Gaining a lost life?

It was 21st of March, 2015. Exactly 11 days late my birthday. We lost a beautiful soul embodied in a handsome physicality of Mandar, a friend of the friendliest people I’ve ever known. I still distinctly remember when I first met him. I was with a mutual friend in the football field, when he came up to talk to that friend. And within minutes, we both were introduced to each other. Honestly, being a human born normally with no superpowers, I don’t remember the expressions, but guessing from the usual, he must’ve been calm and cheeky at the same time, blended with an innocent, friendly smirk. I never got the chance to explore him deep, but just swam near the surface.

So yes, a soulless body is turned to the ashes as dictated by various saints mya, which now has become a tradition, dictated in Hindu scriptures. Or let me embroider the words better – a body abandoned by its soul should be sent back to the heaven through smoke, and the remainder of ashes is offered to the running water, with a hope that it’ll be carried to the mystical land of God through paths unknown to us humans.

Same day, in the evening, my phone pinged. Facebook Messenger. There was a text on our friends’ group chat, regarding the mishap at Kerwa Dam. I knew a part of our group left for the dam as soon as the last Board examination scheduled on that day got over, to enjoy the time they never knew would be one’s last. We all thought it was a kind of joke, but after continuous calls and texts and information gathering, we got to know it was for real. Mandar was no more alive. A friend who was somehow saved was hospitalized. We left for Mandar’s house the very next moment we were sure all of it was happening for real.

On 22nd of March, 2016, everyone was gathered at his house. It was around 1 pm, quite dark. The gathering was the kind you’ll never want to experience in all your lives. It was mourning precisely. Every eye had tears, including the eyes which were absent from his house, bolted in their rooms, punishing themselves. Every body was shaking, sobbing. Those which were still, were nearing numbness. There were people blaming themselves, people wishing to turn the clock back, people desperate to make the lifeless body kept in the veranda to wake up to life, people regretting decisions, people calling out to God to exchange souls, people soothing people. The people I always saw smiling, fooling, rejoicing were so very melancholic that it all seemed surreal.

Like everyone else, I too was asked to offer flowers to his body, probably like a final Goodbye. I distinctly remember his expressions. He looked calm and cheeky at the same time. At peace? Or just resting, gearing up to bear the heat of pyre, which definitely must be cooler than the heat of surviving in the humongous world.

We all grew up that very day.

My Grand-dad told me that every human arrives in this beautiful hell to serve a purpose. Probably it was his role to mature us dumbasses in a day, and make our future brighter than what it would’ve been? Or was he here to test our commitment to friendships and brotherhood? Or maybe to make us realise how heavy a loss of life is?

Almost a year later, I was asked to ink something in remembrance of that soul. I gulped down a mug of strong coffee and worked on that white sheet. I could come up with nothing. Nothing seemed to perfectly explain the feelings. The reason was probably that love for him in every heart increased when he left the ground. No words, sewn in any pattern, could create the perfect image. But then, for my part of contribution, I had to try my best. It was challenging, but you be the judge now.


The Sun was embracing the deep blue waters.
Dimming, mellowing, with each elapsing moment.

Oh wait! The Sun seemed terrible, reluctant to leave.

As if it wanted to shine a fistful more. To illuminate any and every corner he could touch.

Was he asking for too much?

As if a king was being mercilessly dragged off his rightful throne.

To the deep, dark dungeons of nothingness.
Was he being treated as he should’ve?

Sigh! So was the rule of Nature.
Beautiful in its own sinister way.

The world now fell into the clutches of darkness.
The tyrant to whom they lost their Sun.
There was melancholy, depression everywhere.

People bolted their doors, deserting the streets, beaches, and valleys. Birds returned to their own little nests leaving the sky vacant and colourless. Even the mighty lions took to their dens.

What they couldn’t see was there wasn’t much time.
When the Sun will Rise, and win his royal throne again.

There’ll be light again, just hold tight.
There’ll be happiness again, with streets bustling with cycles and limos.
Birds will beautify the blue sky again. The lion will roar once more.

And don’t you worry, it’ll be the same Sun that’ll rise. The same zeal and positivity. The same enchanting ferocity.
Just close your eyes with a smile, keep warm, and let the night pass!



27 thoughts on “Gaining a lost life?

  1. This literally broke my heart. Wonderfully expressed. :’) I’m really sorry for the loss of Mandar. I never knew him but your words tell me that he indeed was a beautiful soul. R.I.P.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well written. I’m sorry for your loss.

    I had always depended on my sisters for their good advice and company. We grew up together. I was the youngest. My cousin was 11 months elder to me. My sister, a year to her. It was too good to be true.

    I had been with my cousin all weekend. Things weren’t working in her favour. It was a rough time we all thought would pass away. The next day, when I sat down to apply for my first college. I got a call that changed my life and me.

    My sister had suicided.
    The way you described mourning brought back unwelcome memories.

