By Birendra Khati and voice over by Mr.Sumangal Haldar

“Kaal (Time) devours everything- Earth, Heavens, Gods, Universe; nothing is spared. According to Hindu mythology everything would be destroyed by vibrations of the taandav (Cosmic dance) of Mahadev only to be created again from the scratch. The essence of this act is that whatever is created would be destroyed, and the new creation thereafter. Thus continues the constant, unending and cyclic play of creation and destruction of cosmos just like the process of birth and death of the living beings. All are helplessly bound to this vicious cycle without any escape. This has been everyone’s past, this is the present, this will be the future “, the words of the Aghori Sadhu resonated in my ears.

The reality had hit us hard. Grandma’s sudden demise had shook us all .It was a normal day and Grandma had expressed a desire to drink milk. Uncle went to buy it from a shop close by. Meanwhile, Grandpa had cracked a joke to which grandma started laughing uncontrollably. She fell down laughing never to get up again. Her eyes were still open when the ambulance arrived. However, she was declared dead after a few hours. Some missed a mother, some missed an aunt, some missed a sister and some missed a genuine well wisher. We knew grandma’s time was near as she had suffered a serious cardiac arrest a few years earlier. But we were blinded by love, to come to terms with the harsh reality of life. We hoped and prayed in our hearts that she be with us forever. Helpless in the hands of cruel destiny, we were hit hard on this fateful day.

Sitting beside Grandma and holding her hands, Grandpa was sobbing quietly. Grandpa was a simple and an honest man who loved his wife dearly .The couple had been married for more than six decades. Unlike the other men of that generation who never missed an opportunity to display their dominance over their wives, Grandpa never raised his voice over his wife on any arguments. The couple had their own fair share of happiness and sorrows in life. But the love between the couple had helped them to sail seamlessly through the journey. With time their bond had only grown stronger and they were much more in love in old age than at the time they had got married. The couple was the talk of the town for sharing the same bed even in their advanced age. This was completely unheard of in our orthodox community. But Grandpa didn’t give a damn. Grandpa would never leave grandma’s side even when she went visiting places. Grandma would strictly admonish him and warn him to not come looking for her. But Grandpa would always drop by to see her even if it were for brief period. Grandma knew that the old man would never spend a day without seeing her and it was of no use to scowl at him. Alas, life had some different plans.

Being a quiet man, Grandpa would not wail loudly. His silent tears accompanied by occasional sobbing would be the only way to outpour his otherwise inexpressible grief. From time to time he would wipe the tears with his bare hands. It rained tears on the ground where he stood. There were no words to console the old man. To say he was heartbroken would have been an understatement. He could not believe that his beloved was no more as his heart craved for the familiar love and affection. Grandpa broke down completely when he tried to remove the earrings of Grandma with his trembling hands, as part of the funeral rites. I cannot come to terms to describe the events that played out later. It would be sufficed to know that a few hearts were broken never to be joined again, as we all bowed down to the will of the Mother Nature.

Love, O Love!! How deep are the wounds inflicted by you!! Though unseen, and untouchable, you invade men’s hearts and bring them to their knees. You bloom and build a beautiful forest in hearts that were as barren as the deserts only to leave no trace of having ever existed. Your footprints can be traced in the fond memories of your helpless victims. How many have been beheaded at your altar since the time of Adam and Eve? Why would be the old couple be any different, then? With noose in your hands, you start afresh every day to find hearts to invade and add them to your ever growing list of countless victims. Yet, one who has experienced your full form cannot have enough of you. Though by design it always ends in heart break one way or the other, the blissful experience of having tasted waters from the ocean of pure and unconditional love is enough for anyone to go through this arduous journey of life, immaterial of what lies in store.

The author is Deputy Manager at Bharat Electronics

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