Rant alert : The year I witnessed two cremations

This has not been a good year so far.. In fact I might go so far as to say that this has been the worst year of my life.. I’ve witnessed two deaths in my own home, didn’t get selected for any good college and had to take some pretty major and devastatingly painful decisions.

I guess this is a warning of sorts.. this is not going to be a happy post.

The first death I witnessed was my maternal grandmother’s. I’ll be lying if I say I had any sort of attachment or bond with her. But, anyway, I cared about her in a humanitarian sort of way. I must seem horrible but we didn’t have much interaction despite living in the same house. I dreaded having to witness her death. When she got sick, I was just praying that I don’t wanna be there to see her die. Of course I was very afraid, having never seen death before. But life is funny I guess.. cuz I was right there in the hospital, two steps away from her room, when she took her last breath, and I had to take care of my mom till dad got there. What happened after that changed me in ways I could never have imagined.

Since  my mother has no brothers or sisters, and I have no brother, I had to perform all the rituals. I can’t explain the scene that I saw, but I never imagined that the human body is so fragile until that very moment. The fire, which was uncomfortable to us, standing five feet away.. and a person was lying right in the middle of it.. The shabad “ikk ghadi vi kise nahi tainu rakhna, jadon tere swaas muk gaye” kept ringing in my ears. The person, my family was so desperately trying to save was burned mere hours after her demise..

Obviously, I slept very uneasily that night.. I suffered from nightmares and cold shivers, but finally the morning came..  But the morning held worst surprises.. turned out now I had to collect her bones from the pyre. I swear to god ki jitni tab fati naa.. aaj tak kabhi nahi fati hogi..

Anyway, the raakh was floated in a nearby river and the poojas were done and it was all over. I was normal in a couple of days.. more important decisions awaited.. my EEE result had come out and I got sidetracked…

Then, September came. The day we were all dreading had finally come.. my aunt (my father’s sister in law), whom we had lived with all our lives.. she was at the verge of death. Of course, it was inevitable.. and with 3 long years of fight with cancer behind her, I couldn’t help but feel in a tiny corner of my mind that it was her release, that she needed it. I came back home, saw her for the last time and the next morning she expired, after having been off the ventilator for a mere half an hour.

I witnessed scenes I had never imagined in my wildest dreams. My mom, my sister, my sister in law.. they weren’t crying… they were wailing, shouting..

I didn’t know what to do.. I was shocked, confused, sleep deprived. A few hours later, her cremation took place. I can never forget that scene. A body catching on fire.. 100s of doctors.. 100s of babaas.. millions of prayers and an end like this?

I stood in front of that pyre for a long time.. thinking hard..  and I couldn’t understand what we were doing.. and then it hit me.. it was all a show. it was all a show and we were all actors.. acting out for society, for each other and for ourselves. It was all closure.. mann ki tassalli. What does it matter to a dead person whether we applied the sindoor right or not.. whether the fruits were at the right place or not.. it was all for our own benefit.. to drive it in our minds.. that yes, she really is gone.. accept it and let her go.. I realized for the first time the things I really care about in life.. the people.. the work.. what I want.. what I need.. It all came as a wave of enlightenment and I absorbed it like a dry sponge. You may call me selfish.. but well that’s what you think!

We all came home.. I went to take a bath and came back to see everyone busy in talking and reminiscing..  but I don’t know why.. I was feeling very bad.. afraid I guess.. I didn’t wanna talk about it.. about her.. or anything related to her..

Tried to contact a friend.. another friend.. but I guess everyone’s busy in their own lives.. Mind you, I’m not blaming them.. just jo baat dimaag mein thi wo bol raha hun..

Anyway.. I guess I just wanted to get all this out.. cleanse my mind or something.. I don’t know.. So here I am.. writing.. cuz what else can I do?

I hope the times get better.. for my family.. and for me.. hell.. I’ve hardly got anything going for me.. but that’s another post… bye for now..

