in spite of not being in touch over 8 years now, owing to the steadfast support he extended to me during my time of need..26/11 and also for the friendship that once was, I couldn't help but be overcome with emotion at the silence that the prayer meet allowed me inside my head. The family sat facing the audience, over 200 people in strength (more, possibly) with a stoic silence and grief contained within the confines of their self, given away only by the occasional blink of the eye or the unmistakable shudder of the shoulders.
As people walked past, paying their respects, they sat, vulnerable, with joined hands, extracting strength and will from the sea of familiar faces that engulfed them. Yet, I thought, wouldn't it be the same sea of familiar and comforting faces that would cause one to break down? I find myself more in control of myself in the company of strangers, among friends and family I am but an open book with my emotions and feelings described in disarming detail on the page of my face, the turn of my lips and the reflection in my eyes. How then, I thought, can someone hold it together, so inspiringly in this forum?
Beautiful and peaceful it was, undoubtedly. A group, possibly making a living out of prayer meetings singing peaceful and serene Bhajans in praise and glory of the departed, whose picture adorned the wall behind. Family member names were incorporated into the songs, which, commercially speaking could possibly be customised by family names. Another commercial avenue, another way to make money, out of someones death. What an irony, to make a living from death. Someones gotta do it. I know. On exit, everyone was given cd's, the front cover of which was a picture of Uncle, a short biography, contents of which I presume are Bhajans. All personalised mourning material, made by an agency who probably specialises in accepting and completing last minute orders like these. I sound rude? Cynical? Excuse me, its just the contemplative and overwhelming blankness taking over.
I left in a short while, with a brief eye contact with my friend who sat to the left of his fathers garlanded portrait. That was enough. He knew I had come. The sms later thanking me, only reminded me of my second thoughts of going and washed over me, a guilt of sorts, How could I have thought otherwise? please forgive me for my thoughts.

"Im so shocked, he was so young!.' Someone exclaimed. Was he? I thought. A quick mental math with the dates mentioned on the front page of the cd and i took a full minute for me to arrive at the startling conclusion. He was approximately the same age as my father. Just a little over a year older. Now I'm confused. Is my father young, or old? He's young to me, but i guess parents always will be. A slight greyish twinge in his un-dyed hair ,square shoulders, a sturdy gait, coupled with a handsome smile and devilish dimples belie his 57 years. My mothers often mistaken for my older sister, particularly since her wardrobe has extended in pants and (my) shirts now-a-days. A short black crop and soft supple skin, which even I dream of having someday complete the most significant details of her physiognomy. Of course If i get into softer details, her nature, strength...I might as well spend the rest of my life trying fervently to complete this post, with no words adequate or appropriate to describe the woman whose always reminded me where home is.

I'm scared. Of situations beyond my control. Of Life. Of death. Life is fragile. Sadness, Hardships, Death - indefinably certain. Yet, it is such inescapable surety that we don't account for. The assumption that things are and will always be ok or even good, is a farce sometimes. If thinking things MAY not be ok, make you work harder at appreciating people, parents, friends, lovers, then maybe it would be prudent to think so. It would be wise to indulge in some introspection, arrive at what degree of selfishness best describes your life,and hope that that summary is as far from self-involved as could be. If yes, maybe its time for a change.

There's never a good time for sorrow, change, death and hardship. We're always caught off guard, most often left bitter "everything had to happen to me at once"
What we don't realize is that God never promised us hard times when its convenient to us, grief when we've had our fill of happiness or vice versa. He simply sent us with a challenge, "Here's a maze, filled with insurmountable hardships and troublesome times, and I send you only armed with Hope, faith and patience as your weapons against all that you will encounter" We accepted. And that's what we're doing. Riding the ride, Unmazing the maze.


Aniket said...

My condolences to your friend. And I feel the same anger about those who have customized and made death commercial. Its a pity. When faced with deep sorrow or an emotional turmoil, I too like being left alone. Or left in the company of a trusted friend who'll just sit by and say nothing.

In Marriages and Death, more than half the people who come just come for the sake of formality, and when they leave their life remains unaffected. I don't think I want them to be around when I am placed in such a situation for One day we all will be.

For now, all we can do is "Riding the ride and Unmazing the maze."

This was a very touching post... one can tell when it shoots straight from the heart.

snow said...

Seren, i feel for ur friend.. there r few times when i go speechless n the thought of someone leaving us is one of them.

Piper .. said...

I guess the scary part about death is the finality, the irrevocability of it all..

Aditya said...

It's scary. I didn't realize my dad was getting old.. hit me some time around his 60th birthday. Thing is, he's had white hair since his early 30s, which is before I was born. So I have not seen a change in appearance that would alert me... it more or less creeped up me.

I don't like these thoughts, I don't entertain them. One of the few things I act like an ostrich about.

dipali said...

So true, all that you say here.
Each and everyone of us will go sooner or later.
That is inevitable.
How we are remembered is upto us.

hitch writer said...

God bless your friend and you !