Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 18th

Today will be the most memorable day for me. May be a day where I have thought more deeply about life and death. I am sure many of you are way forward than me in your thoughts about it. I always wondered, in my own silly way, without any substance in my thoughts, that for every death, there is one new life. I do not know why. It may be in any form. I know! It sounds absolutely funny.

The statistics that I read this morning about the birth and death rates (as of 2009) read the following: 4 births each second of everyday and 2 deaths each second of everyday (So according to my logic, for every death, there will be 2 births). Well, that was too much for me to digest today. Somewhere I thought 4 births each second is still believable but 2 deaths each second of every day is what shocked me. And to add to that the news that we read these days confirms it all. Every day we read about deaths, killings, suicides, bombings, murders and the like. I am struggling to find some good news or a positive story to read every morning.

As soon as I woke up from the bed, yawning, I took the Times of India in my hand and started reading. For a change, First page was delightful to see. It said “The Profit of Peace” and was about the business meet that is going to be held in Delhi starting today. They have named it Aman Ki Asha and the signature statement said “Indo-Pak Business Meet, The first step”. Well, perhaps, talking about peace itself is more peaceful for our government.  And many such first steps have gone by! Or maybe this is the first step through fostering trade between the two nations.  I did not get too excited about it except for few interesting statements from business people about making it possible.

As I turned to the next page, I read the most annoying news. I woke up again! It was about the Maoists attack in Dantewada district killing 44 people including 20 special police officers. It was outrageous! But what can I do? But for reading this interesting news! This is the second such attack just after a month from the earlier attack. 44 lives have gone in just a matter of few seconds! They are dead bodies now. Many will be unidentifiable. I cannot even think of the effect of this on their livelihoods. It is just not acceptable. And it is already past now! Except for some political statements, and regular news updates, video footage in all the news channels, we will not see any action against it. Perhaps, it would create more violence resulting in several more deaths.

Resigning from what I read, I had to move on. I moved on and hoped for a pleasant day. As it turned out, the rest of the day was delightful. I received a phone call from one of my very close friend’s brother saying ‘my friend delivered a baby boy’. I was ecstatic and absolutely happy over the HAPPY news of the day. And especially to hear the happy news about a person who is very near to me is blissful always. I am a kind of person who does not know how to react to such situations. I get nervous whenever I feel extremely happy and the same whenever I feel extremely sad. I will be very cautious in my behavior to an extent that one can notice easily. Many times people have even kindled me royally for my silly act of this. But, what do I do? I am the way I am.

So, hearing the happy news, first thing I did was to let all my friends (common friends to her) know about this. I sent a mail to everyone. Then I was thinking of what to do? Should I visit her immediately or should I wait? With all the excitement of hearing the happy news, I had forgotten to ask how she is doing; so I checked with her brother again. After sometime, I remembered I had not wished her husband, so I called him and wished him. I also told him that I will be visiting them in a day or two.

I was feeling very restless at office and I was feeling that I should visit her today itself. After all, she is my best buddy and I was sure that she will be expecting to see me today. So without thinking too much, I left office in the evening to visit her at the hospital. All along the way, I was tensed and could not even read the book properly. I was thinking whether to take sweets, fruits, or anything? I thought it does not matter much. I got down from the bus and started walking towards the hospital. I saw the sweets stall. I went inside and ordered for 1 kg of Kaju Burfi. And then I saw him packing too many pieces and I confused him on the count. I finally asked him to pack 500g.

While I was walking to the hospital, I was thinking, last time I saw a baby born on the 1st day was my sister (that too when I was 8 years old) and after that I do not remember any of the new born events that I visited on the first day itself. I reached the hospital; saw my friend’s mom at the entrance. She told me the floor and the room number I should visit. I went inside the room. I saw a big smile on my friend’s face and I was equally ecstatic to see her in her new career – Mother. I handed over the sweets to her husband and congratulated him. I saw the baby; it was sleeping. It was as cute as her mother and I was feeling very scared to even touch him. I was feeling nervous to see the baby on the first day. He was sleeping and was keeping one of his cute little finger on his lips as if he was in ‘I-am-thinking’ posture. I touched him once and felt very happy. I told the same to my friend that I am very happy today. As I did not know how to act in such situations, I left very soon. I was not there even for 15 minutes.

My friend made my day happy today and her new born son made me ecstatic!

While I was walking to the bus stop, again, it was a strange encounter. I heard a band set and a sorrow music being played. I guessed it right. It was a death beat. People were dancing in the front, and some were crying. I saw the dead person being taken on a march to the funeral ground. I thought there is no escape from life anyway!

After encountering this incident and thinking of all the chaotic news I read in the news paper today, I thought about the new life I touched. What a great feeling I had!!! Incredible!



Narasim said...

It is a very thoughtful essay. It appears to show your effort at self-discovery.

Life and death are the closest companions and inseparable. Please reflect for a moment. Life would have no meaning without death. The very word death would not come into existence.

That is the reason many have said life is a precious gift with a time limit. It is the time limit that can motivate some to make the best of life while others stoically endure.

A persuasive argument can be made that one of the modes of social oppression in India, namely, samsara or reincarnation, was a response to the awful finality of life.

Instead of indulging in self-serving belief in reincarnation it would benefit all if people undertook constant reinvention in this life and lead an examined life.

It is no random coincidence that within a span of a few minutes you saw a birth smile and heard a piece of death music. It is a reminder of the fragility of life. It is also a call to lead an examined life.

Wish you well in your ascent to the plateau of self-discovery.

SuZ said...

This blog is very much in congruence with the title of your blog "Journey of Life"

Unknown said...

Nicely captured the events of the day. I too have undergone similar tensed situations while visiting the new-born.
I guess they are the funny situations created by Him putting a lot of people in one scene and all feeling tensed and restless for different reasons. I guess that's His way of entertainment!

Hari said...

A very poignant essay.
For me ,May 18 will truely be remembered for " Birth and Death ".

Thanks and wish to read more of you.

Manjunath Byadigere said...

Wonderful essay there..

Having seen births and deaths more closely I can only add that deaths seem rare as they always are spoken of in lower tones and they are hidden from the views of the general public, also they are given less publicity when compared to births.Deaths, come in to notice of mature adults who have greyed hairs, of who have understood the cycle of life, and who have the ability to tolerate the reality.At the same time, deaths, as already discussed give value for the births, life does not carry any meaning without deaths.

Yes, its time we realised the importance of life.Keep writing your thoughts.

Doc Manjunath

Raghu said...

You have nicely captured the events. It tells us how important it is to accept all things in life as they come in.

Vaishnavi said...

But death is ievitable isn't it? But just as you found joy in a new born baby, we all must look at the positive and merely learn lessons from the negative. Death is one thing, media representation of death is quite another. Today they cover the Carlton fire. Tmrw it is Sachin's 200. That's where the problem lies and not just in the fact that violence is much more publicised.

Unfortunately news works that doesn't it?

Srik said...

Thanks all for your thoughtful comments.

@Vaish: Yeah! Inevitable it is! And so is media! :) Hope you'll bring in some changes to it!!