Sunday, May 29, 2005



I watched “MEET JOE BLACK” with my friend yesterday. It is a movie where death takes a human form and falls in love with a human and finds it difficult to leave the human body. DO NOT WORRY! This is not a review for “MEET JOE BLACK” but just an outlet of thoughts that came to me when I was watching this movie. While I was watching the movie I remembered the deaths of two people whom I have been very close with. The first person was my grandfather; this was the first time I lost someone close to me. It took only 4 hours for my grandfather to die. I still remember that day very vividly, he sat down for his afternoon coffee as usual. Everything seemed normal, he was in his elements, cracking some amazing jokes, and all of a sudden it took him. There was blood everywhere, he was vomiting blood, and his mug of coffee was now filled to the brim with his red blood cells. He woke up from his chair like nothing happened, walked across the room wore his shirt and came out with us to the front gate, everyone in the house was aghast, dumbfounded. He said “I am alright!! I can handle this get me an auto-rickshaw and let me get to the doctor”. He was 72 years old then. He died 4 hours after we took him to the doctor. It was a shocking incident for me. I had never imagined losing him and when the end came, I did not believe it.

My grandfathers death though, was natural, the second person’s wasn’t; he was my friend. A very close friend, his birthday preceded my grandfather’s death day. I was in his house celebrating the day before my grandfather left me. He was a very intelligent guy, one of the best in my class. I envied him for his intelligence. We were a group of three, and he was by far the most mischievous of the lot. The favorite pastime of the three musketeers (that is what we called ourselves) was books. We discovered a passion for reading and discussion that formed the basis for the strong love, admiration and friendship we had for each other. Our association broke when I was in the 10th grade. His father got transferred to another city and he had to leave with his parents. I met him one last time on an unforgettable day. It was the entrance exam for the biotech course. Around a million students were taking that exam and to qualify you had to be one in a million. I met him in the examination hall. He was very composed and assured in our brief meeting. A bright future lay ahead of him waiting. He was among the ones in the million to clear the entrance exam, I did not. He finished his degree in biotechnology and left his country of birth to the country of opportunities (USA) to do his PhD. I came a year later to the US expecting to meet him and my other friend and we were to have a reunion of the musketeers. I got news that my friend had drowned while swimming and that we were only two now and not three.

The losses of my grandfather and my friend have left me wondering about death itself. We are all dispensable. Our futures are not set in stone, but, should our quest end? Death, in itself is a new beginning. Every death signals the end of an era and the beginning of another. Death makes a person stronger, with every death a person encounters, the stronger willed does he get. I shared my encounters with death to awaken the survival spirit in us all…

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Ganesh said...

Birth and Death
Both is not detemined by us.

Ganesh said...

typo it should be are and not is

Daedalus said...

My family is a very young family. My grandfather had a heart attack when I was a sophomore in college, which changed my family forever, but I have not known anyone else to have died.

He was on vacation in Europe, a place very dear to my heart. He had a heart attack in the hotel room, and my grandmother saw him die. The strange thing was that my mother was driving me back to college two days before they left, and since we were passing through their town, we decided to stop and say hi. As we were pulling out of the driveway, there was an odd silence between my mother and I before I finally said that it was weird, but I felt like I'd never see him again. She said she felt the same way, but we both laughed it off as just being paranoid because they were leaving the country (at that time, my study abroad application was pending, so neither of us had ever left the country.) It was a warm, late August day, and we had been sitting on their patio just talking about school. I honestly don't remember much about that semester. I think it was my lowest GPA of all of them.

I didn't understand what had happened. He was only 65 and in perfect health, or so we thought, with the exception of high cholestoral. His was "high" because of our family's history of heart attacks (every male in our family for generations!) One of his favorite foods was eggs, though he never ate them, because at the time, doctors said people shouldn't eat them if they had high cholestoral. He always said that when he got to Heaven, he was going to ask St. Peter why he couldn't eat eggs.

I was very unaware in college, and by that I mean I was so focused on a career that I forgot to see the bigger picture of life. I knew my grandfather for 21 years, yet I never got to know him, and sometimes I wish I could sit down and chat (or argue) about politics and life. I think his death above all kind of disconnected me from my family, and I have just realized that now as I am writing to a stranger I only know as Robbie.

To this day that feeling of "I'm never going to see him again" haunts me. I am not an athiest despite all that I write on my blog, and my "religion" has no definition. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, right? So when we die, the energy of our lives has to go somewhere. I'd like to think that it transcends the worms and dirt we are buried in.

My grandparents' old house is a frequent setting in my dreams, and it tends to be more vivid than my actual memories. For some reason, it is my safe haven, a place where I never have nightmares.

Daedalus said...

ps. i have a link to my email at the very bottom of the right sidebar on my blog.