It was all of a sudden. I had just started feeling peace brimming my mind when it all vanished, replaced by head-banging headache. I was sitting in the drawing room and slipping through the newspaper. It was seven in the morning.
As usual, I stopped at page 6, of the newspaper, having the obituary column. Seventh from the top right was an 18 years old girl’s picture. The description below it said-
“We remember your laugh; we remember your tears, And we’re gonna miss all of that, we’ll miss you dear!!”
Dear Mansi (17.3.1992-17.3.2011) deeply missed and remembered by Family and friends. I stared at my name and then at my pic. It wasn’t really a nice one. The camera couldn’t hide the pimple on my left cheek! It took me a few minutes to realize that it was my pic indeed. “Hey! Wait a minute! What am I doing here?” I was shocked. What exactly was I doing in the OBITUARY COLUMN I had just had a mild fever last night. I rushed to the room where I slept and saw my mum, grandpa and brother crying over the bed, and as I leaped ahead, I saw my self- still kind of unborn.
“Hey I am alive! See, I am here! I am not dead! Why are you all crying?” I couldn’t make out what was happening. I shouted, but in vain. They didn’t see me. My head started aching severely as I turned around and saw my father running through the door towards the bedroom. Throwing his touring bag sideways, he leaned over the bed and saw me in a way he had never seen before. It seemed he couldn’t believe his eyes. He was expecting the closed eyes to blink and the frozen lips to speak- “Namastey Papa. How are?” in the tone they always spoke.
He expected the still hand to hide in my mum’s hairs. But they did not. The closed eyes never blinked. The frozen lips never spoke. But he continued to look for them as a tiny tear trickled from the corner of his eyes. My mum was crying her heart out. My father took a last look at me and then took his eyes off me and hugged my mum. “I am not dead! How can I die so soon! I didn’t even hug you mummy & Papa! I am not dead!”
I shouted at them but they weren’t listening. My brother had one of his hands on my forehand and the other shaking my shoulders the way he does when he wants to wake me up. “Wake up. One last time. Please.” He whispered in my ears. “Hey I am here! Look at me, I am still alive. Why don’t you look? I Can’t die like this bhai! We didn’t have our last laugh together! I am here!” I shouted at him who was busy shaking my shoulder.
“Dadaji at least you listen to me! Tell them I’m not dead. We haven’t played carom for so long! Let’s do it now dadaji! C’mon, I can’t die this soon!” I was talking on the top of my voice with my grandpa but he didn’t listen. I felt so helpless! And almost in no time I saw my home full of people- close relatives, neighbors, and my friends. Most of the people were silent, some were whispering and very few were crying. I was being taken to the drawing room.
My best friends saw me as I came. They were looking at me in disbelief They didn’t say anything, but I had a lot to say. I wanted to say “I am really sorry for my words spoken in anger.I am really sorry for the times that I’ve hurt you.I never meant to.” I wanted to tell them how dearly I felt for them.How they were always an important part of my life. How they were the treasures of my little universe! How I was incomplete without them. How they were the onesI wanted to pour myself in…“Love you guys…thanks a lot for being with me and making life fun! You are best people in my life.Love you. LOOK AT ME I AM TALKING TO YOU!”
They didn’t listen. And soon, reluctantly,I believed in their eyes. I believed in every person there who didn’t listen to me…who did not believe ME! I started hating myself. I wanted to get away from there away from my mother’s cries, away from my father’s eyes away from my brother’s hands, away from my grandpa away from myself.
I saw my brother still teary-eyed getting the woods ready.“Bhai I love to listen to you and your college stuff and things you want to share with me love you.” I saw my mum, talking with relatives as she broke in tears again It was then that I occurred to me how beautiful she is, how beautiful is everything that she does for us Mummy you are beautiful. I know this is not enough but Thanks! I love you. I LOVE YOU!” I shouted in air, but her cries swallowed my words. My father was making my final bed…
He stayed away from the people he loved the most so that they spend their lives with comfort.I saw my father, who had given me those words of wisdom all through my life, who was the one who could stop my tears, the one who gave me reasons as to why I should do things and why I should not, the one who wanted me to learn from my mistakes and therefore never stopped me in doing what I wanted to do. “Thank you papa. You were always my ideal, my hero. Love you papa PAPA!” He didn’t listen. My grandpa was talking with the relatives about me, I never told him that I love him and that I know he loves me too
Nobody was listening to me; to my words They never listened to those words before either ‘Cause I never said them. I never said what I wanted to say to my family and to my lovely friends. My heart sank in guilt! “Oh God!! What a damn!! How the hell can I die without saying all that I wanted to! This is so impossible! Just one more chance God. One last chance. Please. Please let me say just one sentence to people I love and people who love me please God! Let my life not be a waste! Please!”
I was shattered. I was in tears. PLEASE LOOK AT ME LISTEN TO ME FOR GOD’S SAKE! From a distance, I heard my mum shouting my name… She was holding my arms…saying – “Mansi? Mansi?? Mansi You are safe. Did you see a nightmare? You were shouting like crazy!!!” I threw away the blanket from my face. I had been sleeping. I opened my eyes and saw my mum. I never felt much safer. “You are beautiful” I said as I hugged her tight. “I Love you”.
Life seldom gives a second chance. Don’t waste your today thinking about your past or future. You can’t undo the past, so there’s no point feeling forlorn about it. And you can never predict what’s gonna happen in future, so there’s no point thinking ‘bout it all the time. What you can make best use of, is your present.
This is the only time you can change, control and beautify. You will never know when life plays a trick. So stop playing with your life. Stop chasing stones ‘Cause it’s high time you’ll realize that you were losing diamonds. Appreciate what you think deserves your appreciation. Love people who love you.
Tell them that you care and stand by your word. Give time to your family and friends when you can. Else you’ll pine for the time when they are gone or YOU are gone Life is precious; don’t turn it into a waste! Spread love.That way you’ll live after your life, that way,you’ll win over life!Loads of people die daily, be the one who lives after death- in hearts in memories Don’t waste your life Just Don’t
Contributing Story Teller: Mansi Sharma [email protected]
Wish to publish your own real-life, adventurous experiences? Email us at [email protected]