TODAY -

A visit too late

Dr Keisang Mekhulsim Maring *



Anytime you may be called for eternity. And that day may close on you unexpectedly; great would be the remorse, had you lived out only for yourself. You need a break amid busy schedule - Oh, modern man.

I will never forget those days of December 2003 through first week of June 2004, till my dying day, because they were the last days of my classmate John (name changed).

One fine morning, I woke up little late to find my body and mind not so invigorated as usual; and late night studies could be blamed for, since our final Cl-XII selection exam was in progress. My mind was encumbered with too much reading. Wash up did pep me up to some extent. The day was 6th Dec 2003.

After I put on the school uniform, I hurried out of the room into a chilly morning for school. When I reached school, I found my classmates - all looked staid and dreary - significantly didn't put on the usual robe of boisterous life that day; maybe either they didn't get much sleep the previous night or some divine hunch tranquilized them.

In the middle bench was my seat. Our physics teacher, whose humor filled-lectures always drive away the tedium of everyday life, appeared along with some others. The bell rang; they began distributing question papers and answer sheets. One seat remained unoccupied. Then, John's absence was picked out by the entire class before too long.

Inquisitiveness crept into his mind, the teacher enquired curiously, "Where is John? What happened to him?" Someone at the back replied grimly, "Sir, he's down with blood cancer and is hospitalized currently". He shrieked shockingly, "Blood cancer! Oh, he's waiting then for death!" I was left awestruck profoundly on hearing that. This boy, I tell you, was brilliant, jovial, daring and full of life, but abhorred everything of the spiritual aspect.

And he wouldn't welcome readily any sort of spiritual counseling. I came out of the exam feeling completely dismal that day. Something within insisted me to gear up to witness his last days, whereupon I decided to visit him possibly after the exam. However, he was referred to a cancer hospital in Bangalore - so I couldn't visit him then.

Two months later I was told that John had been sent back home and no blood cancer was found, and was improving. No blood cancer? And improving? How? Isn't that weird? I sure was thoroughly deluded, and so was driven to deferring my visit. I thought to myself, "So good to hear he's no cancer. I'll visit him some other time." Perhaps, the devil beguiled me into thinking that way. Yet deep in the core of my heart; a prompting continued to riddle me.

One day my friend Samuel broke the news of his death to me. I cursed the day in dismay blaming the devil for everything bad. It was heart-wrenching to hear that.

Unfortunately, after a long illness John couldn't pull through. He died young. I felt guilty and full of remorse for not being there alongside him during his bitter last days at least for a day. On the same day Samuel and I made time to visit the bereaved family in the evening. On reaching the locality, from the main road we followed a small route serpentine in its course amongst the houses. At its end, a wooden gate lay half open hedged with bamboo stuffs on either side encompassing the house.

As we moved in, I saw a woman with a mournful look standing apathetically in the corridor, few benches and chairs jumbled up in the compound with a casing of tent above. The whole picture portrayed was hushed and unwelcoming. A minute later, she walked up towards us. We offered a handshake and introduced ourselves as John's classmates.

Our word was no consoling to her grief-stricken heart; conversely it did afflict her. And she turned, and slunk away towards the back wall of the neighbor's house. There facing the wall - seemingly to make her cries out of earshot - she stooped down, and broke out into tremendous tears and sobbing, crying, "My son, my son, your friends are here. Come back." She cried and cried until her voice died down. Vainly her cries diffused into the air.

The heavens looked brass, hard enough to bar the prayers from reaching the miracle-working Almighty. Everything seemed deaf and unmoved to her cry. No miracle ever happened. We were just silent spectators, not a single word we uttered. Besides her weeping cries, I heard some voices, presumably of the comforters, coming from inside the house.

After about 5 minutes long mourning, she came back slowly and sat down in front of me, and spoke up with weak muffled voice, her swollen eyes red, and streaks of tears on the face. I did my utmost in whatever way I possibly could to console her. She recounted John's last days saying, "My son, on his deathbed, was always referring to one of his classmates, who would speak about God; and he wished to see him".

