TODAY -

To the dear departed

Samarjit Kambam *

Thawai Hakchang Khainaba- Shiba : From a book by  N Mangi Devi
Thawai Hakchang Khainaba- Shiba : From a book by N Mangi Devi



Whenever I commute to and fro I frequently saw body bags being cremated near road sides or river beds which I had simply taken for granted assuming such events as a routine procedure of life. I lived, worked and socialised keeping at bay the thought of death as though my family members are immune to it.

Of course it is human nature to think it that way, but I was wrong. It was a big flaw on my part that I hadn't mentally prepared for such unfortunate incident and irreparable loss occurring in my very own family.

My father passed away at an unbelievably short notice, one minute at the most. Reason behind his death was 'Stroke' where the main artery at the neck that supply blood to the brain exploded and instantly died of brain haemorrhage as per conclusion by the doctors.

Of course his blood pressure was a bit high but not that high to be a reason for concern. Nothing sort of illness was associated with him. He was as fit as a fiddle. My dad was a good cook. On that fateful day before he expired he himself prepared fish curry but passed away when it was ready to serve.

As soon as I heard the news from my elder brother that something unusual, enough to cause panic to anybody nearby had happened to my dad, I left my workplace leaving behind all unfinished official works with all the files and documents scattered everywhere on my office desk. I was far from home by only seven kilometres from my workplace.

Like a demonic driver I drove my vehicle faster than the wind which took me approximately three minutes to reach home. But I could not make it, it was too late.

The body of my dad was already covered with white sheet of cloth. I couldn't accept the reality for a few minutes. I stood there like a zombie with mental battle going on inside my head till I realised and accepted the reality of the situation.

Later on I came to know that my dad had already expired before his body was taken to the nearest hospital JNIMS at Porompat, Imphal. Since 'stroke' is a common health complication my mother also was also in the notion that my dad would rise-up anyhow.

My elder brother narrated to me that she also couldn't accept the reality for a few minutes until the doctors showed her the ECG reading a straight line on the monitor and further narrated to me that for some moments my mom stood in a trance as though possessed by a holy spirit. Only on the way back my mom realised the reality of the situation and started to cry.

Well, there is no armour against fate and death being a natural phenomenon or Law of nature which we can't break, there was nothing we could do to make him come back to life. As my father died, he carried away with him all his hopes, ambitions and wishes unfulfilled. I was filled with regrets and repentance.

So many 'ifs' cropped up. If only I had given more of my time to him however hectic my schedule was, if only I had listened to him, if only I had paid more attention to him.... The 'ifs" are endless....

Then came the rituals and rites. Every relative, neighbour and friend came pouring in to our house to console us and to give us strength. Their presence lessened the pain and grief of my family to a certain extent. Now that I've truly realised that man is a social animal. I also have learnt a lot about our beautiful cultural heritage on the Shradha Ceremony of my father.

We, the human beings will die one day or the other; there is no cheating and no escape from death for nobody is immortal and it is the final destination of our lives. But it was the nature of my father's death that took everyone of us by surprise.

Well, my dad's gone forever, never to be seen again except his photographs. Now the question which I keep asking to myself is "What shall I do?"

It is a question nobody can answer except the voice of my inner conscience. My dad loved my mom very much and cared for her. So after many wasted days and sleepless nights I found the answer - "to treat my mother with utmost care, love her and try my level best to make her happy as my dad loved her very much and wanted her to be happy" which is the call of duty for me.

If there is a thing called 'soul', then may my father's soul rest in peace in heavenly abode.


* Samarjit Kambam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is PA to Principal, Sainik School Imphal and can be contacted at kambamsamarjit0(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on September 14, 2013



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