Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Lighthouse

(First posted on Facebook notes on July 28, 2009 at 4:26pm)
Baba, my father, passed away on July 15, 2009. He became the epitome of love and strength in his last weeks. He fearlessly faced certain oncoming death,as if calling it with both arms outstretched in love.

While he lived, He was not a saint, he did not believe in rituals, he tread on toes with his direct views. He was a misfit in this age of "manners" & "etiquettes" where the face smiles while a dagger is pushed into one's back. He always faced life head on, unafraid. Never afraid of calling a spade a spade.

One thing he was not, he was never a hypocrite - what he was inside, he was outside and he spoke so. He strongly believed in Karma - That was the lynch pin of his life - his personal lighthouse. When he was counting his last days, he mused that he must have done terrible Karma to beget this slow and torturous death sentence. But, he passed away peacefully (and very quickly), so his Karma protected him in the end - not allowing him to suffer.

Never complaining, never pleading, never indulging in self pity. In such situations, most patients are known to become extremely selfish, uncaring of others, rolling in self pity, anger & frustration. Not he - he exhibited the ultimate in composure, practicality, love and caring.

Voluntarily, He stopped taking food two weeks earlier (he took water), but never once did he fail to ask his visitors to have food.

He gave lucid directions on how his death was to be handled, what to do and what not to do if he went into coma. So many times, he exhorted me and Ruhi to go back to Kuwait citing "Recession" as risk for our jobs. Amazing clarity, amazing man.

And, ultimately, when i did reluctantly obey him, & left him for 4 days, he did the Indian rope trick and disappeared into heaven on the 3rd day of my absence. As if he could not leave this world till I was present beside him. He pretended to sleep and quietly, unknowingly, passed away, surrounded by all his loved ones present in the house. No ado, no fanfare, no trumpets heralded this remarkable passing away.

My Baba has made me tremendously strong - forever. Never will I be afraid of anyone, anything or any event in my life. Never can i ever be without love in my heart in everything I do.

I do not regret his death, he was to die anyway in a few months, at best. I do not miss him, because he resides in my heart now. I do not feel that he has left us. He has started on a journey, following his ancestors since time unknown, which now he has so finely paved for us when we, his kins, will follow him one day.

Through his death, He has become my personal lighthouse in my journey of life through death.

Post Script: My eldest Uncle, the great tauji, Raghuveer Raj sb., passed away 3 years later on 14th July, 2012 - and was cremated on 15th July - the same day as Baba. They shared the same birthday too - 6th february. They looked similar in appearnace closely resembling their mother. What coincidence !

This time though, I was present when tauji, my eldest father like figure, who touched my childhood in various ways by providing me with love and abode, passed away and I requested his soul to apologise to baba for my absence 3 years back when he managed to give me the slip of a lifetime.

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