I interrupted her and said, "That's me, Aunty" She was taken aback. "Oh, dear, why didn't you come and talk with him?" She sobbed. "He would be very happy to hear you." I replied empathetically, "I tried to visit him and share God's word, but something kept me from doing it." "He did repent of his sins before he breathed last." she recalled rather calmly.

Meanwhile, John's sister came, tall and thin, and served us tea.. Her gloomy look provided me with a perception of deep seated sorrow within her, and even more because she remained unspoken for few minutes long. On hearing about his repentance, peace dropped into my heart, because it was his salvation that I was concerned about largely. We learnt that his dead body had been buried the previous day. "Aunty, I am happy to hear that he repented. Stop mourning."

I consoled, "Someday we are going to see him in heaven. It's for the sake of the greater good that he's called home". Quoting some comforting scriptures, I could bring her to the realization that we are just a passerby in this world and physical death is just a transit to heaven.

The father showed up, walking around the corridor, and came towards us. He presented himself like a man whose condescen- sion won't let him put across the grief outwardly. But his countenance betrayed him. By now the sun was nearing the horizon, and we left.

One day, a month later, I happened to be at the shop of my friend Santos. I saw a couple coming towards the shop. They were John's parents, I recognized. I greeted them and said to John's mother, "Aunty, how are you? You remember me?" She looked up and paused for a moment. Once she recognized me, her right hand, skinny and slender, reached down to grab the fringe of her cloth, and wiped off with it the tears that flowed down her cheeks. And then they walked away.


