Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Ankit!!!

November 18. Today would be Ankit’s 21st Birthday. Happy Birthday Ankit!!! All your friends are here, Ankit. They brought this beautiful cake and we all celebrated your Birthday. This is the second year that you are not with us on your Birthday. Memories are what we are left with now. Memories. And we have wonderful memories of his Birthday, of the time gone-by. Time, we wish, we can bring back somehow or the other. Time, we will give our lives for. Time, which we hold dearly to us. Time, more precious than anything else in the world. Memories. That’s all we have now.

I read the following poem online and your smiling face flashed across my eyes.

“I give you this one thought to keep -

I am with you still - I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush, of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not think of me as gone –
I am with you still in each new dawn.”

                                 - Traditional Native American Prayer

Happy Birthday Ankit!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

“It wouldn’t be our world without you in it.”

November 07. The day that changed it all, forever. The day that turned our world upside-down. Today is the day. Today is the day Ankit left home in the morning, never to come back. Today is the day Ankit left us forever. He was so happy when he left home. His smiling face.......

It seems like yesterday.

It seems like yesterday that Ankit was born. The cute smiling face, the tiny hands; so adorable that you can’t take your eyes off of him. It still brings a grin to our faces. We remember it all. Living in a moment. A moment gone by, but etched in our minds for eternity. The moments, the voice, the smile, the tears, nothing has been lost. It seems like yesterday.

Ankit Chhibber

It seems like yesterday. Ankit taking his first step, speaking his first word, writing for the first time and we look at his cute face in awe as if he has done something no one else has done in this universe. Living in a moment? The moments we will give our lives for.

Ankit at his home in Chandigarh, India

Ankit: Ready to go to school for first time

It seems like yesterday. Ankit is going to school for the first time. How happy I was driving him to school. Ankit is so happy, all dressed up. I saw it all. Ankit receiving the medal for being an Honours students; Ankit at his Grade-8 Graduation; Ankit playing Saxophone at his school concert; Ankit receiving the Medal for Science Olympics; Ankit receiving the MVP Award for Cricket at his school; Ankit receiving the certificate for being Ontario Scholar; Ankit at Grade 12 Graduation; Ankit going to University. I have seen it all. Almost everything.

Ankit: Grade 8 Graduation

Ankit: Grade 12 Graduation

Minutes, hours, days… time flies but his naughty smile, his grinning face is still the same as we saw it the first time. “Don’t worry Dad” was his favourite answer whenever I would ask him something. “Don’t worry!!!” and he has left nothing behind for us to worry about.

Ankit at Taj Mahal

The moments. They never leave you. You never let them go. You live those moments all your life. The moments gone by. You can’t live in moments gone by, but you can’t live without them as well.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Life Unfolding

October 31st. Today is my wife’s Birthday. Today is also the day when it all started. Today is the day that wreaked havoc in our lives.

It is the day when our son, Ankit, met with an accident, sustained life-threatening injuries and passed away seven days later. The day, my wife dreads, and wishes hadn’t come.

I still hear my wife frantically knocking on the door. I still hear her shrieking, cracking and trembling voice. Those voices have followed me ever since. But those voices don’t scare me anymore. Nothing scares me anymore. Those hysterical voices; they are part of me, my life now. My wife stills shrieks and cries hysterically. And there is nothing, absolutely nothing, in the world that I can do to stop that. Her tears haven’t dried up until now and I don’t know if they ever will.

My wife hasn’t stopped crying since that fateful day. She can’t sleep. The pills don’t help her anymore. Life is one hell of a journey. Nothing hurts anymore. We are at our wit’s end trying to figure out the life we have now and what to do with it. You need to have the desire; the will in you to climb out of the hole which life has put you in. My wife simply has none. She is a caricature of herself now. No will, no desire, nothing. Just dragging her life, counting her days.

Life! What a transformation! Slowly but surely, slipping away as sand through your fingers, beyond comprehension as to why it has to be so cruel?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ankit's Memorial

Ankit’s Memorial? It sounds kind of weird to talk about Ankit and Memorial in the same breath. It sends a shrill down the spine. It hurts deep inside. Ankit’s Memorial? But that is what reality is. As painful; as brutal; as true; as death is.

Memorials. Never thought much about them until now. But I must admit, they are wonderful. Memorials are as awe inspiring as the person is for whom they are built. Larger than life. The tranquility; the calmness; the serenity; the quiescence, is amazing. If you ever need a place where you want to face the truth, as it is and not the way you want it to be, Memorials are the places.

