I am lying on the road, bloodied. My breaths are becoming short, and excruciating – dyspnoea sets in. I find it onerous to keep my eyes open. I could hear someone calling out my name – but it seems so far away. Someone pulls my head up and starts to cry – I could feel her warm tears on my cheek. I try to look at her.
I lose consciousness.
I feel I am moving. Something is attached to my face – it makes me uncomfortable, but my breathing is easier now. An oxygen mask? Am I in an ambulance? I try to open my eyes.
I fall into the world of darkness, again.
A surge of electric shock goes through my body. Ah! It pains. I hear a distant voice, screaming “He’s back!”. I have a prickling sensation – it seems needles are attached to my veins. I open my eyes. Amidst the white coats and the blue scrubs, I see a girl in a red dress – crying.
Who is she?
I try to remember her. But memories. Memories are preposterous. The harder I try to grasp them, the faster they seem to fade away. I see flashes – my mom, my dad, my brother, and then this girl. I remember them all, then why not her?
I slip into unconsciousness, again.
Death exists. Death exists in the gusty wind, in the bewitching sunset, in the dainty flowers, in the nondescript office desk, in the flickering streetlamps, in every flake of life. Death exists in our everyday life, and we slowly walk towards Him.
Perhaps, death is the most loyal character in the opera of our life. He is the dramatic climax which everyone knows is ineludible but also keeps us at heightened edginess: trying to carefully dodge past Him to keep the opera playing.
We go on creating the flamboyant theatre of our life, while death waits patiently for the somber curtain to drop. Some plays are remembered forever, while many fade away as death walks in, at the climax.
We move forward with every change in the play, only the dead remains still at the tragic moment.
I see Him walking towards me, smiling. Someone else is also here – but my vision is blurry.
Is this the end of my opera?
I feel someone is clenching my palm as warm tears caress my arm. I see the same girl – weeping profusely as she prays to her God. Is she my love? Is she my world of Christmas lights? Is she my anchor to life?
Suddenly I go back a decade. I am in a classroom. On the board, I see a bald quadragenarian scribbling “Newton’s third law”. I look around the class. And I see her. She looks at me and smiles. Who are you?
I move to another frame. I am in a theatre watching my favorite play. As the entire hall goes in the state of berserk laughter, I look to my side. I find her, again. She was in a frenzy of laughter, her fingers wrapped around mine. Am I in love with you?
As I zone in and out of myriad frames, the fragments of my memory start to get bigger. Slowly, I start to remember. Slowly, I start to remember the odyssey of my life. Slowly, I start to remember her.
I remember the strolls around the woods. I remember the glances we stole in the library. I remember the world we painted with our love. I remember the promises I have to keep.
Death smiles back.
My reverie comes tumbling down.
I see clearly now. Here comes death, all smiling. But standing far away is life – grief-stricken and wretched. If this is the climax, then why is She here?
Is this not the end? Do I have a chance to linger on the stage? Can I hold the hands of life, again? Or, is She here to bid me farewell?
Life is not all bewitching. Life is not all love and friendship. Life is not all heart-warming. There are mountains – of desolations, and betrayals, and hate, and darkness. At every corner, there is agony waiting.
Why fight for life then – I ask myself. Why not embrace the smiling death? Why do I long for harrowing life?
At every peak of the mountain, there is the sun – shining brightly. At the end of every treacherous road, there is home. At the end of every dark night, there rises the morning sun. At the end of every despotic day, there is the alluring sunset. At the end of every perturbing scorching summer, there is the solace of rain.
Life is wasted on those who are alive.
We do not appreciate the beauty of life. We do not cherish the magic of being alive. We do not comprehend the fact that how amazing it is to be in this world. We do not know how to be cognizant of every small hope of happiness amidst the dystopic world. We do not realize that how short this dream can be.
Dream. Is it not a dream to see the wonders of the world? Is it not a dream to witness the nature playing on his tribune? Is it not a dream to be in the divine feeling of being in love?
I look at the approaching death.
Will you wait for me a little longer? Will you let me hold the hands of life, again? Will you grant me the wish to keep my promises?
Is He stopping? Will I be able to witness the beauty of life, again? Will I see the girl, again?
Will I open my eyes, again?
Image by Jack Cain.