#19 – Someone that pesters your mind—good or bad

Dear Someone that pesters my mind,

I am really glad that you pester my mind. I don’t know whether it’s good or bad as of now.. but I hope I get out of this a better person.

Yes, you are Oneitis no. 3.. what can I say? I can’t avoid these things.. it’s a part of who I am.. It’s a side effect of growing up in a girl-less social environment. I get hung up on people[especially girls :P]. But I guess it’s good in a way, cuz this way I have an inspiration.. something I can hope to achieve which makes me get off my lazy ass and do some work.. all in the hope that one day, I’ll be good enough for someone like you. Even though I know that as amazing as you are, you won’t be single or waiting.. but I guess it’s a satisfaction of being good enough.

Yeah, I’m needy.. and that maybe bad.. but I got no way to get over it right now.

I know I’m gonna be laughing about this a year, two or maybe even six months from now.. and you won’t ever get to know how I came to feel about you. But in a way, it’s still worth it.. cuz it’s a part of my growth as a person. I can still remember what a bumbling fool I was in 10th.. and not being able to talk to oneitis 2 killed me inside.. which made me stronger.. and muster up courage to at least talk to girls [can’t say i’m good at it though :P].

Anyway, have a good life.. hope we can be friends.

P.S. I just gotta share this with you.. I’ve been listening to this song non stop and I can’t get it out of my head.. it’s seriously awesome!

Yours hopefully…

P.P.S. This is the part of a 30 day letter tag.. For more information, go here.

#5 – Your Dreams

Dear dreams,

Stop scaring me! I don’t wanna see how I could die in a multitude of creative ways.

Good, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me talk to the dreams I choose to have. Like you, who I had in 8th and 9th, when I wanted to start an animation studio and make it bigger than Disney[so that I could meet/cast her].. now I realize how stupid I was and how difficult you really are.

Or you, over there.. who I had in 9th and 10th when I wanted to get into IIT so that I could make a lot of money very fast [so I could get her or her] and finally start that company or become a movie director.. I know how stupid you are now.. I don’t even know if I have the talent, and even if I do, it won’t be enough.. cuz, come on, you need more than talent to become a well known director..

Anyway, I gave up on you guys when I was face to face with real life in Kota. I realized that making dreams come true requires so much dedication and hard work and sacrifice that I probably won’t make it. So, I gave up.

Right now, I don’t even know what to dream about.. Frankly, I can’t see myself doing anything for my whole life.. life really is too hard.

But now, I only have you. A small dream you may be, but I hope that I’ll be able to walk down , even if not complete the path to nirvana [lack of existence].

Oh, and this is for you:

Yours not so faithfully

P.S. This is the part of a 30 day letter tag.. For more information, go here.

God

I’ve thought long and hard about this.. God, can he/she/it exist  and if he does, then who is he?

I cannot, no matter what I do, cannot accept a God as a human entity… Yes, there may be a power beyond me but I just can’t convince myself.. I just think that there is a source of power, that never ending prime mover and universe just became what it did.. I don’t know how the rules developed, but they just did as they did.. I can’t understand why  a bigger entity would care what I eat or if I appease it or not is, or who I have sex with.

I have considered some other possibilities like that of the balance of good and bad forces and how they will always balance each other through re-incarnation.. I’ve imagined that there a limited no. of souls in the world, and the same get recycled.. and as humans are increasing, animals are decreasing.. but there is a problem with this theory.. like what about when life started? souls must have started from 1 and then slowly increased.. then how can we say that they are not increasing anymore, or that there even exists a soul which survives beyond death?

At this point I’d like to cite reference to a movie which gave a very profound thought to this.. I’m talking about “I, robot” in which a robot becomes self aware.. and I just can’t get that scene out of my head when he is about to be injected with nanobots and he wonders how death feels..

Does that mean that we are too some biochemical machines which are no more when switched off? that we just stop existing and there is nothing beyond or before? maybe we’ve been banished by a superior race of beings who developed us to serve them and we, too, became too self aware..

I like to imagine that we are all in a sims kind of game and some alien kids are controlling our lives.. wouldn’t that explain so many of our irrationalities? Isn’t that how our video game characters would feel if they became self aware? I mean think about how violent our world is and how we are all driven by a desire to acquire new things.. how we need to keep discovering new land to keep away from fighting with each other over the one we already have.. how we will move onto discover other planets when we have exhausted earth. The theory doesn’t seem so far off now, does it?

I remember, I read a book named “Sophie’s World” where Sophie is a character in a book a father is writing for her daughter, but we see the world from Sophie’s eyes and slowly realize that she is just a self aware character.. she just has an illusion of free will….

Maybe we are just a virus colony on a small part of the universe which lies on a stool of some insect of another dimension floating in the plumbing system we call our universe, around other dirt and shit we call stars and galaxies, lying around other pieces of shit, we call parallel universes….

I am also reminded of George Carlin, who said he doesn’t believe in or pray to God.. but he does worship the sun, mainly because he can see it, and he prays to his friend Joe Pesci, cuz he looks like he can get things done.. I’ll leave you with his rant on this matter, which as much funny as it is philosophical..

But for all said and done.. even of an all-powerful entity does exist, I don’t think we’ll ever get to know or imagine how he might be..

Death

Why are we so afraid of death? Is it the fear of the unknown? I bet it is.

But, that begs the question that why we are afraid of the unknown. What is it that we are so afraid of that we want to elongate our lives at any cost? Why do want to continue living even if in the most miserable condition?.. even if we have lost the ability to enjoy it?

When we enter this world, everything is unknown to us. And yet we are more curious than afraid… as children I mean. When we go to a new country or town, we are excited about finding out new things, but ofcourse we could argue that we already know about some things which are common all over the world, like humanity, shame, sex, and so on.

So, what is it about growing up in this world that makes us afraid of the unknown? Do we get so accustomed to the world and the rules applied to it, that we cannot imagine to comprehend something that might be entirely different from here.. which is I guess why we have fabricated a heaven and hell, where the same rules apply as this world.

The reason I’m wondering about death is because a close relative of mine has been diagnosed with cancer for the third time, and the doctors predict that she may not live for very long.

I wonder what it must feel like to have a sword hanging on your head, slowly dipping down, and you can feel every time it passes near to your head. I always think that if I were to be told about my time of death, I would do something like the bucket list, i.e. make a list about everything I want to do in this world and then jot down my life history, uninteresting even though it may be. But I wonder, would I really be able to go through with it? and would it be really worth it? Would I finally feel satisfied on my death bed that I have completed everything I ever wanted to do? or would I still feel the need to stay on a little more..

Seems like I’m rambling on a little, so let’s bring this to a close with this wonderful quotation:

To the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure.

— Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.

The first piece of fiction by me, but…… is it really fiction?

Ok, I know I haven’t posted in very long, but I was writing this story and it just took more time than I expected cause I wanted to be perfect….

Here’s my first fiction – be as ruthless with the review as you can… seriously 😉

It’s hard. Even though you know it’s coming towards you, and no matter how much you try to ignore it or deny it, the day is coming when she will no longer be with you. And standing here, right next to her body being placed inside the coffin, you realize that although you knew this was bound to happen soon, you just don’t accept it, you just can’t imagine your life without her. I look at her face for the last time as the lid is closed. I still remember the first time I saw her, the charm that she had even forced a shy boy like me to cross the room and ask her for a dance. The charm is lost now, replacing her face with a dull look…

This church, it’s the same that we got married in. The place was someday filled with laughter and celebration, and now the silence seems to be eating me inside out. It felt dark and cold, when it was the most bright place that day, on our wedding day. I still remember that kiss, that marked as the beginning of our journey together, a journey where I was left all alone now.
Everybody starts to leave as it draws to a close, but I stand there. I don’t think I am through yet. I start crying slowly getting down on my knees unaware that there are people behind me, watching me and I guess, pitying me…

“Tom…. Tom, come on let’s go buddy”

I start to get up, wiping my eyes, feeling someone’s hand on my shoulder…

“We all loved her……..”

