Lets leave work. Lets take a long break and just read. Lets travel across the world. Lets stay away from Air Conditioned offices, sit next to rivers and seas and oceans. Lets climb the mountains. Lets walk a lot and get fit and happy and do away with our sedantary jobs. Lets, Lets, Lets... Should WE do it? Should We do it? Should WE finally do it before its too late for our spines, for our hearts...for LIFE's meaning whatever it is?
'WE'... I use the plural pronoun because 'I' constantly reminds me of a terrible personal loss...loss of a life. Too big a loss to address. What if by the time I die I feel this life was wasted.
But thats not how I had felt back then.
When I was on the operation table in 2006 I had indeed felt differently. One of my neck discs had protruded and was pushing the roots of my nervous system. My neck wasn't able to support my head. The head was falling. I came back from Mumbai in a wheel chair. Workaholism, lack of exercise, sedantary life style were some of the reasons.
I came back from Mumbai. Told myself to survive, to take a step back, to reflect a little. The idea was to come back to delhi and live another day. My entire family. My loving bunch of cousins and friends were at the air port. Lively as ever they extended all their support.
And there I lay on the hospital bed. My cousin Mimi talked to me all night. reportedly I mumbled a lot. I was sedated, distant from my feelings, not ready to acknowledge my fears. Only one thought pervaded my existence that night-
What if I die?
This was displaced with concern for old and ailing parents.
Would my parents survive my death?
What will happen to my brother if all of us die?
I had dozed off at some point of time. Early in the morning my cousin Dr Amit Sen walked by my stretcher on my way to the OT.
By this time I had surrendered.
I had realised Death was too Big.
Everyone must die.
I wouldn't be the first or last.
My old parents will suffer a lot.
But sadness is must for grieving!!
My parents will suffer if I were to die.
But atleast my brother would be there for them.
And I surrendered to the will of life and death.
I remember telling my Mimi and Amit that I was happy with my life. I had lived enough and quite fully. I had loved passionately. And it was not unrequited. I had travelled. They didn't smile! They believed me. They knew I had lived a lot.
When I woke up to my cousin Amit's voice in the ICU was I was grateful? I had not imagined I would survive the neurosurgery. I immediately promised to live the life I so deserved.
But I was equally delighted to realise that I had lived rather well all this while. Nothihng looked irrelevant.
My desires remain.
I want to live all of them. But most of all now I want to live...just live...