The Man Who Took the Train to Pakistan

It is always a sad and unfortunate event that a wordsmith of his caliber must pass away but as the inherent nature of things goes one who is born must one day die. He doesn’t have anything to complain about though for he got a pretty long quantum of quality life. The very best any man can do is to leave a mark on the face of earth and be remembered and be alive through history. The honorable Khushwant Singh, the man with much malice has did just that, he may have left his body and unified with the ultimate but a part of him he left in each one us, each one of us who had enjoyed his jokes and cherished his Train to Pakistan or The Company of Women. 
The first book I read of his was hood book of jokes, they were all hilarious and one’s whose humor you could savor for a long time after the first reading. Much later did I come across his prime jewel ‘The Train to Pakistan‘, to read that book was an entirely different and surreal experience. A book that brought out the reality of partition and the things it left broken in its wake. The least of his books that I read was ‘The Company of Women‘ and yet again a different book, one that me to look at things differently of what the company of an women meant to me. 
Shri Khushwant Singh Ji had touched me in his own unique way and his literature and his ideology of vocal and objective expression of difference has influenced me a lot in my journey. There was a time I wished I could meet him and get his autograph, but that will never be I guess. Yesterday India lost one of it’s very best writer and columnist and I grieve along with the nation at our combined loss. 

I Could Die Today

I could die today,
Not a  man who is all happy,
But neither a man so morose.

I could die today,
Not a man who is free as a bird,
But neither the one in chains.

I could die today,
Not the man, a saint,
Neither the devil, not Satan’s heir.

I could die today,
Not a man of Midas’ touch.
Neither destinies dreaded orphan.

I could die today,
Not a man who lived as nature,
Neither the man who heard not the rustling leaves.

I could die today,
Not the one to walk behind Buddha,
But neither the lost soul of Maya.

I could die today,
Not the man of all fulfilled dreams,
But one with all that matters in life and death.

For all I could care,
I could die today,
A happy man, A happy man in death.

The art of letting go

I have heard people mention several a times that the whole point of life was to let go of it, piece by piece and person by person. To gain many a things through hard labour and then silently watch it being squandered away. The withering away is to life what ever birth and growth will ever be, in fact it is more to life than birth would be. It is what completes and fulfils life. It is the final act of redemption, the last nuance of liberation.

A wise man had once said that a man starts to die the moment he is born, that his life is but a eventful journey to his grave. But life is more than the slow withering away, isn’t it? Life is not the indeterminate decaying of self, it is not a subtle dance to death.

During the short tenancy upon this earth it is true that we must at many times learn to let go. Every time something dear and near to us dematerializes, one has to cope survive the vast vacuum it leaves behind. But always the real challenge is to acknowledge it’s transiency, even when one knows what that is lost is lost and no longer ones to cry over. The real challenge is to accept that something’s no more and no longer worth saddening over.

Hence the art of letting go remains the final art to master. Why we find it so difficult to grasp, must come from the fact that we had all our lives tried to for go the truth and establish its permanence. We always believe that what we have will remain, we always believe that our grandfather who is 95 now and sick over a decade will never die. Thus with futile belief we make a facet and wear it so often that it becomes an integral part of us. It is with attachment that we wield our life and this is the cause of all our great fears.

To learn to let go one must understand that life is more than these bonds. I make no claim of afterlife and nor of some superior understanding of the spiritual realm, all I know is this one life and all my assumptions stems from a need to understand it. When all you have is just one life, it seems inexplicably expensive to waste it in any way. The truth about letting go is hence very selfish in natural. To let go is to take upon one’s life a responsibility of one’s life, to live it with a greed beyond compare.

The guru granth sahib asks us to celebrate the mystic reunion and not to be sad in the final absolution of a dear one’s existence. But to let go is not always about death, more dreadful is it when we have to let go of someone on our own and is not forced upon us. They are by all means necessary and though not as imposing as death may be are still very much necessary. The act of some one leaving for good, not so much as bothering to say farewell is deafening to the soul. Yet you know very well that it is just as necessary.

I pretend not to preach but yet the alien perfection betrays my pretensions  What ever it may be and however I say it, the truth about letting go is simple, you simply have to. The art of letting go is hence simple as well,  at least in principle. The art of letting go is to refrain from clutching on, it is to let go with entirety and not to force upon one’s self the separation. To Let the tide of time unite and dissociate at will. That is the art of letting go.

The Silhouette of Silence

It was in one such night that I saw her, her real self her heart and her being. We knew each other much before and may be we were even what could be called as acquaintances but never friends. But that night changed it all, that one night. The night when I sat across from her, the night when our yes met not for the first time but for still the first time. I had known her before but that night when our eyes net under slow burning street lambs we came to know each other. That night under the simmering glow of the electric street lamb, in the bitter coldness of the European winter we met for the first time.

I must have known that the silence we shared was but only the beginning of a life long journey. A journey that would transform our selves and transcend our being. In that silence when our eyes met I saw something in her eyes that was burning, it was not revenge, it was not anger, it was not love and it certainly was not the glow of the hope but it was the reminiscent glow of the despair coming from the ashes of burned up dreams.
It took me aback to a darker time when the whole world was but the four walls of a prison cell for me, the days when my innocent dreams where held captive in the heavy chains, when the wings of my colorful dreams were clipped and all around was just darkness, blood and despair. 

That night under the simmering glow of the electric street lamb, in the bitter coldness of the European winter in her eyes I saw my eyes, I saw the same feelings, the same heart break. I was reminded of my death and my consecutive birth. I was reminded of the struggle and the daunting face of death and its giant red eyes staring down through you. Even when I write this my hand tremble with unimaginable fear and my heart beats  as if time is scanty and life is terribly short. 

That was the night I met myself, my silhouette in that silence I was acquainted with. Hers where the eyes of my past, her gently bosom bore the scars of the same torture that I endured. Her emancipated skin wore like a cheap gown the texture of undignified death. She reminded me of the times I had almost died and the times I almost gave up. The taste of her coarse lips reminded me of the stale and the dirt, the miserable life that I had escaped. And all around me was darkness I could see it crawling under my skin. Like a vicious creature it was coming towards me to consume what was left of me. There I lay in her hands, pressed against her cold body, with my lips just dangling above her sinister lips. In that truth of moment I realized that this is what I am and what have been and she is silhouette. The darkness of the past was but my past and I was as inseparable from it as darkness was from light itself.

That night under the simmering glow of the electric street lamb, in the bitter coldness of the European winter I met me for the first time and there we embarked on a lifelong journey of redemption.

An Obituary

The past week was not so particularly good; with two funerals in a row you can expect anything from it either. I hate funerals for a start, they make me rather uncomfortable. But where I stand different from the vast majority of people is on point of perspective, I hate funerals not because I have a hard time understanding life and contemplating death and neither because those are the moments that reveal the evanescence of existence. I hate funerals because of the way it is celebrated rather mourned. I believe death has to be celebration not a moment of sadness, it is a moment if liberation the point of the ultimate nirvana.
May I think so because  nobody close enough to me have so far died to cause me a traumatic state of mind or neither have I connected so well with the great people who have passed away so far in my close kith and kin. I do understand and uphold the possibility of a complete crackdown in ideology whilst someone so dear does pass away. If any do hold a stance not in unison to me do take me for a nubile and let it go.
I am writing this as a memorial for the souls whom I knew and did not have the good will to know before they disposed their mortal selves.  The first of it was the father of a friend, rather an acquaintance. I must say it was a very bad day to get to know him His father’s funeral is by no way the best of days to know a person and understand him. It’s so strange yet so true that in such dire moments we see people with no makeup, they are clear like crystal. Amidst the broken mind and the fl9owing tears they don’t have the time to put up a facet.  They are bared inside out and all they crave is a pat on their shoulder and a shoulder to rest on.
He was a wonderful person, teacher and personality, Not that I know him personally in the eyes of my friend and his mother I saw what a human he was, a true noble soul. In the words of anger that they uttered with divine disgust I was the loving father he was and in their omniscient silence I saw what and how much he meant to them. After all what could a man what from his short mortal stay than to leave a legacy behind, not in big books of history or in bronze statues but in the hearts of men and women whom he lived with and shared his life and its worth with. A man of incalculable value and an owner of a wide heart. May he rest in peace and may his family rejoice in the memories he left behind for them.

Next to depart was a person of such adorable nature, grandmother of my roommates, a very special person to him hence a very special person to me. I have seen her, been in her presence hardly minutes yet those moments shine through the kaleidoscope of my mind. She was a real women with an almost divine aura about her. I don’t want to talk more about her as I know that my friend will obviously read it and it’s hard enough for him I don’t want to make it any harder.  I really wish he didn’t read it at all.

It’s unbelievable isn’t it that in every second almost somebody very dear and real to somebody just cease to exist, some we know many we don’t know. Death is a ubiquitous truth that happens with no warning, no pattern nor any premonitions and yet its remains the most beautiful of all things that could happen to a person. Death is just the end of a dream we call life and death is an awakening into a world beyond the boundaries of this dream we call reality. Death is never an end it’s just the beginning of another existence.

The Death of A Nobody

It feels ridiculous that I write about it. it is completely insane that you have to mourn about the death of a person whom u barely knew. In fact her death didn’t even get me thinking in the cliques. I had not thought of the afterlife, neither have I thought of the reality of mortality. In fact it hasn’t gotten me thinking at all. That’s why I most certainly must write about it. It does bother me that her death didn’t bother me.

And who was she? I am not keeping any surprises here; It is not a thriller, it just a true piece and I could get myself to write a literary piece. It’s not that I don’t want to, I always wanted to but eventually they turn up something altogether different. But of course where were we. Yes! Her, she was my neighbor, and that’s all. She was my neighbors, whom I hardly saw and I hardly talked to. There she would be most afternoons sitting in patio, staring at the evening sky. I always thought she might be waiting for her dead husbands return, I always thought of it to be very romantic. But, I suppose she didn’t have anything much to do than stare at the afternoon sun.

It’s been eleven years now, since I moved in. The neighborhood has quite and passive, it did not have the great athletes or the outlandishly gorgeous girls in it. It was an ordinary neighborhood with ordinary people living in it. It’s an ideal place for honest people making honest living, and the one thing that I adored the most since I moved in was
 ‘No one cared’. But then there were some who did their bit and she was one of them. She never pried but she always inquired. In the eleven years of being neighbors she came calling hardly twice, once it was with the invitation for her grandchild’s wedding and the second, I can hardly remember why she came the second time. Most of her acquaintance was my mother which was on a strictly ‘we chat on the street when we see’ basis.

She was there ever since I remember my new home, she was there when we had the moving in and she was there when my granddad moved in nearby. Of course I never cared enough to enquire. But I do remember her; I remember seeing every day sit in her patio. She would be there watching the birds and the trees, feeling the wind and the air and when she had a couple of children in her household, she had herself an upgrade. Now she used spend her time watching them play in their courtyard. I know those punks; they were naughty and way out of their minds. They were so themselves that they could drive any man so crazy that they would want to change their permanent residence to St. Claire’s. Oh! For those of who don’t know, that’s an asylum. If u still don’t know what I am talking about let’s just say it’s a place where they keep people with very serious issues.

It’s understandable, on second thought not even worth thinking twice, it’s just obvious why she would just sit and watch them run in circles as they were orbiting some imaginary planet. But, that what she was and that’s all she was. She was the woman who sat by her patio every evening watching her grandchildren play. And then she dies, just like than one day, I get a call and my mom says she is no more. Oh sure she didn’t put it that dry, She called in and said “Dear, Do you remember the old lady across the street? She just passed away”. She said it subtle and simple, but still the same thing.

I don’t miss her and I could care less. But to tell you the truth, if that was all I wouldn’t be writing this anyway, would I? The fact is something feel void now, Come on, till a couple of days ago she was there and now she’s not. Every time I look at that house, it immediately strikes me, it’s not just something misplaced, and it’s rather something missing. The event and the relation might be much less stronger. She is dead and she is not going to comeback. It’s not hard to accept that, nevertheless I did just finish writing about it. I had no idea what I had to write when I began and I have no idea where I stand now, but I did write and I wrote it all. May her soul rest in peace.