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Life Into Death And Death Into Life

Apni jaan se pyaari behen ko qabr mein utaarne ka waqt Allah kisi bhai ko na dkikhaye.”

- Sunday, 7th February 2016

My brother Imran Abbas lost his elder sister to cancer couple of weeks ago, and what you see above is what he had published on his Facebook wall after her burial. For many, they must be words, plain words stemming from grief, but for some of us who look beneath the superficial layer, those are words that are sufficient enough to shake one up from our roots.

Whenever I have requested the discourteous to be compassionate, because a day will appear when we will have no breath to apologise for our unsolicitous behaviour, I have been rather steadily accused of taking life a bit more seriously. I agree that we ought not to stop living and laughing with the impending fear of death, but is it not death that pushes us to keep ourselves grounded? Is it not death that whispers to us time and time again, that no matter how much we claim to have control over life, life can still be over in a dot of a second? I do not say this harshly, but these very individuals who have poked jibes at me will one day come to realise that all buffoonery ceases the instant you lose someone you love. That time stands still. It changes you. And that part of you will never be alive.

Perhaps that is the only reason I stay away from funerals – it scares me to bits. It frightens me about the how, and the what. What would happen once I was to be buried to blend with the earth? What will happen after? And that, in a way, also makes me examine and re-examine my life with a magnifying glass. Am I good enough? Am I doing for the world and those around me what I am supposed to do in order to make it a better place? Am I forgiving my oppressor considering it is his/her ignorance when they say and do things to hurt and malign people? Am I sensitive enough to the vibrations of society and the people in it? Am I keeping my head held high regardless of the situation and moving along with optimistic gusto? Am I detaching myself from being unnecessarily attached to earthly manifestations? Am I telling myself that to live, laugh, and love is something we are entitled to, and nothing else matters since nothing else is ever so important? Am I not letting negativity around me affect me to such an extent that it clouds the very semblance of sensibility and reasoning?

As Marcel Proust once said, people do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life, which bears no relation to true immortality, but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad. Such words bolster those who seek relief in them, but the man who loses knows that words are temporary comforters that people use in order to distract us and make us feel easy, since true pain is not something anyone can ever comprehend other than the one going through it because life lives, life dies, life laughs, life cries, but life looks different through everyone's eyes.

On Wednesday, the 24th February 2016, this is what Imran had posted on his Facebook page –

“Just went through these messages sent by my dearest friend Mona Kapoor exactly 5 years from now. She was Arjun Kapoor’s mom and was as close to me as my real sister. After fighting cancer for a couple of years, she left us a few years back.

Today I miss her even more, especially when this cancer has snatched my two sisters from me, Mona and my Api. I try to keep myself busy, affirm to myself that I am happy and getting over this pain, convince myself from all possible manner of logic, but only me and my Allah know that I am all crumbled from inside. Things will never be the same for me ever again.

I miss you Mona, I miss you Api.”

He then went on to inscribe some guidance to his readers.

“I want to convey one message to everyone out there because I want no one to suffer from this fatal disease. From many important things I just emphasise on a few.

1. Keep your blood alkaline by all means. Cancer spreads in blood, which has acidic pH level.
2. Cut out white sugar from your life. It's a poison.
3. Stop eating meat alone (without the combination of vegetables).
4. Stop having processed meat and chemical infused food.
5. Don’t let it spread and reach to some dangerous stage. It is curable if it's detected in its early stage.”

And then I saw this on Tuesday, 23rd February 2016 –

“When you feel the laziest ever to leave your bed, and you are trying to kick start your remaining day with a cup of  “super concentrated” Espresso.

Oh, yes, I am in a bad shape these days but even then it’s fine. We are human and can’t be super fit all the time, and this is the real me. Feel great to be what you are even without packs.

#nopacks #nofilter #noregrets”

That is another aspect of life my brother has so beautifully thrown light on. We live in times that are incessantly barraging us with information, and it is rather ironical that while we are swimming in an ocean of information, we are but drowning in a limitless whirlpool of ignorance. The youth hero-worships stars. They assume that a ‘star’ must be perfect. That it is a crime for their stars to be human, that they have to be blemish free. The blur is so blinding that people forget that the people they idolise are but mere mortals, and I felt proud of my brother for having posted the picture below without any regrets. Being macho is not being macho, but being macho is being real, and that is the heart of the matter.