Chaandni raatein… Sab jag soye, hum jaage, taaro se karein baatein…
One of my fav songs…
I find it hard to fall asleep immediately after work. So, when I get home post midnight, I usually watch TV or read or yak with some night owls, in that order. And of course, visit Facebook - the lifeline of youth today.
What I’ve certainly not done for as long as I can recall is sit back a moment and just relish nature. Keep all thoughts at bay and appreciate the many beauties of the ecosystem…
The simple joys of living. The uncomplicated beauty of nature. The mind not engaged in any contemplations or worries. The heart not burdened by any sorrows or dilemmas. Just the cool breeze and the soul, mingling together and exchanging unspoken thoughts.
When did all this revolutionary realization strike me?
When one unthinking moment in the night, I clumsily stepped onto the elegant sofa in our living room and pushed my face outside the huge French window.
The cool night breeze caressed by cheeks and chilled my stressed eyes and head.
My aunt calls such moments “enjoying my balcony” (terrace / house / mangoes / as applicable).
To me, it was nothing less than paradise. I clung onto the moment spellbound, unwilling to let go, wanting the night to regale me with all the pleasures it had to offer a newbie…
It dawned on me why dogs love to place their wet nose outside the window as cars zoom past. Trust me, it was splendid! Pity I’ve missed it all these days.
Better late than never… I vow to do it more often and give the TV and FB some respite.
Apart from this one-off instance, what I do on most nights is watch TV. While there usually isn't much to watch on the idiot box at that ungodly hour, it’s often past 3 by the time I force myself to sleep. Reruns of popular shows and films on Sony Pix, World Movies and Zee Studio keep me entertained.
So, the other day I switched on the television, and I saw that the blockbuster Titanic had just begun. It's a lovely movie - touching, horrifying, beautiful and tragic; all at the same time. I thought I'd see a few scenes and then go to bed.
Need I tell you that that wasn't what happened…
I was glued to the sofa for the next 3 hours, despite having seen the film several times before. When I next looked up at the wall clock (a pretty and unique one that I bought when our den was being renovated), it proudly declared 4 am. Wow, time for the early birds and my mum to rise, and high time for me to catch some shut-eye.
What made me watch the film again, you ask?
Death. And the foresight of it.
Are you afraid of death? Do you not want to die? How is it knowing you’re going to die someday? What if you knew when you were going to die?
To answer my questions myself – no, I am not afraid of death. At least not death as a concept. Sure, I don’t want to bid adieu in a slow, painful way. I’d prefer the quick, instantaneous types where I don’t even realise its pack up time…
I don’t not want to die. I don’t not want to live either. I know death is inevitable. As mum always reminds me, the time for each one to be born, to marry and to die is fixed. Your time of demise is finalised the very second you’re born. So, I am aware its going to happen, and as I have no regrets in life, I don’t mind saying goodbye when the time comes… Frankly, I don’t know if I will be ready when it actually happens or if all my wishes will have been fulfilled leaving me content and happy. But I do know that I won’t curse god or beg to live. I’ll accept it gracefully.
If I knew when I was going to die, I’d definitely freak out a little and mark it on my calendar!
Before the destined hour, I would make all the telephone calls, visits and donations that I need to make, and joyfully tell everyone that I love them. I’ll thank them for making my living moments cheerful, memorable ones and I’ll also ask for forgiveness if I’ve intentionally or unintentionally hurt them. And last but not the least, I’ll tell them I’m going away forever and not to miss me too much. And hey, don’t not miss me either :-)
As Jack and Rose sped through the watery confines that were soon to become coffins for so many, I was filled with dread and compassion. It is one thing to wait for it in its own sweet time, and entirely another to see it coming, with as much certainty as night follows day. I speculated whether I would jump into the sea and just stop swimming, letting the waves take me where they may and finally drown me when they were done playing. Or would I gasp and flail and try to swim and keep afloat, hoping that someone would come to help. Or would I stay on the boat itself, like the captain and a few other passengers, savouring my last moments of life…
I had no answer then. The answer fails me now too.
But I do know this. If I ever happen to be disabled beyond repair or hospitalised for life, I don’t want that life. Please kill me. Euthanasia might be a crime. But I cannot expose myself to pain and others to inconvenience for a few hours / days / weeks of laboured breathing. I will not have needles stuck into me, so what if the absence thereof cuts short my life by a few months? I’d rather live a short, healthy, independent life with respect than a lengthy one that is a trouble for me and others alike.
Oh, and make sure my eyes are donated. I want someone to be able to see. To understand what colours are, to know what beauty is, to watch playful puppies and the sultry sunrise... to feel blessed…
Just like what I felt when I looked outta the window that night in my house…