Sunday, January 10, 2010

First Encounter With Death

There was a program I was watching on television about tatooing; this is something I am fascinated about yet I had and still slightly do, a sort of bigotry about the ones who get it done. There was an young lady who came along with her mother in this program with a photo of a very beautiful girl in hand and wanted the same tatooed in her calf. The girl she said was her sister and she kept blabbing about how close they were et all... the twist of the story came when she mentioned that she was getting the image of her sister tatooed following her first death anniversary. However, stranger was the story that followed... This tatooing lady had gone out for a party and had returned late on that fateless day to find her sister lying face down and when she tried to wake her up she found that she had collapsed beyond return. The interesting part of the story did not stop there. The tatooing sister was pregnant during this incident and was filled with mixed emotions-guilt and sadness to be specific following the loss. Guilt was due to her absence during her sister's suffering and sadness as she would miss her sister during her pregnancy. The mother of twists followed now... this sweet lady delivered a girl who grew up to look exactly like her dead sister in the exact same spot where her sister had died by chance... Wow!

This incident actually brought into me reminiscence of Jeba. Jeba was one of my best friends in primary school. The kind of person with whom you write your homework et all. His mother was a very sweet lady and I used to admire the way the house was kept-always organized and clean-quite contrary to the ever present havoc and catastrophe in ours. One day Jeba didn't come to school and later that evening I was told that his mother had died and Jeba was there besides waiting for his father to fly in from some country. This was the first news of death I heard. Never understood. Still don't. He wa so young and such huge a loss? He had walked in after school and his mother, neatly dressed as usual in her crisp saree, was lying in the bed as if peacefully sleeping, he later told me. He had gone and tried to wake her up and as his attempt to do so, grew louder, neighbours stepped in. Still kills me as an adult trying to empathize what a child would have gone through while trying to wake a mother who would never wake. Jeba never understood death either at that point. Later Jeba never came to school... was told that his father had taken him with him... never seen him so far. Its a small world afterall and I still remember this child.

Bottomline: Just once we die and just once we live... yet just how many times do we die to live just once?!

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