Why is it that we cherish bygone days? Why do we think about our past and shed tears? What makes us cry when we think of a dead relative or a friend, or a broken relationship?
Couldn’t find an answer?
This is because we value the people, things or times that have gone or have left us, more than anything that we have in our lives.
These thoughts are hammering me, as I am sifting through my grandpa’s (nana) diary. The words written in Bengali and English, in lead and ink, now almost unreadable, speak volumes about the void and loneliness that he was going through in the last stages of his life.
I remember one afternoon of late September 2003, when my bed-ridden grandpa (nana) called me to his room. He asked me to pull a chair and sit close to him. He said that he wanted to talk to me. I was watching a Hindi film on National Channel. I told him that I would talk to him in the evening. There was that smile, unusual and sweet on his face. He said, that was okay!
That very night, he had a stroke and he could not speak any more. The next day, he breathed his last. He left with so many things housed in his heart, that he wished to share with me. I felt guilty; I felt like a loser. But, I could not get that afternoon back; I could not get my nana back!
We human beings are generally like that. We ignore what we have with us and value things that we want. We generally don’t tend to realise one thing that nothing that we have with us has a permanent existence – be it our family, friends, loved ones or even assets.
Assets, however can be earned. But, we will never get back our loved ones, once they are gone!
Each day with your loved ones should be treated as the last day of togetherness. Sounds harsh and negative, but only then, you will see how much you can love, care and value someone.
In this context, I can’t resist mentioning Pratima and Manohar. It was Pratima’s 23rd birthday and first after marrying Manohar. Throughout the day, she hoped against all hopes that Manohar came home early that day to celebrate the special day with her. She had never desired to celebrate her birthday this way. Even she couldn’t gauge what made her so restless this time!
Manohar came late from work, had the tasty chicken biryani that Pratima cooked that night and went to bed early. He had to report early morning next day.
Pratibha felt hurt. She retired to bed with the thought that perhaps she was over-reacting. The very next day, while they were eating their breakfast, the flower delivery man delivered beautiful birthday lilies for Pratima, sent by a friend. Manohar received them. It was then, when he realised what he had missed last evening.
He hugged Pratima and wished her “Happy Birthday” and said, “Darling, let’s celebrate it ‘big time’ next year.”
Month’s later, Pratima became pregnant. After, a tough period of pregnancy, it was time for her to deliver their baby. During the delivery, something went seriously wrong and Pratima breathed her last. With this incident, ended the new beginning of Pratima and Manohar’s life.
Manohar couldn’t celebrate Pratima’s last birthday. Perhaps her soul knew that the time of separation was near. But, only Manohar could not sense it.
It was not that Manohar didn’t love Pratima, or deliberately ignored her special day. It’s only that, he did not know how to value something that he had.
The story of Chandan and Shilpa is equally an eye-opener. One night both fought over an issue that was very disturbing to both of them. As a general rule, it was always Chandan who broke the ice and patched-up before sleep. They hugged each other and slept cosily.
But that night, no one made an effort. They went to bed with loads of stress and anger, sleepng with their backs facing each other.
The next day, Chandan didn’t wake up. He died of a massive heart attack. Shilpa still repents for not hugging Chandan for one last time that night, and for not patching up that night.
Ironical! Isn’t it?
Our parents, close friends, siblings, husbands or wives are our priced possessions. What’s the harm, if we make them feel loved by listening to them carefully, giving them our time, surprising them with gestures or gifts, not sleeping over fights and telling them verbally how much they are loved!
This certainly does not mean that we need to do this each and every day!! The impact of one loving and caring gesture is so powerful, that it can stay longer to be cherished by the receiver.
At least try this in your life. I am sure, you will never repent. After all, no one has seen tomorrow. We live in a machine made of flesh, bones and blood. Who knows, when the lease of life expires and we don’t even get that ‘one last chance to love’.