As the last week of the year dawns and the year prepares to go into history, it is time to take stock. I have done this every year after that December, I lost my grandfather. For me, it was an abrupt end of a very innocent chapter in the book of my life. My grandfather had never let me feel the void of losing my father at a very young age Alone, scared and confused. I carried the heavy responsibility on my inexperienced shoulders.
I remember that December evening, ten days after his death; I had gone to a friend’s house to complete the missed school assignments. It was cold as the sun had covered itself. Gloom in my heart had transpired on the sky. Walking home I decided to take a longer route.
Icy wind was untying my silk scarf. Black threatening clouds loomed over the sky. Oblivious of all this I continued walking slowly at a very comfortable pace, slow to let my thought process go on and fast enough as not to look unusual in that small city where we lived in, it would have been a strange sight to see a young girl on the road not trying to walk swiftly to get shelter before the rains came. I know there must have been many eyes watching and prying through windows and doors as people are curious to know more and more about you when tragedy strikes.
I walked at my own pace that day to find my ‘pace’ for life. I learnt a great lesson that evening. It’s your journey after all. Many will come in your life, and many would go. You can help people, listen to their unspoken pain, comfort them, get help, smile and laugh with, but at the end of the day you are alone. The soul’s journey is selfish. And there is nothing wrong or right here. We experience on the physical level which transformed on a spiritual level. All these lessons we need. So the highs and lows of life are just easy or difficult lessons. At times, we are stuck in a place, perhaps we need to understand, relearn some important issues. However, this journey of the soul is very elegant. From the unknown sphere, a soul enters the physical, to study in this school of life. Living in a cacophony of everyday life, we tend to forget our soul and its mission. Solitude is incandescent.
In this journey, we meet many fellow travellers who contribute in their own way. Sometimes we discover another traveller who seems very familiar and friendship blossoms. Strangely, it’s an ancient recognition of the soul which has a purpose. It transforms both the souls. Even if the paths deviate from that point, both have changed at a core. All this is part of that predestined master plan. Just like a wild flower which blooms in isolation with sudden showers and later in a day is withered with its petals falling and flying away. Soon, it will be dust and mingle with earth. Same happens with relationships.
Many reasons and countless excuses can be found to go away. Life continues ‘with’ and ‘without’ all the time. So if it is death or parting, it is just very well.
To accept and to live life in all glory needs strength. The rainy winter evening helped me discover the secret. That night on my study table amidst all the books and notebooks I got hold of a beautiful diary which had been a gift from a very dear friend and started writing. The table lamp was the only object illuminating the darkness of the room. Shadows appeared huge on the white wall. Cold wind entered the room from the window. The night slept peacefully outside. Inside it was a shouting silence.
I started writing with bold strokes balancing my thoughts on the string of tears… All about that year and all years I could remember from my early childhood. People, incidents, events and moments all danced like fluorescent butterflies on an ebony background.
I found myself thinking about those who had made this walk difficult, others who had helped silently wordlessly, a fellow traveller in the train who had made a deep impact. I ‘lived’ all those poignant moments in my life and then just let them go. Free, I was from and they were from me. It was with a heavy heart, I had opened that diary but with a lighter heart, I closed it. As I put the pen down I realised that unknowingly I had used my grandfather’s pen to write. He was still with me! I learnt a wonderful lesson that moment. You do not need to have the physical form to love. Love transcends all barriers of time and space. Just because we cannot see people with our physical eyes does not mean they don’t exist.
This ritual I follow every December on the 18th. So today I sat to take stock. What did the year give me and what did I give to this year?
Professionally it was a wonderful year with many freelance assignments. On the personal level, it was a time of achievement. The year taught some lessons which I had not been able to understand. At the spiritual level I must have gained but am not able to decipher perhaps with my limited intelligence.
Many people walked in and out of my life, this year. A close friend of mine was transferred to another city. Some old contacts were renewed as friends and family visited after a long time. Some flowers withered to go away forever.
Track changes were required in certain areas, and it wasn’t easy. However, once done it was just that done. There never are any promises in life only those which you make to yourself. People from your maps at times walk out of that with no obvious reason. At times, it is necessary to remove the cities and places and people from your own map in your life’s atlas. It just adds to clutter.
As the year 2009 walks into history, I thank all those who came to my life this year, those who remained with me and still continue to be in my life. Special heartfelt thanks for those who went away forever. May God be with you!
That geography which has become history is not needed. To those who may not have left, but are no more on my atlas, I send all the blessings. God bless you and light your path many thanks for teaching an important lesson.
Note- I had written this in the month of December in my diary, never thought of sharing…