Sticky July with all its humidity ain’t no fun in the capital. I waited for more than half an hour and walked more than a kilometre just to hail an auto. Every auto I came across would go only at double the price. I haggled, quarrelled and threw a mental punch at one auto wallah who refused to look at me after I named my price. I scolded them with what was left of my atrocious Hindi after a long hard day. I was on my way to Mizoram House for a grievance service of a young girl who passed away in Jalandhar and whose body will be taken back home. I don’t even know the name of the deceased and all I know was that the body will be brought down from Jalandhar that night itself. But such occasions in the Mizo community are something I never want to miss in a place like Delhi.
It was only after I reached Mizoram House that I learned that the deceased was a girl I went to school with, for half of my life. An Army Medical Officer with a Captain rank, she was found dead on her table. She had no previous ailments, no previous complaints of her health. I froze for a good couple of minutes, the only words I could utter “You mean, Melody, ‘our’ Melody, Mary Mount St.Paul’s Melody??”. My old classmate nodded. Apparently it was all over Facebook but I haven't learnt about it as I have been really busy lately, with mountains of work pending and “hospital duties” still in full swing.
I sat there in the lobby. Quiet. I was alone in a crowd with everyone else buzzing about me...
The girl I remembered was a tall gawky girl, hair pulled back to a low pony tail (as was the school regulations), a mole on her face, someone who used to have scented pens of various colours and sandwiches for lunch. We haven’t remained in touch for ages but it felt just like yesterday when the whole class was punished for making noise in Class 7, Melody and I knelt face to face, giggling all the while. And that girl is now just a body in the casket, underneath the pile of flowers and tears of family and friends. It all seemed surreal.
We make plans for the future, running after financial gain, working so hard and not having time to cherish and enjoy the company of our love ones. We all know that death often comes to those who expected the least. It doesn’t leave out the richest or the poorest, the strongest or the sickest, the youngest or the oldest. And to think that something as obvious as that crosses our mind only once in a blue moon or maybe only at funerals…
I pray I am reminded of how fragile this life is often and again. And I pray I live life to the fullest, love those who matter and not waste my time and worries for those who don’t. I pray I live my life in such a way that I be a blessing to people who cross my way.
But most of all, I pray I remember that each new day is a gift and I learn to be grateful for this most precious gift. Most importantly, I pray, I learn that how I decide to live each day is a gift I can give to myself every single day. I pray I learn to give myself a beautiful gift each day!!
Live each day well, for you never know when you'll not wake up to a new day!!