I am going to die.
Well, I agree that that is hardly a way to start a…. conversation, but yes, I think this is as good as anything else. Besides it being a fact as well.
Those are details of my life and not quite needed. The fact remains that the sunrise which I am seeing from my window right now, could be the last one I see. And again, it may not be.
Just that the doctors who very often come into my room and speak in whispers, are convinced that it could be.
As I said, details.
Anyway, that was not the point of this conversation.
I have been thinking of this for a long time. Seriously in this busy world of internet and routines, I did not know till my fifteenth year that I could write. Trust me, I was as surprised as anyone else when others liked what I had written. But that was not what I was thinking.
I know that I am going to die. Others feel sorry for me because I know that. I know. Trust me, I really do. I am not stupid. The whispered tones, the look in the eyes… yup, all of that is really not nice.
Not that people do it knowingly.
The thing is, there was a time when all this got on my nerves.
Singling me out. The cancer is not my fault. There is no need to stare at me for that.
As far as feeling sorry for me is concerned…. there are sometimes I cannot stop laughing.
I kid you not. I really laugh.
My hospital is not a particularly cheerful place. I do not know whether other hospitals are in anyway better. But then who cares?
But I digress again.
The thing is, I have a lot of time when I am not throwing up or feeling tired or generally not fed up.
In those times, I look out of the window.
Like right now. The morning sun beating down my face. I cannot keep standing for long. It hurts and Mrs. Vidya, my nurse gets very annoyed when I over-exert myself. But she does not tell me anything.
I mean no one tells a dying girl what not to do. I know it. Anyway, I digress again.
The thing is out from my window, I can see lots of the people. The window overlooks the busiest roads in our city. A city which I was part of. The bustling part was also something that I was a part of.
Getting up early in the morning and getting ready for your work. Yes, I understand it. Work is so important. It gets us money and gives us a feeling of being a part of something important. Yes, I understand that too.
But the thing is I am here now. Far away from all that.
Work, time, money… none of the three mean anything to me. None of it can help me now.
And I tried. I ignored all the early signs that my body was telling me. And I overworked.
And after I collapsed during work, I was brought to the doctor for the first time and I realized that money could not help me too. Not with what I had.
So now, I have time.
And I was angry. For a long time. At the unfairness of it all. Why me? All I wanted to do was live my life and create new things.
But then as I said, I was angry. Past tense.
A single morning changed that.
A single morning from my window changed that.
I saw an accident. Out in the road. Early in the morning. A guy driving a bike just collided straight against the median. Stupid guy. He was not wearing a helmet.
Thankfully, I could not see everything. But I do know that the guy did not make it out alive.
That was when I stopped being angry. At everything.
I know I am going to die and I am struggling to come in terms with it. What about this guy? Albeit stupid guy. But he was given no chances to do what I am trying to do.
Was he lucky? Or am I?
And that was what got me thinking. For a long time.
And I can’t help but feel that probably we got the whole thing wrong.
Life…. Death…. it is really not what we make of it.
And I just realized why that was so.
Worry. We worry. All the time.
And I am sorry, but worrying has become a fashion.
Things go wrong – start worrying.
Things may go wrong – start worrying.
Have nothing to worry – start worrying.
And all for what? In the end, you either meet the end the way the motorcyclist did it. Or meet the end like I am going to.
Does it really change anything? Your worrying, that is.
Which was when I realized we were all taught to worry. Right from our childhood.
And do you know what made me laugh?
A very stupid story.
There was once a little boy – his parents told him that when he studied well, he would be happy.
So he studied well.
Then when he grew up, his parents told him that he would be happy when he got into a good college.
He got into a good college.
Then his parents told him that he had to get a good job then he would be happy.
He got a good job.
Then his parents told him that he had to get married to a good girl, then he would be happy.
He got married to a good girl.
Then his parents told him that he had to have children so that he could be happy.
He had children.
Then he was told that he had to get his children educated and then he would be happy.
He educated his children.
At sixty, the man died.
And he died with a surprised look on his face.
The stupid story had just one question at the end of it. Why was the man surprised when he died?
Six months back, I would not even have heard the story.
Now, I know the answer to the question.