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The Irony of October 17th

Updated on August 9, 2018

The Setting

The setting is Northern India where the Ganges flows. It is the month of October when the calm winds have started to flow in from the Himalayas thus, giving slight shivers to living beings around. This makes them wrap in woolen clothing and indulge in all body warming foods such as Nuts, Warm Milk with Saffron, Warm scrumptious sweets such as Jalebi's, Rabdi, Gajar Halwa.

Significance of October

October is usually a festive time since Diwali is around the corner thus, is a good time for Marriages.


My Parents were one of the couples on this planet to unite on October 17th, 1970. As per the tradition, the groom came to the bride's home joined her in holy matrimony, and they drove off to my dad's home place after a quick halt at the banks of the Ganges. They lived a happy and blissful marriage of 40 years in the West of India.

“Happiness [is] only real when shared”
Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

“A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.”
Barack Obama

“The truest form of love is how you behave toward someone, not how you feel about them.”
Steve Hall

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.
From an Irish headstone”
Richard Puz, The Carolinian

“Those we love never truly leave us, Harry. There are things that death cannot touch.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two

Life after Marriage

During their years of marriage, they saw their highs and lows of financial, emotional and physical crisis. As a couple, they strived towards the ups and tried to beat the lows.

Sensibility, Humility, Compromise, Patience, Forgiveness, and Generosity were the main factors that bonded them.

During those 40 years of happy marriage, this beautiful couple bears my brother and me. The four of us made an opinionated yet supportive family, respecting each other’s boundaries yet being caring and content with each other's company. According to my mom, I being an elder sister was very possessive of my brother and made sure he would get everything after me. I would even keep a share of cookie for him when offered. I taught him his alphabets and helped him read. My brother returned the favor of affection when he grew into a darn sensible teenager and would look out for my safety in all areas.

We sure gave justice to the definition of Family by going through all the emotions of whatever LIFE had to offer TOGETHER!

Life takes a Turn

Unfortunately, Life had something more in store for us. My Dad, who was a hard worker and kept his family his priority, got sick. His sickness was detected very late since; the disease he contracted showed no earlier symptoms to be caught on time.

He was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer at Stage 4. He bent to this disease gracefully but fought it, till the end. He could not take the burden of being dependent on people and struggled with a brave heart and a smile. He had this strong urge to go back to work and had his briefcase next to the bed that used to inspire him day in and out. The disease had spread to his bones that made his pain unbearable. He used to have tears in his eyes because of the pain, but the strong urge to get better and get on with his LIFE was contagious. There were times, we used to give in, but seeing his determination to fight it; made us say motivating words to him. Until the end, he was making plans of visiting places but, towards his last few hours left on this planet, he realized that the Almighty had something else in store for him so, he made sure he rewarded all the Attendants who looked after him in the hospital and bid Adios with a peaceful expression on his face and a gentle smile.

He fought hard, and he fought it bravely but succumbed to it.

He passed away in the second week of October 2010.

In Hindu Tradition, the body is cremated, and the ashes are scattered in the Ganges. We took our Dad's ashes and spread them in this river that is considered holy by the Hindu culture on October 17th, 2010. The irony of the whole situation is the DATE.

The couple united then about 40 years ago as they took the blessings of this holy river and started their lives. Today they said their farewell along the same road and destination.


The above makes me ponder

Is the Date significant for the DEATH and BIRTH of a SOUL? Is the Date of importance when two souls unite in matrimony or are it just an ugly coincidence!

Time flies, but the question is:

Does Time Heal?

Well, my mom continues to work so yes time is flying in that aspect. Cause time becomes a killer when you have plenty in hand with no company in sight. The scars still linger. Unfortunately, time cannot heal but can make you stronger with the passage of each year.

© 2011 Ruchira


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