* Dr Keisang Mekhulsim Maring wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be reached at kmekhulsim(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)in
This article was posted on September 21, 2012.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • MU: Students protest[25 Sep] :: Gallery
  • Lamyanba Hijam Irabot :: Read all about
  • Art Exhibition by R & V Art House
  • My name is Kom, Mary Kom - II
  • Electrology as career option
  • When Autumn Came :: Poem
  • Against 48 hrs bandh: Thadou Students
  • Leadership / Media seminar at Dimapur
  • Demise of a dream
  • Traffic menace: Ring road, flyover promise
  • Ringui Village, Ukhrul :: Gallery: Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #4: Gallery
  • Chinglai, Chingmeiren :: eMing
  • Autonomy on a leash
  • Manipur: Past & Present (Vol.1) :: Book
  • Cry of a Dying River - 46 :: Poem
  • NSS Cell at Assam Don Bosco University
  • Shattering the dream of Irabot
  • Pandey, Pandey all the way : MU crisis
  • World Bamboo Day #1: Gallery
  • Financial aid to AMWJU member, K. Bipin
  • Meitei-Naga Relationship
  • The concept of Langban Tarpan
  • Today is Sunday :: Poem
  • Papaya and health
  • In tiger territory
  • NEUFC Fan Park at Sarusajai stadium
  • BSE, ANPSA donate to CMRF (Nagaland)
  • 45th AMWJU Foundation day : Gallery
  • Protest crackdown at MU: Gallery
  • Lai Lik Lei & their debut "Esei"
  • Diversity, Race & Gender-Based Violence
  • Cross Border Human Trafficking : Review
  • Imphal Municipal Council Bye Laws, 1998
  • Protest held against crackdown at MU
  • Stop Terrorising the MU Campus
  • Mob violence at Manipur University
  • Facts about Nagaland House at Kolkata
  • Midnight raid at MU
  • ..bridging cultures of Assam, Manipur
  • Tuilha Kol waterfall #2: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Rally against Mob Lynching #2: Gallery
  • Beyond the tragedy of Tharoijam
  • Jarnail's tryst with Manipur :: Review
  • Who killed the looter? (Short Story)
  • Heart OPD & Echo Screening Mission
  • Call for protest against MU crackdown
  • The farce continues at MU
  • Heikru Hidongba #1 : Gallery
  • Heigru Hidongba (Boat Race)
  • Get down to business
  • The Eternal Moment :: Poem
  • Why is oiling good for the hair
  • Jobs at SKY Hospital
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Creating Future Media Leaders in NE
  • Understanding Communist ideology
  • Suspended but drama not over yet
  • Arrested for molesting student in Mumbai
  • Manipuri Diaspora in Myanmar #1
  • Krishna Janma @Mahabali #2 : Gallery
  • Naga-Kuki Conflict: ..Kuki aggression
  • Tibeto-Burman Languages : Book
  • Indian Judiciary no more a caged bird
  • IGAR (S) calls on Governor of Manipur
  • Spirit of Irabot still runs in Journalists
  • Concern should be about mob mentality
  • Tribes, Art & Soul of India #1: Gallery
  • Rally against Mob Lynching #1: Gallery
  • 'Sahnit' an honour or a disgrace
  • Irabot : Socio-Political Challenges
  • Training employees for better governance
  • Blue Ocean :: Poem
  • Sextortion: Making money from shame
  • Condemn murder of Neiphretuo Metsie
  • Social lacunae
  • BJP on poll drive at Imphal, Kohima
  • Mary Kom lost 2 kg in 4 hours
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #2
  • Felicitation of Sportsperson: Gallery
  • ICJ: Investigation of Extrajudicial Killing
  • Legal profession as career option #2
  • Loktak Down Stream HE Project (2x33MW)
  • Protest against mob lynching at DU
  • Ripples of Music :: Poem
  • Memo submitted to CM over lynching
  • Poems of Peace, Resistance ...
  • Helicopter Schedule for Imphal-Jiri
  • Mirabai recommended for Khel Ratna
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #3: Gallery
  • Manipur State is still winning..
  • Gazetteer of North-East India :: Book
  • Sunfeast Cup Football Tournament
  • Trip down memory lane
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Folk Song :: Poem
  • The Endureres at Dwarka Half Marathon
  • Main accused in cop slaying nabbed
  • Naga talks not confined to Nagaland..
  • Trekking to Dzukou Valley #1 : Gallery
  • Rest in Peace Humanity
  • Ph Banti's artwork 'Trafficking of children'
  • Cry of a Dying River - 45 :: Poem
  • Buddhism is not a religion
  • Jobs at R-Square Design
  • Candle Light at DU over lynching
  • Society as a reflection of govt
  • Mobocracy : Shame on Manipur
  • Kuki Black Day @CCpur : Gallery
  • miAoIbgi pNTuH :: Seireng
  • An opinion on Tharoijam killing
  • How Manipur lost internal autonomy, Kabaw
  • Admission for PhD at Tripura Univ
  • Meefam ST at Nambol, Khangabok
  • Importance of Forest & Environment
  • Deep social divide: Two different folks?
