Light at the end of tunnel
This lecture will change your life for ever.
Do you believe in Life after Death?
You never realized when that irritating cough , which you had discarded as a problem due to changing weather over months had turned into a Cancer. Oncologists tell you it's a throat cancer , Laryngeal carcinoma which is in advanced stage 3. They assure you that they will do their best but can't promise anything more. What can those poor souls do, afterall they too are mortal humans. They give you 3 days to finish with your works before they can operate on you.
"What do they mean finish with your works in 3 days?" You think to yourself.
"You have to payback for the loan that you took for MBA, arrange for your sister's marriage which is due in 6 months , Buy a flat for your parents and yourself so that they can live comfortably atleast in the fag end of their lives, marry Aditi and get settled...there are so many things in the bucket list that you had been planning for years, what do they mean '3 days'... "
Just a week ago you gave Job-treat to your friends. You had got one of the best offers on the campus. Though your pocket didn't allow but still you spent lavishly for the celebration because you believed you would always work hard and earn back the money. It was only the next morning that the cough went bad and the cough syrups and tablets didn’t help that you decided to meet an expert. A few tests and the report changed your life totally. Everything changed in just a week. Everything!
With just 72 hours in hand before the doctors lay you on the operation table and time passing by every moment, You go numb thinking how you would console your mother who gets scared even for little apprehensions, how would you tell your father that he might need to shoulder his young son's coffin, your sister that you maynot be present on her wedding day because you will not be in the world anymore, Aditi that all the plans she had conjured of marrying you and setlling down in life are going to get destroyed like a house of cards and your closest friends that the party they had previous week is the last of your life.
Initially you grow angry, you curse yourself, you abuse the society, the doctors and even the God ironically ,the one whom till a few moments back you didn’t believe existed and then you start crying bitterly not because of what is going to happen to you but because how miserable and helpless you are going to leave everyone. You keep on questioning Why only you? Tears come down rolling on your cheeks because you feel helpless. Even the best of experts are not able to help you. In a few moments you start feeling that everything is just an illusion, it’s a mirage, everything is useless. The progress that mankind made, the amazing feats in science , technology, medicine, space that humans achieved, the knowledge that you earned in college, in MBA, the experience of life, none of them can be of any help to you at this point of life.
Except for the 1st day when everyone cried and wept and yelled , you were surprised to find that your mom, your sister, your father, Aditi and your friends, everyone behaved normally on the second and third day. All they talked was happy things. You had your favourite dishes being prepared , your favourite songs being played, your best friends and your family watching your fvt movies with you, they giggled and laughed and chuckled like nothing had happened. Everyone seemed to crack jokes . So much so that You didn’t realise when the next 48 hours passed and you were surprised that there was hardly anytime when you got to think about Cancer actually. You didn't know it was your sister who cried the whole night under the blanket on 1st night and very early in the morning met the family members and friends and made them promise to not let you cry even for a single moment till the time you get on the operation table. Everyone had conspired to make you happy, except that you didn’t know.
When you were being taken to the operation theatre on the 4th day, everyone came along with you. The door gets closed, the light outside operation theatre turns red and the green curtains are also put to restrict outsiders to peek in. On the table the hanging lamp is put on, the nurse brings in scalpels ,clamps, knives, scissors and many other instruments and keeps them beside you. Your heartbeats go faster and faster and so does your pulse rate.
In short fleeting moments you see it all, everything unraveling with the speed of light. The blue broken bicycle, days when you fought with your sister, the little garden outside , the mango and neem tree at your home , the game of cricket in the summer holidays when you couldn't score of the last ball, the many tiffin boxes & pens and notebooks that you left behind in the classroom, how you hid the report card for days cause you had scored so less in Social Science & dreaded the lashings from your father, when you bunked school for the first time, when you smoked for the first time , when you stole your friend's chocolate, the heart filled with excitement & fear, the pile of comics that your Uncle brought along during those summer vacations, the music from the crackling LPs, your first crush, your proposal to Aditi, your first date , your planning of future with her, you cuddling her, caressing her, your first kiss , your first day in college, night outs, your medal in athletics, birthday celebrations in wing , Department farewell, Your job interview, all your failures, all your small victories, faces of forgotten friends, strangers, acquaintances, passerby’s, lovers…
The packing & unpacking, the shifting of houses, the dream of a home, the first car in the family, The journeys you've made. The books you’ve read. The art you’ve swallowed. The places you've seen. Family trips to uncles, aunts, nana, nani, dada, dadi, your farm fields in your village. Sunsets. Sunrises. The shifting of clouds. The ebb & flow of the river. The crashing of Tides. The many million people you collided with. Being within a crowd yet Lonely. Being in Love yet incomplete. Promises made only to be never fulfilled. Lies… so many Lies. The many lies to oneself. The tastes & fragrances of life, the smell of defeat, of not being able to be anything... not a good son, not the perfect brother, Not being there when you were needed the most... You're filled with guilt, shame, remorse, regret... You hope you'll be forgiven. You hope you'll be remembered... For something. anything. You hope you won't get lost in oblivion. You hope you won't be forgotten…. Your last wish is to be able to gain consciousness after the operation….That is Just when the Anesthesia kicks in...
The chattering of doctors and nurses around slowly subsides and you can see only a few moving lips that too all hazy. Your eyes feel drowsy and the head goes heavier by every passing moment. And that is the last thing you remember before you enter a long and dark tunnel at whose end there is a bright white light, so soothing , solacing and comforting that you are inevitably pulled into it....and with each inch that you get closer to the source...your pain and misery eases off...and you move closer and closer till you are a freely floating soul .
P.S.- It's a piece of fiction.
Another piece of fiction
- He Stayed
Mark Twain long back said 'Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't. Here is story which probably upholds his saying.