Quadriplegia, autonomic dysreflexia, sepsis, malaria, chronic bronchitis, bed sores and only you can tell how many more. You know that I currently suffer from more ailments that a common person can pronounce. Just during the past one month I have been rushed to the hospital twice in critical condition, I have had three episodes where my body almost gave up and I even saw the proverbial white light that is supposed to be the harbinger of entry into the other world, my blood pressure has dropped to 50/20 and risen to 200/140. My family members are on the verge of nervous breakdowns. I regularly lose consciousness, get breathless by the simple act of speaking, see my body temperature rise to extreme highs and drop to unbelievable lows. Only you know the amount of medicine that is injected into my veins, put into my mouth and applied on my body on a daily basis. I am beginning to forget what it feels like to have no pain anywhere in the body.
And yet… yet I am not complaining. I live on, I keep smiling, my faith does not waver, I refuse to lose hope, I am a survivor. You know I am doing my best.
But… Dear God, I know you don’t give anyone more than he can take, I know you wouldn’t let me break, you wouldn’t let my belief shake, but if it isn’t too much to ask, I really really need a break!
Oh! How we hate when our minds start working, when they start asking questions, when we begin to question the most fundamental concepts. But we rarely do that, you are thinking? Of course you are right. We hate it so much that we cannot even contemplate the possibility of such an adventure. That is why we are so keen to keep ourselves busy. That is why when we have nothing to take our minds away from the important stuff, we feel restless. That is why we have such feelings as boredom, anxiety, depression.
I might be wrong. But I am going to try and check. I am going to spend the next free time I have not thinking how to make myself busy again. I am going to give my mind the space it so badly needs. I am going to let it loose. And yes, I am a little anxious. What if, as a result, I go crazy? Well, in case I don’t, I’ll have an idea of what this is all about, and if I do go nuts, well…..then you’ll have an idea.
Is there a specific moment when one realizes that s/he is going to die? I guess there is; in fact there are many such moments, because once the inevitability of death has been recognized, a whole system denial springs into action in one’s brain trying to undo the realization, trying to forget once again what it has unintentionally remembered.
Sometimes the brain succeeds; only to stumble upon the reality again at some future time. I have seen people survive cancer, terrible car wrecks, even falls from multiple stories; what I have never seen people survive is life. Life is the most fatal of all diseases. Once you are born, you are doomed to die sooner or later. So I have stopped my brain from trying to forger death. I have decided to always remember that I am going to die. And this decision has freed up my brain; liberated it. And with this newfound freedom, I try to make sure that I don’t spend a single moment without realizing that I am alive.
Do all of us sooner or later realize that we are going to die? Yes. Do all of us eventually realize that we are alive? No. It is tragic but true. So many die without ever knowing that they were alive.
Try not to use the indicator too much, but if you want to use it, make sure that you keep it on even when you have no intention of turning anywhere, or better yet, indicate that you want to turn left but turn right instead. After all, you have some privacy, why should every Tom, Dick and Harry on the road know what your plans are!
Here’s a simple test. Just answer all questions honestly and whenever the answer is yes, ask yourself ‘Kyun?’ Why do you do it?
1. Do you feel irritated when someone points out your mistake, and feel satisfied when you point out others’ mistakes?
2. Do you regularly give money to beggars but refuse to buy stuff from those selling at traffic signals citing the reason that you don’t need it?
3. Do you get frustrated by slow traffic and try to get through any way you can even when you are not in a hurry to get anywhere?
4. Do you feel really proud when you make a wild guess and it turns out to be correct and also really glad when someone else’s wild guess proves to be wrong?
5. Do you almost never succeed in getting up at 5 a.m. for prayers and almost always succeed in getting up at 4 a.m. when you have to catch a flight or even watch something on TV?
6. Would you rather be wrong with everyone else than be right alone and face criticism?
7. Do you give more importance to praise from your boss than a smile from your mother?
8. Do you enjoy reading about human faults and weaknesses more when you feel that you don’t suffer from those weaknesses yourself but others do?
9. Do you hate your boss and think he is a chawal when he treats you badly but feel justified when you treat your subordinates / servants badly because they are chawals.
10. Do you feel that you know much more than your elders because you are the modern youth and also feel that you know much more than those younger than you, because you are older?
When I am weak and need strength; when I feel lost and need a guide; when I am confused and need to find some sense in life; when I am scared and want reassurance; when I am alone and need company; when I am sad and need to smile; when I am about give up and need encouragement; when I am close to falling and need support; even when I am having a great day and need nothing more than a partner to share it with; in all these times I find you and it is always enough.
Happy Birthday Zehra! My strength, my guide, my sense in life, my reassurance, my company, my smile, my encouragement, my support, my partner! May you live a long and blessed life.