Gita Is Right, Death Is Inevitable, But…………….

Few seconds back I got a call from my in-laws from Dabra, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. My wife’s bhabhi died few minutes back. She was not too old but was too ill. So the inevitable happened.

I am so saddened and distressed at the turn of events. As I revisit the cycle of life, I find that we, as a human being, pass through various phases. We start as a toddler. We have no feelings or emotions at that stage of our life. While we grow older, we are engulfed by other kind of feelings. Ego, anger, complexes and indifference to others, become our primary emotions. We are so enamoured by our own self at that time that nothing else matters. In our own mind we become the epicentre of the universe.

Marriage is the other institution, which brings new set of people to our lives. We learn to adjust to those people and start a big extended family. We think that now life is settled. Now we will live on for ever. But suddenly death starts striking with regular ferocity. Our thinking gets shattered and we look at the turn of events with helpless anxiety and defenceless valour.

As I have written in several blogs of mine, I lost my grandfather, maa, and father very early in life. I lost even a young son, when I was in my 40s. I was grief stricken and saddened at every death in the family but I never looked at death the way I look at it now. Two years back, when my mother died, I felt that I have suddenly grown old. The feeling of becoming elder shook me completely. Before my mother’s death, my brother’s father-in-law and my mother-in-law also died. With their death I started thinking about the life and after the demise of my mother, I came to the present conclusion. Now every death is the end of a saga, end of a relationship, end of an order. Every death is the beginning of a certain end. Every death in the family or the extended family heralds your own impending end. You have a family, few relatives and think of starting a settled life, but alas, at the same moment life starts phasing out. With the passing away of every elder, one becomes vulnerable, one is left with the unprotected flanks, ready for the fatal, ferocious strike of death.

When I think of my in-laws, I am reminded of my wife. One day, 35 years ago, ( July 1975 ) , I went to marry her and after marriage, she left the house where she was born and brought up and came to my house. It was union of two families and two clans. In that family her grand parents died first. And then 10 years back her mother also died. And now news came about the death of her brother’s wife. With each death of an elder, my 35 year old bond with my in-laws will weaken and finally will be snapped one day . Even for my wife it won’t remain the same. I particularly remember the day when 8 years after the death of her mother, she went to visit her father’s place in 2008. She sat outside the house for more than two hours. It would have never happened, had her mother been alive. It was so saddening to see her sitting out of her own house like a guest. The house where she spent her childhood and adolescent years, became alien to her just after the death of her mother. With each death this scenario will become the norm and not the exception. My mother-in-law’s death was a precursor of the events to come and this death of my brother-in-law’s wife signals that change of the old order is imminent. ( In the picture, she is at left . )

I am a follower of Bhagwan Krishna and a firm believer in the teachings of The Bhagwat Gita. It proclaims that those who are born shall die one day and those who are dead shall take birth again. So you shouldn’t be sad for the inevitable. I firmly believe in the saying of the God but I am sad that we won’t get the same set of people or combination in our new life. I will take rebirth but never ever my life will be same. Same place of my birth, ( Deoria in Uttar Pradesh ), same parents, same brothers, sisters and their spouses and same set of relatives are not going to meet me again. True I will take birth again after my death, but am I going to get same people around me, with me ? Will my house in Deoria be my house again in my new life ?

No, it will not happen. So let me cherish the few remaining people, some past moments and parts of my life and time.

It is now 4 hours since she died. When I started this blog it was few seconds. Life flies, times pass us on and people simply leave us and go to their respective new journeys. Alas ! Nothing is permanent.



One Response

  1. First of all, I’d like to extend my condolences on the sad passing of your wife’s bhabhi. Even if the death of a person with ailing health is inevitable, we are never completely prepared with the emotions it brings with it.

    This was definitely written with a lot of feeling and as I’ve always said: “Words that come from the heart, enter the heart” and yours have definitely entered mine.

    The first death of someone close to me that I experienced was my father’s younger brother (my kaka) on Christmas eve in 2006. He lost his life in a freak accident while on holiday abroad with his wife and daughter. He was one of those people who no one could speak ill of because he really was a humble soul.

    To this day, I’m so sad that he’s no longer with us. He openly expressed his feelings to me and after his passing, some of his colleagues and friends told me how he praised me (his niece) to them. For a long time I questioned why he was taken from our lives so abruptly. He was young and had a daughter who was in high school. There was so much he still had to see and experience.

    Death has been a topic I’ve always avoided talking about. It used to frighten me so much. Every time I hear of a death of a friend’s parent or sibling, I’m reminded of my own family. We’re a very close-knit family and how I’ve lived for so long apart from them boggles my mind at times. It’s just physical distance, I guess.

    I often wonder if it’s possible to ‘over’ love someone? To be filled to the brim with love and affection for loved ones? Sometimes I wonder if this is healthy, because when the time comes for us to part, it will be that more difficult to say our goodbyes.

    In the mean time, as you have so beautifully written, we have to cherish the remaining people in our lives. We shouldn’t talk about each day that passes. We need to think about the hours and minutes that are ticking by. How are we utilizing the time to its best?

    I’m a firm believer in telling people exactly how you feel about them – when they’re alive and well enough to hear praises about them. So often, we sing praises of people passed on, but I think we should tell them all that now. If we think someone is a good friend, a good listener, teacher etc… we need to tell them that and thank them. Give them the chance to feel good about themselves!

    Uncle Vidur, thank you for this gentle reminder about the value of life, time and family.

    Love and respect to you,


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