Sunday, February 05, 2006

A Sad loss in the family

On Friday, a week before, we were told the news of a distant aunt's passing away in Kerala. The rotund, lively and cheerful aunt will definitely be missed. It is sad I will not be seeing her anymore on any of my future trips to Aratupuzha, my mother's native place in Kerala. However none of us were prepared for what was to happen on the morning of Sunday the 29'th. My uncle, the eldest of my mother's siblings and the last surviving maternal unlce passed away in his sleep. A man who lived heartily till his death and yet went through so much emotional pain in his life, he had the priviledge of seeing his closest of relatives just the previous night of his passing away. Everything seemed to come to a standstill for us because it was quite unexpected. My uncle was supposed to be discharged from hospital on Sunday after he was admitted for a brief illness. For a person of 77 years he was perfect in health. As the flames engulfed his body in the electric crematorium my brother, to make sure even asked me if he is still in a coma. There was no sign of any decay or odour even after 28 hours of his death (he was kept in a freezer box though). How healthy he looked. There was no sign of any stiffness in any part of his body either. Only that his body felt so cold. Not surprising for a person who deovoted much of his lifetime in deep spiritual endeavours. He was probably the most religious person in our family. Only his mother (i.e my grandmother) could come close. My uncle had mastered reciting the Gita from memory at a very early age and was a strong believer in The Christ. Years later he would confess to me about the awakening of the Kundalini Shakthi in him and the unbelievable experiences he had after it was raised to his Ajna Chakra.

My biggest regret though is the fact that I didn't do ENOUGH and give ENOUGH to a man who lived a very simple life. All he ever wanted was to be in the company of his folks and probably share a simple meal with them. If only I could have him back for one day. But can that happen? My only small consolation is that I was there for him during several of his difficult times but those things seem trivial in the face of his passing away.

It is overwhelming how 77 years of living can be put to an end in an instant. All the emotions of pain and suffering and happiness of all of those years, gone in a flash. How death can suddenly expand the conciousness. How silly and stupid some of my actions seem. How forgiving the mind becomes. All of a sudden there is a feeling that there is hardly any time left. So why not make most of it by being the best, doing the best you can at all times to anybody and everybody.

Here's a picture of my uncle in his 20's. An ardent fan of Thiagaraja Bhagavathar, he even met his matinee idol when he came to Madras searching for work in the early 60's.

My uncle had an interest to go to Dubai. Here's a pic he had taken then for the passport at G.K.Vale and Co.

My uncle weeks before his passing away.

Even Led Zeppelin themselves would not have detracted me from my decision of not going to the concert at Saarang that night. What concert anyway? I went to I.I.T and amidst the deafening noise of the informals (which I found to be so immature for my age) around the venue of the concert I sold my tickets easily. I later discovered that the concert was a shameful fiasco. More on that later.

And if that wasn't enough I learn the suicide of another very distant relative. Her entire life was a tale of tragic love and one that will make even the classics look puny. I only pray that the souls of these lovable people lie in peace and that the lessons that their deaths have taught me remain unforgotten.

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