One, out of a series of images that were captured by his then human mind within a span of few minutes, was of people rushing towards him. He could not recall how much time had lapsed before he found himself awkwardly lying on the gravel ridden tarmac. He was unsure if it was his brain conjuring up images of men shouting out at him and asking him if he was all right, or was it for real. Through bleary eyes, all he could see were some broken pieces of glass and the contents of his bag scattered around him. Due to the impact his spectacle was thrown at a hands away distance. Fighting the urge to become unconscious, he found a heavy two-wheeled machine all over his legs. The rear wheel of his bike was still spinning at a speed as if it was still being accelerated. Hardly a moment had passed when he felt a tingling sensation on the back of his neck, as if a snake was making its way to his buttocks along his spine. When he touched the back of his neck the reality dawned upon him. A warm and thick red colored liquid was on his palm. The blood had now started trickling from his eyebrows onto his once-white-now-muddy shirt.
The most eerie feeling, however, he remember having the last time he breathed life as a human was that he didn’t feel any pain. In fact, he was happy and wanted to laugh. Laugh, like he had never laughed in his 30 years of human existence. He was feeling dizzy and wanted to rest. It would sound completely absurd but he was happy; happy because he was completely ripped of all the responsibilities of a son, a father, a brother, a friend. He was now feeling as light as a feather. He wanted to sleep and rest, which he did, and that was about to last till eternity.
But the moment he remembered the roles he had played, while he lived on this blue-green planet, the faces of the beautiful people he had encountered in his life flashed against him. He was leaving behind those special people who had made his life worth to be called as a ‘human life’. He remembered the most beautiful lady who brought him into this world. The one with whom he had shared his heart beat, blood, food, and pain, well before breathing human life. It was strange but he could now distinctly remember the smile she had on her face the first time she heard him speak ‘mamma’, the tear in her eyes the first time he stood on his feet, the way she waived good bye the first time he went to school, the worry she had all over her face when he caught cold. Perhaps, she was the one who taught him why ‘mother’ was the most beautiful word of all words. He also now remembered the man who loved him the most but never made it explicit. He was the one who played with him, nursed his injured knees when he fell off a bicycle, stood as a wall against the worldly sufferings and pains, made him a man of good character and high self-esteem.
He remembered the friends he had made and who would remain forever, maybe even on the day of his cremation. He could now hear himself laugh when he was with them, the late night outs, the group study just before exams, watching movies and skipping classes, especially the way they used to cover up on him when he was with his girlfriend. He remembered his wife with whom he shared his fears, his happiness, his success, and his life. She was his first and only love. He remembered the way she said ‘yes’ when he proposed her, and the way she looked at him, with tears in her eyes and smile on her lips, when he completed the final rite of their wedding. She was in her white hospital gown when she had their little princess in the cradle beside her bed. That was the moment when he felt his life was perfect. He owed his success to these people in one way or the other.
All the happy feelings he had had a few moments ago were now shrouded in a cloak of guilt and remorse. Guilt because he didn’t – not even for a second – considered what would happen to these people after he left; and remorse because he still had many years before he would grow old and die of oldness. He now wanted to live and live to the fullest. He wanted to watch his daughter take her first step. He wanted to be with his parents when they would need his support in their oldage. He wanted to let his wife know how much he loved her and what importance she holds in his life. He wanted to hang out with his friends again and watch a game of cricket. They all loved him and he loved them too.
His eyes were filled with tears – tears of separation and tears of fear – when he heard a voice which was as sweet as honey. A voice that sounded familiar. The voice spoke to him in his ears and asked him why he was crying. The voice inquired if he was OK and if he wanted to stay home today. That was the moment when he recognized the voice, the one that he loved. He opened his watery eyes and focused on an angelic face in front of him. “Honey! What happened?” exclaimed his wife. And in response to her anxious expressions and curious question, he kissed her on her forehead.
*Inspired from the accident I met a day before yesterday.
P:S: I’m fine with just a swelling on my right foot and few scratches.🙂