Enclosed in a hug, my thoughts drift towards the past, all that I have left of her now, all that I can still hold on to. I remember how I fell in love with Emily. It wasn’t a moment of lightning or love at first sight. But, I still remember the moment when we were dancing together at our farewell party from college and I knew that she was the one…. It was the best night of my life. Watching her sleep next to me in the early hours of the morning, I remember her tender breathing and realizing how lucky I was to have her….

“No, I’m fine.. I can drive on my own.. Please! I want to be alone….”

This was the same car, yes, but I feel weird driving it without her by my side. I could still smell her in there and I remember……… those long drives and secluded hours with her, holding her hand on the way to the hospital, while she was panting and sweating, trying to draw in long breaths having contractions every few minutes… remember sitting silently next to her, while crying a river inside, on our way to the same hospital to get her cancer reports…. my breath stopping for that one moment when the doctor said sorry, remembe watching my future crumble right in front of my eyes, but still being quite trying to keep her positive…..

“Tom, she is sleeping in her room, do you want me to stay over?”

“No, really, thanx for all your help, Jen”

Sitting there on the living room couch now, with that whiskey going down my throat, burning my insides as I sipped, it all came back to me. Her face painted with sadness floated in front of me along with the last two years in a flash……

I remember sitting by her side when she was being prepared for her first surgery and praying for everything to be ok, fearing the side effects of the chemotherapy we had heard, and then seeing her health slowly declining as the chemotherapy went on, seeing all the side effects I had heard about in front of my eyes and that too, inflicting their cruelty on my Emily, but still saying positive and hoping that everything would be all right, that this would be the end of it….. And as the chemotherapy came to a close, feeling helpless, that we were doing nothing about it, that I could do nothing against it, just wait and pray that this was our final visit to the hosptial… feeling a little relieved day by day seeing her get a little fitter….

And feeling restless and worried when she got that pain in her shoulder, just a day before her last appointment…. feeling angry and lost when we were told that she had developed cancer again, but no, I couldn’t lose, I had to keep on the fight for ourselves, our daughter, our future, and I remember how I had carried a tearful Emily from the hospital to our home, without shedding a single tear… I couldn’t give up.

I felt like I was losing her while she was growing more depressed and weak, on the strong chemotherapy treatment she was undergoing… feeling helpless, nothing to be done while the one you love is slowly being taken away from you… I remember those sleepless nights, when listening to her crying, I gave her a hug and told her everything would be ok… but not really believing it myself… remember when she got more and more ill, the cancer having spread to other parts of her body, even growing anaemic and I couldn’t bear it to see her like that and wondered whether it would be better if she was free of all the pain at last…… remember accepting it at last and trying to make her last days memorable and happy…. and remember that last glint in her eyes when she finally surrendered to death…………..

I couldn’t take it anymore and finished the bottle of whisky in a final swig, hoping it might distract the pain… As I climbed the stairs, I found myself going towards my room. But, then I saw her, at the end of the flight of stairs, the door of her room ajar. I saw her sleeping peacefully in her cot with not a line of worry on her face, and I couldn’t help but think…

When the pain becomes unbearable, we try to cut the strings of our life, want to fall into the abyss, we try to surrender to the dark paths of sorrow, to end it all, but these strings have some other ends attached to them now, and these keep us from falling…. we have to try to get up and hold on to them, keep them strong, make a fresh start even if one escapes our grip……….

P.S. I want to dedicate this to all those single fathers all over the world who still have the courage to go on. They inspired me to write this story (some blogs of single fathers) and I want to thank them for sharing their story with us. I was gonna write another story about a hitman otherwise. Seriously guys, its much easier to just write about it, more than hell to go through with it.

