I would have said that I am the happiest man under the sun, if it was yesterday morning. Today I’m not sure whether I am under the sun or not. I am pretty much surprised at the events I witnessed today at home. Instead of blaming the lorry driver I would rather hug him tight. I’m also upset at the mad people who threw stones at him as he was trying to run away from the spot. Everybody including my parents is cursing him for everything without knowing the fact. How do I tell them that the stray dog that was saved by his kind behaviour is lying near the corner teashop feeding her newborn puppies with sweet white milk, without knowing anything about her saviour’s situation. His wife is in a confused state, not knowing what to do. She is weeping with her baby close to her breast looking at her husband who came home late at night with a bleeding head. He was shivering badly. She was about to cry loud, but he quickly covered her mouth and whispered “Don’t give me to anyone!” As she stood in a frozen state he dissolved in the state of coma hugging his son on the floor. I was with him yesterday whole night since the time I found my body dead. It took a few minutes for me to accept the reality that I am no more a part of the blood and flesh that protected me from the real world. I followed him immediately. Ironically today is my birthday too.
I attended my funeral today morning. Unlike every other good and bad events that happened at my home, this is the only time I experienced myself as a silent spectator to the expressions of the people who came to see me. My body was the filthiest thing I had even seen in my life. Being a doctor I had seen many such bodies in front of my eyes and I was always been famous for being so merciless. I could be the best actor in the world for that matter. I kept my emotions so passive towards the newborn babies who opened their eyes to me and to the old men who closed their eyes to me. I felt like a God inside and behaved like a man outside. In psychiatry they say that the brain registers every single image that comes in front of our eyes forever. I always carried this pride inside that all those babies must be retaining my face in their subconscious minds as their first connection to the world and the old men having my face as their lost connection to the world. While closing the eyes of the dead bodies of those old men, I saw myself there. Both the babies and the old men said, “Thank you.” I suppose…
You must be wondering why I thanked the lorry driver. It is because of him I could revisit everybody who was been in my life, as a third person. I attended every single conversation they had among themselves. I could read their minds too. My wife never cried until an old friend who happened to be our best buddy in Medical College came to see me from America. I heard their conversation. Heard from him why he never told me the reason for living as a bachelor even today. Whenever I asked he gave a quick look at her that I never noticed when I was alive. But it is strange that she who remained my twin soul and back born in every single moment of my life, kept it as a sad secret. I am not sure how I would have reacted to it even if she had let it out. Today morning as he came in, she ran to his shoulders and cried like a baby. I saw the same face I fell in love, in the corridors of medical college that I lost sometime somewhere in later point of time. Nurses from the hospital whispered, “He used to be their best friend since college. Isn’t he smart?” There are many moments I regretted for making her my wife from a friend. She was good as a friend. Wasn’t she struggling as my wife? Yet, we remained ideal husband and wife for our parents, son and society. We belonged to the same ‘caste’ and ‘religion’ and our horoscope had a good match. Moreover ‘I loved her', nobody asked whether she loved me, including me…
My parents kept crying whole the time since yesterday. Well, how do I tell them that I am feeling happier than ever before in this state. May be they are the next to smell this aroma of incarnation. When I was alive I always had a concern about their life. Old age was eating their body and mind. Like everybody else I could not have imagined parents leaving me on a day that cannot be written by me even as a doctor. I was too worried about such a state. Now as I float around in an invisible animated ‘some’ form that I'm neither solid, liquid or gas with no sense of touch or smell. I am in a state of no ‘state’. I have no surface. I have no depth. I have no future, present or past. My only state is ‘happiness’ – complete happiness that I always kept searching for when I was alive. How do I tell this to my parents? I am not worried about you any more like any other ‘living’ human being.
I saw my son playing with friends of his age from the kinder garden. He was found so happy to see all his cousins at home. Right now, I want to hug the writer of this story and say that my son is the only one who is enjoying my present state of mind. I wanted to tell him that he doesn’t need to be worried about anything. I saw my son acting smart in front of other children as he always did. He was searching for everyone’s attention that brought smiles even to the face of my crying parents. He was also worried that his American uncle didn’t get him chocolates. He hated the silence around. He was not worried about his ‘sleeping Daddy’. His little mind found the reason for the silence - ‘Daddy is sleeping’. He remembered his mother's voice, “Shhhhh……. Daddy is sleeping.” as always.
Unlike every other occasion in Kerala there was good discipline in people’s behaviour. They all came in a perfect queue that stood long to the road. I saw a Minister and a priest too somewhere in the queue. The minister was showing people the meaning of democracy and priest, his decency. Both of them had a mask - only I could see! I saw the unhappy face of Mr. Avarachan too, who helped me with some money. He looked at the half finished house at the next compound that was a dream for me till yesterday. I am not bothered about it today… They all had flowers in their hands and varied expressions on their faces. The nurses who fancied me, on purpose, kept the flowers over that part of my body they wished to see… but missed… as always. They missed me because I was a sensible human being till yesterday and today I was seen as a senseless human body. My life or death didn’t serve any of their fantasies.
Tomorrow my wife and child might leave to America; my parents might have to spend rest of their life in an old age home; the minister might be winning another election; the priest might become Pope; the little babies might grew up as young men still retaining my image in their subconscious minds; the nurses might continue to fancy my photograph and get naughty; the people might be standing in many more queues with flowers… and the puppies might grow up as annoying stray dogs that leave many more lorry drivers in coma… all that doesn’t make any difference in the system of life and society. They still carry stones in their hands. I am not concerned about any of them.
At present I have only thing do - stay with the lorry driver who saved the dog. If the God willing to give me a chance to enter another body as a new life, I would rather choose his body… and continue his journey… protecting many more dogs... Wish you happy birthday.
* photo - Abey Abraham