I pressed the red button and the black screen went alive. A Saas-Bahu serial was being telecast. The head of the family had just died. The family was in shock, crying, not ready to accept the fact that their beloved grandfather was no more. I suddenly felt a choking in the middle of my chest. I couldn’t breathe properly. My finger was still on the red button of the remote, frozen though. It would seem an over-reaction to many, after all it was just television, but it wasn’t for me. I had gone through almost the same scenario a decade back, when I noticed my grandfather, more still than ever, having succumbed to the final truth-Death.
Death is a disturbing event. I faced it first when I was 10. I can never forget that kind, gentle face lying silent on the ground. I wasn’t mature enough to understand the loss I had borne but the scene was horrifying. Ladies of the family were crying out loud, neighbors and cousins running in and out collecting things required her last rituals and many related and unrelated people all asking the same thing-“how did it happen?” Although irritating , but reasonable question though. She was healthy, young and mother of a 10-year old kid.
Few years back, while I was preparing for MBA entrance exams in a metro-city, I received a call that my granny was no more. This was the third death I witnessed in my family and fifth overall. I attended my class, appeared for a mock-exam, came back, didn’t pack much, reached my hometown the next morning and returned the very same night despite everybody asking me to stay for a few days. I don’t know if I was over-practical but my simple thought was-“she is past; my class tomorrow for the exam is future.”
Few months later, I received calls from two friends, at a month’s interval. Both were disturbed due to deaths they had witnessed. The distress and uneasiness in their voices and thoughts led me to think about my reaction to my granny’s death. For the record, I loved my granny more than my grandpa but I have no shame or regret in accepting the fact that I was hardly disturbed by her passing away. May be because I’d faced this (now) not-so-disturbing-event more often than my friends.
Today, I do realize the losses I have borne in the last one and a half decade. But all I’ve learnt is-“Life has to move on, so do you.”