P.S. It is also dedicated to my parents, cuz if they weren’t there, I wouldn’t be, so……

Musical Musings – Idea stolen from lemonade and ish

This post has been stolen from a tag done by lemonade and ish. I just liked the idea, so I decided to do it too. Ok, let me just say that I’m not so good at pulling jokes out of every answer like ish or lemonade. So please be patient enough to go through the post before swearing and closing the tab.

The rules are:

1. Put your iPod (or other source of music) on shuffle mode.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write the name of the song no matter what. No cheating!

Here go the answers…..please be nice to me apple.

“If someone says ‘Is this okay?’, you say?”
Fack-Eminem

( I don’t say that to their face, but I am pretty lousy at making choices, so I say that aloud in my mind along with some relationship names)

“What would best describe your personality?”
Jag Ja – Omkara

(That’s totally true, I sleep a lot and my parents have to sing that song all through the morning)

“What do you like in a guy/girl?”
My Hump – Black Eyed Peas

( That’s kind of true, but I’m that not an ass man like Joey)

“How do you feel today?”
Shaam Tanha – Agnee

(I feel lonely most of the times, sometimes even when I’m surrounded by people)

“What is your life’s purpose?”
Bahon me tu aaja – Raghav Sachar

(So true……………….. always chasing girls)

“What is your motto?”
Khalbali -Rand De Basanti

(Also true, I am quite a prankster and mess maker)

“What do your friends think of you?”
Satrangi Re – Dil Se

(Thank you, Thank you all for seeing so many shades in me)

What do you think of your parents?”
Paatshshaala – RDB

(Awfully true, most of the times, they are)

“What do you think about very often?”
I wanna fuck you – Akon

(Again true…….this ipod can read my mind)

“What is 2+2?”
Aanan Faanan – Namastey London

(I told you, it can see my mind struggling to find the answer)

“What do you think of your best friend?”
Nobody’s Listening- Linkin Park

(Yeah, my friends do get bored of me, especially my Tech talk and Discovery channel bhashans, and I guess, after a point, they just stop listening)

“What do you think of the person you like?”
Desert Rose – Sting

(Man, I can find something poetic in there, so the song says that I feel like I’ve found a rose in an otherwise dry and dirty desert)

What is your life story?”
Veeraniyan – Namastey London

(Yeah, I’m gonna be alone for the rest of my life chasing girls (life purpose) )

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Smack That – Akon

(Yes, I would get into S&M, once I grow up, it would be too gross just now)

“What do you think when you see the person you like?”
Dum Laga – Dil Dosti, Etc

( Yep…. I think we all got what that means)

“What do your parents think of you?”
Missing Sunday – Sunday

(Yeah, they must miss those alone sundays together, which they couldn’t get after I came along to turn their world upside down)

“What will you dance to at your wedding?”

Keh Lene De – Agnee

(I will always be begging for a chance to speak after that, so practice starts right at the wedding)

“What will they play at your funeral?”
Main yahan Hun – Veer-Zaara

(This is eternal, a message from beyond the grave, that I’m still there will all of you and will start haunting you from that very night)

“What is your hobby/interest?”

Dard-e-Disco – Om Shanti Om

(Yes, thats my hobby, doing Dard bhara Disco)

“What is your biggest secret?”
Woh Ajnabi – The train

(You know my biggest secrets always had been my crushes, so it fits)

“What do you think of your friends?”
Dil Chahta Hai – Dil Chahta Hai

(I don’t want to lose my friends, and I’m on the brink of doing that, so I am feeling like that)

“What should you post this as?”
Dil Hai Yeh Dil – Raghav Sachar

(Just listen to your heart while writing)

Yes, you are never getting those two minutes back, you spent reading this. You can now swear, call names and get out if that cools you down, thank you for going through my post.

IF………………….

I searched stuff about Rudyard Kipling when I watched a movie called “My Boy Jack”, and loved it and I found this beautiful poem called “IF…”. I won’t comment, just enjoy the poem………..

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!

–Rudyard Kipling