Friday, October 30, 2009

Do you really want to live forever?

I saw Chayji lie like a baby in the hospital bed that day. She looked so shriveled up. So tiny. So weak. And so helpless.

Though her frame is petite, she has always had a decent amount of weight on her and a healthy glow on her cheeks. But that day she looked like a bag of bones. Her cheeks were so hollow, that I felt I'd cry if I looked at them one more time.  

The only thing I could see around her was pipes and pipes. Pipes that helped her drink water, pipes that fed her, pipes that helped her urinate. It was as if her whole life depended on them. 

Chayji was my grandfathers rakhi sister. She wasn't related to us by blood, but we always thought of her as an important part of our extended family.

That day she looked us helplessly, trying so hard to place our faces. She couldn't recognise any of us. She couldn't even recognise her own children.

Not that they're worth remembering anyway. She gave up her life making sure their lives were perfect. All they did was make her shuttle between different homes every now and then. None of them were willing to take up her responsibility permanently.

Even in the hospital they took turns to look after her. They knew nothing about unconditional love. Or may be they just didn't love her enough to by her side all the time.

Seeing her like this really made me like she was no different from a baby. Just as helpless. Just as dependent. She had no memories. She couldn't walk and she could barely talk.

You know, when it comes to death, we always hope we can outlive it. We're always hoping for a long life for ourselves and for people we care.But seeing lie like this made me think. Do you really want to live forever?

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