Bliss it was to be Alive

Bliss it was to be alive,
but to be young was very heaven.

William Wordsworth

My little one was to come back from Chandigarh that very day and she was to arrive at about 9-30 PM. Sadly it was a coincidence that the mortal remains of my neighbour, too, were to arrive at the same very time.

Since I have not learnt to drive so it is always someone who does this job for me when my kids come at odd times. But today was different. Everyone was so immersed in all and sundry jobs that I could not ask anyone even to bring her home. And the worst part was that her cell had no outgoing facility and when I tried calling, the signal was missing. I could not even ask her to take a taxi home. And the thought that she would be waiting for me at the bus stand, was just killing me. I didn’t know what to do?

When we parted company the other day, she was in one of her low moods. The initial hiccups of starting a new project, the final bad ending of one ongoing project, was taking its toll on our nerves. This resulted in some scuffle as well and way back to Hamirpur, I was praying to God for so many things and would even pray at times, “Its better to die than to live such a life.” How easily we try escaping the battles of life by being martyrs to be sacrificed at the altar of life. I, too, was in such a stage. But do we really wish to die or is it just a wish never to be fulfilled but said religiously in front of those whom we want to frighten?

Back home the scene was different. An untimely death of a close neighbour shattered us all. I was particularly disturbed as I saw from a close quarter that a dead relationship can be revived or replaced but never a dead person. How wrong I had been to think it to be-all and end-all situation. Life is precious. “But who would bring my little one home?” was at the back of my mind all the time. I was not so insensitive as to ask my colleagues to go and bring her home at a time when there was so much to be done. I was in dilemma. Suddenly everyone became alert as the carriage carrying the body had arrived. The women folks started to wail loudly and men engaged themselves in work. Such gender defined roles were best suited for all concerned when men hid their emotion under the assumedly weight of work and women give vent to their heart felt grief. One half of my being was with the aggrieved family and the other half with my little one who might be waiting anxiously for someone to come to pick her up.

Suddenly amidst all this commotion RKD came up to me and asked about the little one. Before I could say anything, he shouted, “She must be waiting” and hurriedly grabbed the keys of his car and went away to the bus stand. I felt so relieved. Within no time the little one was back home. I hugged her close to me and cried loudly for her being with me. Unabashedly I was crying as I knew what death does to your near ones. The problems that looked alarming enough to beat us the other day seemed so insignificant and immaterial.

This incident has taught me some lessons. One that life must go on, whatsoever may happen. So it is best to run along with. More important was the significance of being alive as we had another chance to set right things that might have gone wrong. But death doesn’t give you any chance. When I heard persons lamenting “if only…” I found the futility of such a wish. Why don’t we do all that we are capable of doing when life is breathing and bubbling? I learnt it was never too late to mend some relationships, to start afresh some others and to make up for gaps that could be filled! Not a tall order by nay means. I understood the wisdom of the words of the famous bard:

Bliss it was to be alive,
but to be young was very heaven.

Thank God, we are alive and young as well then why to be bowed down by the pressures of the life.

Tomorrow is a new day!

2 thoughts on “Bliss it was to be Alive

  1. Dheeraj Sehgal

    Respected Maam,
    I wonder if you remember me. I am from 99-batch civil engg. deptt. (The batch of infamous strike).

    It’s a great honor that someone like “Maam” is associated with the group. I regularly go through your writings. I remember that during college days, as soon as we got hold of a copy of “Srijan” we would look for your writing first.

    I feel that one can always put ego aside, mend the broken relationships and start afresh. It’s a difficult task to take that one step, to put ego aside. But once taken, can change hearts.

    After the strike, though everything came to its normal, egos could not be settled down. Apparently pupil behaved immature and the master was furious about the defying act. There was unrest as everybody had lost the sense of belongingness. But turn around came with Convocation. There were apprehensions initially. The first touch down at Hamirpur was nervous, and entering the first gate seemed like entering a restricted area. But the welcome we got tore egos apart. Nerves clamed down and all of a sudden the looks became bright. The lost sense of pride, belongingness and brotherhood took over and emotions came rolling down even from the toughest man’s eyes. The affection had healed the sore hearts. Faces were full of joy and looked for their mentors, who have once again taught a lesson that, its just about taking a step forward and rest falls in place.

    I wish that you continue guiding us with your writings. Teacher and the pupil relationship is the sacred relationship as they say.

    Dheeraj Sehgal

  2. Saroj Thakur

    Dear Dheeraj,
    It was such a good feeling to know about your views. You seem so mature and honestly much more mature than I am! The purity of your feelings has touched me immensely and honestly speaking I had literally forgotten about the strike, but yes your comment made me think about the good parts of it. Hope to hear from you again.

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