Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Ankit!!!

November 18. Today would be Ankit’s 22nd Birthday. Happy Birthday Ankit!!! All your friends are here to celebrate your Birthday. They celebrate it the way you started it all; smearing the face of B’day person with birthday cake. A day to celebrate and a day to reminiscence. We remember it all, with love in our hearts and tears in our eyes. We remember it all. I remember asking you about your plans for your 20th Birthday. And those words are etched in my memory forever, for that was also the last time when you left home never to come back. It hurts beyond words. We haven’t seen your smile ever since, but your smile has never really left us. We haven’t talked ever since, but we talk to you all the time now. You are not here, yet you are everywhere.

Memories. Memories are what we have now. Memories of happy times. Memories of times, life was so much fun. Seems like yesterday.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Moments

Two years. It is going to be two years, today, when it all happened. It has been two years since Ankit left us. Those terrible moments are etched in our minds forever, like a bad dream. Our worst nightmare. We don’t want to re-live those moments but we can’t forget them either. They are an integral part of us now. In fact, those moments define us now. What we are and what we aren’t. We wish we had a time machine, somehow or the other we could turn the hands of the clock back. We pray and hope, as my wife does, that Ankit will come back. We do whatever we can. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that help. The hope, the wishes, the prayers… And nothing helps. Nothing, whatsoever.

We are still trying to make sense out of it. It has such a profound effect on us, instilled so much fear in us that we have still not gathered courage to call one of our distant relatives who also lost their only son under such tragic circumstances. As much as we wish, we haven’t been able to pick up the phone, call them and offer our condolences. The very thought of calling them makes my wife hysterical. The trauma is unimaginable.  Those moments have taken their toll on the lives of us all.

The moments which changed our lives forever…… The moments we will never come to terms with. The moments gone by. You can’t live in moments gone by, but you can’t live without them either. 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Fear of the Unknown

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. ~ H. P. Lovecraft

What is it that drives millions of people to pray before they embark on something really important in their lives? What is it that drives millions of people to pray for a better tomorrow? What is it that drives people to pray in their hour of crisis? What is it that drives millions of students to pray before they write an exam?

Fear. The Fear of the Unknown. Fear is what drives people to do unpredictable things. Fear is the root cause of all our superstitions. The Fear of the Unknown. Because it is unknown, because we are not sure about the outcome, because we don’t what’s going to happen, we not only find solace in the biggest unknown of it all, the God, but we also stop thinking rationally. You talk to anyone about anything and you will be confronted with, “How do you know it is true?” “Have you seen it?” “Stop spreading rumours” and what not. You talk about God, you subscribe anything and everything happening in this world to God and lo and behold all the heads nod in agreement; you wouldn’t hear a voice of disagreement, leave aside raising a question. That’s the power of God. And the irony is, even the concept of God fails to answer it all. “Why tsunamis?” “Why so many people need to suffer for no fault of theirs?” “Why the tyrants rules and the innocents suffer?” “Why someone dies so young and others live wishing they were dead?” The list is never ending. The frustration grows with every question. We need answers to all the questions and since there is no plausible answer, we just leave it to the biggest unknown, the God. Ever heard of big fish eating small fish.

All of a sudden, I find myself at crossroads, facing an uneasy question. Am I an atheist? No, I am not. I never was. Am I turning into an atheist? I don’t know. But since our son, Ankit, passed away, I haven’t ever prayed, nor gone to a temple. And the strangest thing is, I have never felt the need, the urge to pray or to go to a place of worship. I have come to accept that things happen, that there are certain things we don’t have control over, that it is futile to pray to God and hope that He will help. I haven’t looked for a God nor needed one ever since.

The need? May be ‘the need’ to have an answer to each and everything, every question is what make us subscribe to the concept of God. Life is what it is. A bit sweet, a bit sour. You try to live it to the best of your ability and whatever happens, happens. Only if we can just take the thing as they are or as they happen and not blame it to an extraneous factor, we would not need the so called God; if we can convince ourselves that tsunamis happen because of the reasons the scientist tell us to be; people die young, because of accidents or because of the failure of some body mechanism; there are tyrants because people are not willing to fight for their rights, we would not need the so called God. And we would not fear the unknown.

We just have to face our fears. For as long as there is this universe, for as long as we live, for as long as there is a tomorrow, there would be that ‘fear of the unknown’ we would need to face.