The Life & Death Of It All

I wrote this post on Sunday. I didn’t post it. I was too emotionally lost. I’m still not very sure but I’m going to take a deep breath and here goes..

This whole weekend has been such a blur. My friend was having her Sangeeth (The Indian version of a pre-wedding party) today evening and I’ve been planning for it for a while now. Last night I got food poisoning. I was so sure my weekend was ruined. Things can’t get worse. You know, the usual whiney “My life is cursed and bad and nothing ever goes as planned.”  This morning I woke up to a status message on Facebook.

Every time you think you have it bad, life shows you that it could be worse. A while back I wrote a post called “The People Who Change Your Life” about a guy who was the reason I chose to study what I did and pursue the career and somehow find what I now know I absolutely love doing. A cardiac arrest had led him to a coma for close to ten months and at 7a.m today ( 22nd of June ), he ended his journey here. I have this shaky feeling that I can’t get rid off. I really had hoped he’d get better in some miraculous way but life isn’t always fair. I’m here whining about not getting to go to a party when his mother has to live with the fact that her son is never going to wake up.

So many messages of love were pouring on to his Facebook timeline. What’s the point ?! He’s not going to read it. He’s gone. He doesn’t care if you both had a memory anymore. He doesn’t care to say “Oh look I had so many friends on Facebook.” It makes you question the concept of “OMG I HAVE THREE HUNDRED LIKES AND TWO THOUSAND FOLLOWERS !” What’s the point ?!

I did go to my friend’s Sangeeth. I not only needed to get out but I also wanted to be there for her. Though time may have put us at a distance, she was one of my closest friends in school. She was so happy and giggly. Her fiancé was doting on her and it was such a pretty sight to watch. They were ready to begin their lives together. Their love surrounded them and you could see it when you looked at them. But even that didn’t help the way I was feeling.

I often feel like death takes up too much space in my mind. Not just in reality but when I read books or watch movies, I tend to turn to stories that I know will depress me and I let it occupy my mind though I swear I am usually a very happy person. But I feel like there’s something about it that’s so realistic. It’s the truth that is inevitable. It’s going to happen to every one of us no matter what we try. But I can never accept it. I believe in spirits and ghosts because I hate thinking that something s simple as that has the ability to take a person away from us forever. I don’t even know.

I’m pretty sure this post is as lost as I’m feeling at this point and I’m sorry for that but I really just don’t know how to feel. I wasn’t close to him but to me he played a big part in how my life tuned out and so he mattered. It mattered that he came out of his coma. It mattered that I got one last chance to say Thank You. It’s funny how you never realize how important a person in your life can be until you know you might never say something to them again. I wish I’d realized this before his coma. I wish I hadn’t lost touch.

I guess the only thing I can do at this point is to hope he rests in peace and his family and friends find the strength to get through this..



The People Who Change Your Life

“There will always be a reason why you meet people. Either you need them to change your life or you’re the one that will change theirs.”

– Sushan R. Sharma

I didn’t believe in this statement because I was oblivious to it. I thought the decisions that changed my life were always mine. But it’s incredible how someone who has had minimum to no important role in your life can influence you in a way you can’t define.

When I graduated high school, I was at cross roads. I didn’t know what to do with my life. College? Work? Marriage? I had no clue. Then I befriended someone on Facebook. We’d attended the same school and we knew the same people. So we started “chatting.” He asked me what I did for a living and I said, “Nothing. Still trying to make a life choice.” He then asked me what I’m interested in and what I like doing and I told him I’m very interested in music, movies, writing and so on. We got into a more detailed conversation about it and he said I sounded like a media person – “Mass communication or if you know what you like, a specialization course in film making or audio engineering. Study that. I think you’ll like that. You can even try applying for my university.” It was a passing comment in an unimportant conversation. I didn’t realize it had made an impact. I didn’t realize that he was the reason, two months later, I’d looked at those options. I didn’t choose the university he’d suggested. But I ended up pursuing media in a university of my choice.

Until a few months back, I honestly believed it had been my choice to pursue a degree in media at university. I was the one that wanted to do this. He and I had lost touch and I’d even forgotten all about him. Then one day, a friend of mine mentioned his name and I said “Oh wait ! What about him?” Apparently, he’d had a cardiac arrest and had sunk into coma. His parents were praying for their son’s life. It shook my heart because in that moment I realized, the reason for my happiness, the reason for my new goals and career choices had come from him. When I’d had no idea what to do, he’d given me direction. What he had mentioned as an option in a passing comment, I’d explored and made a life out of. The worst part, I’d never thought of it that way. I had always believed it was all me.

This pushed me to wonder how many more life choices of mine have been influenced by other people. It blew my mind when I realized how my life constantly changed for the better and worse because of the people I met and the things they said. How I’ve made choices based on simple conversations.

I don’t know how many of you remember Orkut – A social media website created by Google. It was India’s biggest “It” site before Facebook. In 8th grade, a girl in my class suddenly turned to me as I was leaving and asked, “Do you have an Orkut account?” I had no idea what it was. I’d never even heard of it. If she hadn’t mentioned it, I probably never would have. But that day, I ran home and figured it out. I even opened an Orkut account. An account that has changed my life in such an incredibly massive way. It has given me the worst memories I can imagine. But it has also given me someone I call my best friend today. Orkut was the reason I wanted to study abroad. Studying abroad, I met different people. I learnt new cultures. I explored boundaries. I set my own limitations. I also met a girl who later on moved to the country my dad lived in. So we hung out every time I visited my father. That girl started dating a really friendly guy and he introduced us to his friends. With one of his friends, I ended up having my first serious relationship. The worst and the best man I’ve met so far. That guy became the reason I picked a university in that part of the world. The course, however, influenced by a man now in coma on a hospital bed.

I met a girl at that university. She helped me through my break up and we became best friends. She cared for me, loved me and today, she’s like a sister to me. She made me want to be a better version of myself. She always told me, “Stand tall. You’re worth it.” With her words, my family’s support and an accepting society, I figured myself out. I took pride in who I was.

Accepting myself, I also learnt my likes and dislikes. This helped me find other people who were like-minded to me. I dated one of them who introduced me to his friend. That friend and I became pretty close as we both volunteered at a film festival. He taught me about his culture and the customs in his religion which made me curious and I figured out my dream job. After travelling innumerous hours across the globe and learning so many new things, I know now, I want to travel and live in different places and learn new cultures and languages and write about them. Something so very different from my former dream job as a “House wife,” modernly known as “Home-maker.”

Funny, to think, it all started with a casual “Do you have an Orkut account?” !

Honestly, take a second. Think back. You’ll realize just how none of your choices actually really came from you. Your worst enemy will start feeling like the best thing that ever happened to you.

I call my friend every other day and ask him, “How’s he doing? Is he awake from the coma?” My friend always wants to know why I’m so interested. I never tell him the story. The story of the guy that changed my life.

It’s a story I will keep to myself. When he wakes up, which I honestly hope he does, I will find an opportunity to thank him. For giving me a choice. For giving me a dream. For giving me a life. Until then…


Update : The guy passed away on the 22nd of June 2014. His mother was by his side and his close friends and family went to the funeral and paid their respect.