03 Dec Five things to remember as a visitor on this planet
He stays on the top floor of the same block that I stay in. About half a score years older to me, we often have passed each other with a polite smile, never really stopping to converse. I knew he, along with his wife, was visiting their daughter and son-in-law from Kolkata and will go back after a short stay.
Today, as I was stepping out for a late morning stroll to the nearby shop, we literally bumped into each other. We exchanged pleasantries. I expressed a desire to dialog with him and invited him home. That’s when, to my utter shock and dismay, he informed me that his wife passed away a couple of months back. I could not believe my ears for once. I have seen the old couple so often ambling along the jogging track almost hand-in-hand. I could not simply imagine that the lady was no more. He, in a chocked voice, described the utter callousness of one of the most reputed hospital of Bangalore because of which she passed away after a week of fever, without being diagnosed.
It took me some time to come out of my state of disbelief. Disbelief not only about one of our close neighbors having passed away silently just a couple of months back but also astounded at the fact that none of us got to know about it. Felt ashamed of not having visited them before the misfortune struck to let them know that we are also here to be around in their difficult days. Felt utterly resigned and remorseful about the entire incident. As if from a reverie, I was woken up with a jolt to be reminded that:
- I am not here, on this blessed planet with a PR permit but on a visitor VISA, with the date of entry known but the date of departure uncertain and unknown.
- All that I have and I know I have is only this very moment, to live. Wasting it in planning for my learning program on Monday or the little ones birthday a month or so down the line or a vacation up North in the spring next year, is utter foolishness.
- Those around me, including my loved ones, are also visitors with their dates of departure also not known. While I can build bonds of love with them, they do not in any way belong to me. I must be ready to let them go whenever time comes, knowing that relationships are mere illusions.
- There is nothing that I came with and nothing that I will be allowed to take away – materially speaking. All that my soul will bear with it in its journey is the experience of how and how much I lived my moments.
- I am essentially a helpless and powerless being, when it comes to destiny. All that I can, will and want to do is surrender to the will of Nature to guide me to live my life, moment to moment, for the purpose I have been sent here with, which is to actively, joyfully, lovingly serve humankind in its own journey of awakening.
I am sharing this experience of mine with the hope that as you read this you will also be jolted out of your reverie and illusion of permanence. You will also let go of your obsession with correcting the past and securing the future. No, trust me, with the wisdom of having lived life so intensely, I can assure you it’s simply not worth it, at the cost of letting this moment pass by. We are all held, guided and informed to take the right course, at the right time, if and only if, we re-member. Re-member with the Totality of which each one of us is a member.
(Pic courtesy Samir Dhar Chaudhuri)