  • Kuki Black Day: Kukis Will never forget
  • R & V Art House's First Art Fest 2018
  • Celebrating International Literacy Day, 2018
  • Born a Kuki, die a Kuki :: Poem
  • History of North East India :: Book
  • Will SimpliciTB make TB treatment simpler
  • Meefam chathaduna ST gi issue..
  • Dipankar Talukdar- Mr Model of World Star
  • System error- who will fix Broken Window
  • Reshuffle Talks : Say No to Yes Me
  • India negotiating vehicle pact with Myanmar
  • Chalwa Village, Kangpokpi #2 : Gallery
  • Thien & its downfall in Zeliangrong #2
  • Is FA a self exposed daylight robbery?
  • Nation Needs Small Farmers
  • Who is programming you ?
  • Bandhs as dissent & survival of laziest
  • Looking for Raju :: Poem
  • The cry of the 2nd class citizen
  • Bharat Bandh in Imphal
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #1
  • Sit-In: Naga Peace Talk #2 : Gallery
  • Naga-Kuki conflict: Search for definitions
  • Mega Marathon Manipur : Download Form
  • Legal profession as career option
  • Guv felicitates 5 JAK RIF for flood relief
  • Stored Anger :: Book Review
  • On stepping into the 20th year of TSE
  • Sept - month which reinstated our courage
  • Krishna Janma @ISKCON #2 : Gallery
  • Empty :: Poem
  • Lets beat littering - plastics pollution
  • NEHU Seminar : Urbanization in India
  • Jobs at JCRE Skill Solutions
  • Declaration of Naga Collective Spirit [Sep 8]
  • Akanba Khongjangidamak Yathokpa Loire
  • Support for STDC from UMA, Assam
  • 'Deplorable power supply in Nagaland'
  • Tryst with destiny - Should we accept ?
  • Stand off at MU : Impact on LS Poll
  • Exploring the enthralling Tuilha Kol
  • Kamesh Salam : Outstanding Green Activist
  • The Valley Of Brahmaputra :: Book
  • Development of road database
  • The inner page story :: Poem
  • Kakching WW-II Memorial Run 2018
  • STDC public meeting at Langathel Keithel
  • Maibi Jagoi at Sangai Fest : Gallery
  • My poll without prejudice to anyone
  • MEETAC - Mission for streamlining TK
  • Conditions leading to Marxism
  • Heart Camp at Khelakhong, Thoubal
  • Cyber bully: Crime that follows you home
  • Bhupen Hazarika : Tribute at London
  • AEP & Importance of Myanmar & NE
  • Political pandemonium
  • Students central to MU issue
  • Landscape from Koubru #2 : Gallery
  • Leishangthem Robert for Mr. World 2018
  • Oinam Shilla Chanu at Mrs India Earth
  • North-east Frontier Of India :: Book
  • Thien & its downfall in Zeliangrong #1
  • Cry of a Dying River - 44 :: Poem
  • JRF Post at Mizoram University
  • Honours to Bamboo; a ubiquitous gift
  • Case of hunter now being huntedr
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #3 : Gallery
  • Women Empowerment & judicial Activism
  • Narin Chenggum - wild edible mushroom
  • Flying Star at your lips :: Poem
  • Out of the box thinking
  • Call centre fraud: Vicious vishing attack
  • Changing India & its impact on Manipur
  • MU stand off gets uglier
  • Tikendrajit : The Lion of Manipur #4
  • Krishna Janma @Mahabali #1 : Gallery
  • Eastern Frontier of India :: Book Review
  • Remembering Radhakrishnan ..
  • Moments to cherish :: Poem
  • Glimpse of the Buddha's teaching
  • NH7 Weekender Express Editions
  • Rejoinder to NDPP from NPF [05 Sep]
  • Mental equation
  • Are teachers teaching ? Apt, timely poser
  • Sirarakhong Hathei Phanit @Ukhrul : Gallery
  • Sit-In: Naga Peace Talk #1 : Gallery
  • Globalization, Act East Policy & Manipur
  • Review on anthology of Parthajit Borah
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Child Friendly Police Stations proposed
  • ADBU Goes Green with Solar Energy
  • Convocation of Assam Don Bosco
  • Fetal Echocardiography - Seminar held
  • Rejoinder to NPF from NDPP [04 Sep]
  • Divide, divert and rule will not work
  • FA, MU crisis : Issues before LS polls
  • Krishna Janma @ISKCON #1 : Gallery
  • Komrem Student Day @Bangalore : Gallery
  • September Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • The Coils of Pakhangba :: Book
  • Exhibition @ Art College #2: Gallery
  • AMWJU Sit-In-Protest : Gallery
  • Jangou Rah : eRang Classic
  • The Story of 40 Pineapple Suckers
  • Yumkhaibam Nanao Eramdam Yaourakhre
  • Ningol Chakkouba Celebration in Delhi
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #2: Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #2 : Gallery
  • The World of Kuki People :: Book
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #1: Gallery
  • Dolaithabi Dam , Senapati : Gallery
  • Eid-Ul-Adhaa Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Dr. Jodhachandra Sanasam : Sahitya
  • Shougrakpam Bijaya :: A Profile
  • Disputed Myanmar Border Pillar : Gallery
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS