is living worthy of life?


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om namah: shivay
let there be peace

this is a story i had written around two years ago…

The chaos and ruckus seemed in an inexplicable way to merge with the eerie silence of blank helplessness.

He sat there one amongst many.

His eyes were sunken, little white patches showing through the red all over.

His jaw line was tense

There were furrows on the forehead, deep ones, furrows that seemingly had made a place for themselves till the day he once more became dust,

Once more became that which he was made to feel right now.

Dust we are, to dust returnst

Was not spoken of the soul.

He sat there contemplating this very line.

All of a sudden everyone’s head turned. They turned to see a man sitting there, misery etched on every inch of his face- laughing.

They thought him mad and went on with their daily existence, their busy schedules, and their hectic lives.

Yet it is this man that stood for all that we are in this world- dust.

Rahul was about 35. He had been healthy, had had a descent job, his own house and car, a caring wife and loving children. He had symbolized the perfect existence to be sought in today’s world.

A month back, he decided to take his family for a picnic to a resort in one of the neighboring hill stations. They were cruising at around 50 km per hour. His two children, Keya and Kavi sat in the backseat, fighting over some stupid game. He looked at them in the rear view mirror, smiling broadly at their innocence. His wife screamed suddenly, he focused back to see an over speeding truck in front of them.

To see his car hit the side rail,

To see the river below looming up closer as the car sped wildly downhill

To see the glass shatter as passing trees and stones collided

To see the death he was about to face.

There is in the human body chemical called adrenalin. This rushes through our body in times of tension, or life and death instances.Rahul felt it course through his veins

Felt his hand open the door

Felt himself jumping out of the car

Felt his mind trying to desperately fight back natural instinct and stay with his family

Stay with them and face death together.

Natural instinct won.

He was safe physically. Ha had just seen his family plunge into the river flowing a thousand feet below. Plunge into the river which engulfed his family and his life as if they meant nothing. He sat there stunned. There were no tears; he was incapable of any emotion. There was no sorrow, just a numbness that seemed to spread throughout his body.

He sat there the whole night staring into the murky waters which engulfed his family, at the dark ominous mountains that in the moonlight looked like the epitaphs on the graves of his wife and children, at the dark sky that contrasted with the numbing white in his mind. His whole life coursed through. He remembered every minute spent and every minute he had dreamed of spending.

Morning came and with it no hope. The despair seemed to increase and now the darkness of his mind contrasted sharply with the white light around him.

He dint remember being taken to the hospital, being treated for minor superficial injuries,

He dint remember his lawyer telling him that his wife and children had been insured and that he could claim the money as and when he desired

He dint remember the first summon from the court.

15th December 2009.

Rahul stood in the courtroom.

The chaos and ruckus seemed in an inexplicable way to merge with the eerie silence of blank helplessness.

He sat there one amongst many.

His eyes were sunken, little white patches showing through the red all over.

His jaw line was tense

There were furrows on the forehead, deep ones, furrows that seemingly had made a place for themselves till the day he once more became dust,

Once more became that which he was made to feel right now.

He had been sued by the insurance company. Their claim was that he had not been in an accident but had instead murdered his family while making it seem like an accident. The main contention was a sum of money amounting to Rs 50lakh. A sum of money which he dint care much about.

He stood in the court, swore on the holy book, promised to speak the truth and spoke the truth. The judge felt the pain, the company lawyer felt the pain, but, the statute of the blindfolded lady holding the balance could neither see hear or feel the pain.

The company lawyer dint want to fight, but he had to.

The judge dint want to judge, but he had to.

The evidence put forward by the plaintiffs left no scope for rahul to defend himself even if he wanted to.

He just stood their, seeing without comprehending, hearing without listening. He followed the guars as they took him to the prison, obeyed everything the jailer said, learnt to associate himself with the title of a murderer.

This was his existence for 14 years.

There was nothing but blankness where the mind had once been and a void where the heart once beat.

15th December 2023.

Rahul walked out of the prison gates. There was no there to greet him. He walked the 10 kilometers to his house, saw the graffiti on the walls, the words murderer and devil plastered across his walls. He felt the cold stares of at some time friendly neighbors.

He dint go inside. Instead he took a taxi and asked the driver to drive out to where his family had died.

He walked down to the river. He stared deep into the water, into his reflection that changed shape with the rapids, into the graveyard of his family.

For the first time in years he thought. The numbness faded away, the walls behind which he was hiding broke down, the flood of tears finally streamed down. He thought once more,

Dust we are to dust returnst.

Is this all our mortal lies are for? To arise from dust and go back into dust, to eat to sleep to breathe?

What is life and what have we made of life. Is living worthy of life?

He ran, for the first time in 14 years

He jumped for the first time in 14 years

He plunged into the ice cold water- for the first time in his life

He felt the pressure increase as he sunk deeper, he felt the adrenalin rush, the urge to swing his arms and legs, to somehow surface

He felt his lungs desperately trying to get some air.

He felt the ice cold water slowly enter his nostrils

He felt numb once again, except this time it was forever.

He felt his death and wile he felt it, he understood the world. The world which had put him in prison for the sake of a few rupees, the world which had taken out of him whatever little he had left in him. The world where justice justified nothing but his present condition. The world which had killed him long before his death.

He understood that nothing can be understood

om namah: shivay

let there be peace

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