You can be there for hours on and yet not feel the burden of time fleeting by. You can be there sitting with all your family yet not feel the need to talk to each other, not feeling it at the same time. You can be there sitting quite, yet talk your heart out. You can be there with your loved one, feel his/her presence, yet crying and asking yourself why he/she is not there. You can be there feeling like having touched him/her and yet be hollow inside.

Memorials, as beautiful and as wonderful as life is.

View Ankit's Memorial in a larger map

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Time goes on…..

Time goes on. You don’t need anybody to tell you that. That’s a reality of life as Death is. Only that, the devastation, the void that death leaves behind is humongous. You survive the pain. You survive the sorrow. You live to see another day as well. But the toll it takes is beyond description, beyond imagination. For some, every single moment, every single day, is an excruciating journey to that inevitable end you wish happens sooner than later.  For others, it is their fate, their destiny, God’s will.

I believe, at the end of the day, it has nothing to do with fate, destiny, or will of the God. It is simply that you need answers to questions for which there are no answers. Why it happened? How can it happen to me? How do I live now?  Why me of all people? And as there are no logical answers, we resign ourselves to fate, destiny or God’s will.

As time goes on, you learn to live with those questions. But the search for answers continues. Only that a sense of resignation sets in. A sense of helplessness.

Time goes on. And, it does heal everything. Almost everything. The only thing it doesn’t heal is the hole in the heart, the void.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Forever in Our Hearts

There are moments when it feels like nothing ever happened. I see Ankit. I feel him as well. I stretch my hand and my fingers touch him. The sensation, the touch, the feeling.Yeah, I know it is Ankit. I hear his voice. I talk to him too. Only that it is just me, talking. I don’t hear him speak. And I realize, it is not the same anymore. These are just the feelings. Precious feelings. Feelings, we live every single moment, everyday. Feelings, which make us believe Ankit is right here. And yes, He is. In Our Hearts.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Graduation That Never Happened

The day we always talked about and looked forward to finally arrived. Ankit graduated today. A time to celebrate.  A time to raise a toast. Only that, the day arrived two years too soon than it should have.  Only that it arrived the way, it should never have. That Ankit was not there when it mattered most. Does it matter that a degree was conferred upon Ankit posthumously? I wish I could have written otherwise. I wish I could roll back the time. I wish…

All the parents look forward to the day, their sons and daughters would walk on the stage as their names are pronounced, and receive their degrees. A proud moment.  Sort of a dream come true. A goal achieved. A destination reached. We did too. And so did Ankit. Only, Ankit was not there. None of us could gather the courage to walk on the stage as his name was pronounced. It was his uncle, who gathering all his courage, walked down the stage and received the degree for him. I did see him walking smilingly as his name was called. That was the moment I could not hold myself back crying. A moment when life seemed meaningless. A moment when nothing mattered. A moment when I felt the futility of it all.

We felt proud though. We felt proud that our son had it in him that the University thought it fit to confer a degree on him posthumously. Not a long journey but a well traveled one.  A life lived fully. A life lived meaningfully. So typical of Ankit. Ankit had everything planned. Graduating with honours; and he was on ITM Dean’s List. Becoming a millionaire by the time he is 40 years old; and, he was on his way to becoming one. He was where everything was his for asking. He was where it was just a matter of extending the hand and grabbing it all. So close yet so far. Destiny? Fate? I don’t know. I don’t know if it was his or ours? His, to leave everything behind or ours, to live without him???  

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Journey to Nowhere

It is a long, painful journey. There is no end in sight, because there is none. But, why would I ever embark on such a journey in the first place? I wish I had a say in that. I wish somebody had asked me for my permission. I wish I had the power to do what I wanted. Wishes. They are just that.... wishes. Nothing more, nothing less.

It hurts to find out how helpless you are. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in the world that you can do which can help. It hurts deep inside. It is painful, but you learn to live with it. The pain becomes an integral part of your life. The hollowness inside kills you every single moment. And there is no end, no escape, because there is none.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Death!!!!! What it is? What happens after death? Why do young people die? There are so many questions begging for answers. And, nobody has any definitive answers. All the answers are based on assumptions. Only if we know, if we have answers, we can live at peace with ourselves. I have people telling me that GOD needs good people and that's why He takes them away. What does that mean? That there are only bad people on Earth? And I refuse to believe that. I have people telling me that once you complete your work for which you were born, you die. How do we explain the stillborns and the children who die the day they are born?

In fact, I am starting to wonder, Is there any God at all? Because, if there is why is there so much injustice on earth? Why do people kill people in the name of religion? Why some people have more hunger than food while there are others who have more food than hunger? Why young girls get raped? If we all are children of GOD, Why He would let all this happen? Still searching for answers...............