Sunday, February 04, 2007

Whose loss is it anyway?

Recently a close aunt of mine passed away. I would say close because the families were very close till we were in Kanpur. Later as we moved away distance did affect everyone. My childhood had fond memories of visit to her house and playing in their vast lawns. I somehow always liked her presence.

When one Sunday evening I heard of her death, I remembered her for a moment and then carried on with whatever else I was doing. It was then it struck me, death after all affects who? I questioned and answered and then argued within my head. Finally I did get my answer. Its always a loss only to the immediate family or friends.

Now one would think what a profound answer that is. To my mind it is. For me it is. What is death, absence of the person in his/her physical form. Now the real loss or pain of that life long absence is felt only by those who are in the absolute daily contact of the person. A father, a son, a daughter, a mother, a grand mother, a grand father, a long associated servant, the dearest friend.... Who else can one think of? The others are anyway not in everyday touch with the person. They will indeed miss the person, but I doubt if its the same loss as a person whose immediate family member dies and suddenly when the life comes to normalcy he/she realises that the person so always present in their life is no where to be found.

I can explain it better with my experience. When my cousin in Gwalior passed away I was in 11th standard. I obviously was heart broken but soon life was normal. I did not have to go through her absence in my life each day. When I did visit Gwalior, there was a void but there were others paying attention and life seemed normal. I felt as if she is just out of town and will be back. However when my grandmother, with whom I lived all my life, passed away in Kanpur, many many years later, the loss seemed irreparable. When I reached Kanpur after her death, in that big mighty house she was no where to be seen. It didn't feel as if she is out there somewhere and will be back. It was evident that she is no more and she will never be back. The loss of my grand parents in my life has ever since been irreparable.

I do not in anyway, wish to lessen the loss of people whenever death takes them away. However what I do realise is that with times as they are today... life is taken for granted for everyone and death is just another loss. And unless you are directly affected by the absence of the person one wonders whose loss is it anyway. So you hear about so and so passing away and then another passing away and then another. You pay your homage, your condolences and sometimes shed a tear or two but you never really get affected in your normal life by such losses or do you?

Shubhra 4th February 2007

Friday, February 02, 2007

Behind the masquerade

Medium: Oil on Canvas
January 21, 2007


ज़िंदगी में कयी ऐसे सवाल होते हैं
जिनके कोई जवाब नही होते
और अगर होते भी हैं
तो उनको कहने वाले जनाब नही होते

वो जवाब कहीं रह जाते हैं
खो जाते हैं
कभी खामोशियों में
कभी शोर में
हो जाते हैं गुम
कुछ सच्चाई से डर कर
कुछ ज़माने से डर कर
कुछ खुद सावल ही से डर कर
बस हो जाते हैं गुम

पर वो सवाल कहीँ नही जाते हैं
वो घूमते रहते हैं
यहाँ से वहाँ तक
इस पन्ने से उस पन्ने तक
इस ज़ुबान से उस ज़ुबान तक
इस मन से उस मन तक
इस कविता से उस कविता तक
एक सदी से दूसरी सदी तक

जिसके पास भी जाते हैं
बस जवाब ढूँढते हैं
परेशान करते हैं
उलझनें पैदा करते हैं
नये सवाल खड़े करते हैं
पर उनको फिर भी मिलते नही जवाब

वो जवाब ऐसे ही रहते हैं गुम
रहते हैं खामोश
करते हैं इंतज़ार
उस एक जनाब का
जिसके लफ़्ज़ों में
इन सवालों के जवाबों को
कभी मिले पनाह

January 19, 2007