    It has been a year since she went away. Still, nothing makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t even imagine how it’d feel to lose a sister who was much more than just a relation. But I can feel the loss, the void, you must be going through. What’s coward is to push someone to the point of suicide, and not suicide. I feel privileged you felt like sharing the loss, and I’m sorry my words brought back bitter memories. I’m really very sorry for your loss. Stay Strong! You’re Awesome!


  3. This is a sensitive topic. Especially because it really happened.
    The emotion that effervesced off of my screen was true.
    That’s the biggest compliment a writer can get.
    Now consider the next things I say objectively.
    I know that things like ‘we all grew up that day’ or ‘he matured us’ come naturally while writing, especially when the writer is in throes of emotion. But these things are not true. You know it. I don’t need to explain.
    True liberation from our earthly selves can only come through death. Many people consider death to be so surreal that now it has become a very mundane concept.
    Death should be accepted and welcomed.
    ‘You’ should die every morning.
    By ‘you’ I mean the ego. The thinking self. The calculating self. The self that never really lets us live freely.
    And only after death will your true self reveal itself.
    Mandar has died but he isn’t gone. You can’t detect him using your five senses. But his atoms are still here. His energy is still in this universe, serving a purpose our minds are too unsophisticated to comprehend.
    Instead of inciting grief in yourself, feel his presence.
    That’s the only way of respecting the dead.
    You’ll grow up the day ‘you’ die.

    P.S. – On a very minor note, maybe you published the piece without rereading it, but I ought to tell you it has many grammatical errors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m highly indebted to you. I kid not. I actually, truly am. It is your comments that guide me to mature as a writer. I completely agree with whatever you said. Every single word. Yes, I can’t see him, but I can feel him if I just try a bit hard. But I’m not getting you at just one point. I am of the belief that ego is a must in a personality. I mean, one must have a limited amount of ego, ’cause that’s how one earns respect. An amount that’ll help you in adjusting in the environment. An amount that’ll stop you from irritating someone else just because you want to do whatever your heart dictates. An amount of that calculating self which will convince me not to complicate some one else’s relationships because I want to do a thing that might. Isn’t it so? I definitely lack in experience. But that’s a thing I’ve noticed since the very beginning. But keeping that aside, you honest review is highly respected. THANK YOU!
      Yes, it was in the flow of emotions that I used some adjectives that all the more exaggerated the basic idea. But the grammatical errors are a terrible fault on my side. The last thing a reader would expect. My bad!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. An ego, by etymological definition, is ‘self’. We don’t need an ego because we already have ourselves. But as time paases and people grow up, watch their parents fight, watch movies and soap operas and believe them to be true, they start seeing themselves do things. What I meant to say is, you walk into a room and not only do you see what your eyes see, but also what you ‘think’ others in the room see when they look at you. You fiddle with your hair, straighten your jacket, check if your fly is zipped up and hear, I mean ‘actually’ hear what you think others may be thinking about you. I know it sounds weird, all those dialogs and images that play inside our heads are weird when spotlight of awareness falls on them.

        Now that phantom you have created starts becoming corporeal. You start having a relationship with yourself. Your thoughts start arriving in a ‘second person’ format, you start talking to yourself. The beauty of language is that it effectively portrays the ideas occupying the speaker’s head. A few hundred or so years after the dawn of language, sentences which have the same subject and object started cropping up. I am angry at myself. I am proud of myself. I want to kick myself. It is weird if you think about it. We are actually having a relationship with ourselves, or more specifically, a relationship with our ego. So if there are two people in this bond and one of them is the ego, then who is the other?

        The other one, the one who wasn’t born out of ideas but of the vast intelligence that operates this world, is our true self.

        Plants, animals, cells, they don’t have egos because they aren’t self-conscious (one of the first things we were taught in 11th Class Biology). They don’t have a relationship with themselves. They remain at peace with nature and with their fate. It is we who have more pressing problems like the examination coming up tomorrow or the boy who doesn’t seem to understand that the girl he’s constantly chatting with is my girlfriend. My parents don’t understand me. My teachers are out to get me. My friends will desert me, I can see that in their eyes.

        All the drama in our lives is created by the ego. It revels in being special you see? It can’t be a nobody. And in order to distinguish itself from the herd, it starts playing the role of protagonist in our ‘life’s story’. I am always misunderstood. Why can’t she see that I love her? Why can’t God, for one goddam second, stop messing with my life up?

        Ego is pride. It is arrogance. But it is also misery. Suffering. Feeling sorry for yourself.(See? subject and object are the same). If you look back, most of the drama and suffering created in your life were of your own making. That messed up relationship with a girl? Pride. Jealousy. How could that bitch do that to me? After all that I’ve done for her? The constant war with our parents? Ma life, ma rules. Rebellious ego. I’ll do what they’ve forbidden me to do just to piss them off, not because I’ve carefully considered the repercussions.
        But what about our true self? How will it do things?

