Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for November, 2016

DEATH…

“Death is a great leveler”…. was something i had read and heard while growing up. Personally, i never could  understand the meaning of this statement. I mean, sure when people die, they are reduced to ashes and returned  to the very elements that they are made of. But what about this statement, philosophically. It was beyond my intellect, or perhaps i never paid too much attention to it. Well, until now that is.

.

This weekend, i attended the cremation of yet another colleague of mine. Someone whom i had become close to, despite being only just over an year in my new office. Well, time doesn’t matter, does it ? When you meet some people, you connect instantly. There is a friendliness, a familiarity which you can’t really lay a finger on, but you know you can talk to this person, trust the person. And she was like that.

.

“S” was like that. Office is a place where we spend almost 8-9 hours of each working day. That is easily 45 hours a  week. A week that has only around 100 hours of active time (including weekends minus sleeping time). That’s a lot of time. So an office colleague whom you trust and connect with, is almost like family. A lot of people don’t have such families in offices, places where people are more professional or simply don’t care. That was not the case here. To me, she was almost like family. I could talk to her, and i could trust her. And often she would reassure me, about things in life in general.

.

I am not gonna go into the history of what happened to her, but sometime this September she fell ill. What seemed like a regular backache, turned out to be a case of recurring cancer. Things got worse, and in two months she died. We visited her in critical condition on a Friday, and we cremated her on Sunday. That fast. And this after, i had talked to her a week before, and we had decided to meet up at her home for some chit-chat. She was bored of the illness. Perhaps she knew her fate, but she never gave up. She was still cheerful whenever we talked to her, me or my team-mates, never for once giving the impression that she was suffering from something more than just a minor flu. All the time, till she stopped talking. And there wasn’t much time after that.

.

It’s a great loss. But that’s an understatement. Such losses cannot be measured. She has a husband and a young girl (in class 5th), who was very attached to her. She has parents who have now seen the death of 2 out of 3 of  their only daughters. One cannot even begin to understand the loss.

.

Something similar happened 2 years back in 2014 too. Yet another colleague of mine, a guy named “C” died of  tuberculosis. We had both joined our previous job together, straight out of college, and hence there was a friendship. Even though our thoughts didn’t match much. But all of a sudden he fell sick, and before we or our office-mates could even realize the severity of the situation, he was almost in ICU, then on Life-support and then death, within a span of 48 hours. We were there for a large part of that last 48 hours. But he could not be saved. A lot of it was pure negligence though on his part, but that is all in hindsight. He left behind a newly married wife and a new-born son who he could not even hug once in life. How do you even come to terms with that?

.

We, at office did everything we could that time. Arranging from money to transportation of the dead body to his native place. The family went away and it was over. But a person who was alive was now dead. How do you even comprehend that? Funny isn’t it, how we say dead body once a person dies, while he has a name before death. Death robs us of the very thing which we spend so much time and energy building, when alive.

.

Nevertheless, i left that city and that place shortly after that. A mutual friend of mine had urged me to write something then, but i could not muster the necessary words. But now, nearly 2 years after that incident, another one of my colleague is now dead. She sat beside me and worked. And now she isn’t there. One can argue over what she could have done for herself, what her family could have done to save her. But that is all in hindsight. Nothing brings her back.

.

There on the cremation ground, while we cremated her, it was then that it hit me really. The meaning of it all.

“There are different kinds of people among us. There are rich people and poor people. There are good men and bad men. Some may be clever and others foolish. There are happy men and unhappy men. But all these distinctions and specialties last only as long as we are alive. Once we are dead all must certainly crumble to dust. Death has no distinction between the good and the bad – The poor and the rich – the kind and the beggar. Death comes to everyone one day or the other. That is why we are called mortals. In a way, death can called the great leveler as one that levels all distinctions. There is no way by which we can prevent death. All get defeated by death. People run after glory, power and riches without remembering this. They fight over silly little things. A man may be a great fighter. But he is fighter only as long as there is life in him. Once that life leaves him, he is turned to mere dust which everybody tramples on. Death makes all of us equal.”

Life moves on…

death

Advertisements

Read Full Post »