        The True Self-
        Okay, maybe I haven’t been acknowledged by the girl I love after everything I’ve done for her, but I never did those things to prove a point. I helped her because I wanted to. Not because I wanted her to feel indebted to me.
        Fine, my parents don’t acknowledge my passion. Their ego isn’t letting them accept the fact that they can’t control my life forever. That is their life’s journey and one day they’ll realize their mistake. But I’ll continue doing what I love. Not out of spite, but because I want to.

        You can never have a small ego because it will eventually grow bigger. You either possess it or not. Your true self will never want to irritate anyone nor ruin anything good. It is self-sufficient. It isn’t needy of attention or praise. It isn’t fazed by failures or black tongues. That is the ego’s realm.

        So is ego bad?

        When humans gained self-consciousness, developing an ego was inevitable.
        Doesn’t this seem like a flaw in Nature’s plan? Why would it create something that will slowly kill itself? (let’s not kid ourselves, we’re ‘sprinting’ towards doomsday)
        Now appreciate the Intelligence behind it all.
        Ego creates suffering. And just like pain, suffering’s purpose is to tell you that what you’re doing, or how you’re doing it, is wrong. Slowly, it’s funneling you towards the banishment of ego and attainment of enlightenment. Helping us become the beautiful people we all really are.

        I’ll close this long reply (and a late one, but one has to give pre-professionals in M.B.B.S), with my favourite quote, spoken by a great spiritual teacher I follow, Eckhart Tolle-

        Suffering is necessary until you realize it is unnecessary.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I completely loved the explanation. The journey of the evolution in the perception of ‘ego’, you explained, in just an enlightening comment is commendable.

          But, I still am not fully convinced. The way you paralleled the true self with ego, is where I think the flow got uneven. Why can’t we inculcate a limited, measured, amount of ego in that very true self? We surely can, I believe. Let’s not allow the ego to transform into, like you said, pride, arrogance, self pity, jealousy, rebel. We need to chain this demon and use it wisely and effectively, because, once unchained and free, (again, quoting you) will lead us to the D-Day.

          “You can never have a small ego because it will eventually grow bigger. You either possess it or not. Your true self will never want to irritate anyone nor ruin anything good. It is self-sufficient. It isn’t needy of attention or praise. It isn’t fazed by failures or black tongues. That is the ego’s realm.”

          There. That’s exactly where I disagree, with due respect for the diversity of opinions.
          You, I, we all can overpower our egos and limit it to a particular patch of personality.

          The true self must be, should be, and even is ambitious and optimistic. It might not be needy of attention or praise, but it’ll get the same if it keeps on diligently working, walking towards its ambition. And its not the true self’s fault, is it? The ego you referred to might seek the spotlight, but the ego I refer to is what keeps the true self on its path. The ego wouldn’t let him (the true self) confess his feelings to a girl just because she’s moved on, and confessing will increase her problems. The ego wouldn’t let the true self get so much attached to someone that it gets a herculean task to accept their absence. And you’ll agree when I say that you can’t always stay next to everyone, everything you designate nearest to your heart.

          The ego you talk about is the tiger, ambitious to bring down the lion from its throne. Tiger is vicious, deadly, and quite calculative.
          The ego I talk about is the Elephant. It knows it can crush the lion, but it won’t, as it believes in living peacefully and not meddling with other’s affairs. However, that doesn’t stop him from making the throne his ambition. When the opportunity arrives, and there’ll be a fair election, it’ll unleash it’s potential and maybe even claim the throne.

          Picking out another line – “Your true self will never want to irritate anyone nor ruin anything good.” Agreed. But the true self would want to do what their heart dictates, because after all it will be “True” to at least oneself. And doing what the heart dictates isn’t peaceful for all. It might end up irritating or ruining things. It’s the ego that stops it from doing it. Helps it calculate the outcome.

          The amount of ego I support is what’ll make us realize our self worth. It won’t let us settle for something less than what we deserve. It won’t let us accept the reality just as it is, and will keep on pushing us to change the reality.

          I’ll end my long comment with an example. Being an Indian, I was told the life story of a mahatma since the time I began interpreting sentences. On 7 June 1893, M.K Gandhi, later known as “Great Soul” was forcibly removed from a whites-only carriage on a train in Pietermaritzburg, for not obeying laws that segregated each carriage according to race, even though he had purachsed the ticket in a fair manner. Gandhi was practising as a young Indian lawyer in South Africa at the time, and this event proved a remarkable influence on the future of his political life.
          It was all due to that one incident that hurt his ego, that today Railway Officials travel in a separate carriages meant exclusively for them, and no one else.

          I’d humbly like to add, that I by no means intend to disturb you while you’re preparing for your examinations. I’m sincerely sorry for that. You’re awesome! 🙂


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