Between Life & Death, what I am most scared of ?

Posted: February 18, 2010 by moifightclub in life, Thoughts

Remember those scrapbook questions. What You love, what you hate, your favourite colour and blah blah. For one question, I never had any answer. What do you fear the most ? Girls would go for rats, spiders, cockroaches. Boys would say nothing. Few would admit that its ghost. Those who grew up more than their age would fill the place with “losing loved ones”. I would wonder if its ghosts ( would love to meet), loneliness ( enjoy it infact) or death (wow. chapter over. what a relief).

Then I discovered Albert Camus. Made me feel I am not guilty. Not the only one who wouldnt put “loved ones” in that blank space. Ryan Binghman in Jason Reitman’s Up In The Air made me realise that am not the only one bragging and selling detachment. Acting too smart, even with life. Wait till life plays the smart game on you. And it seems it has started playing it. Because now I know what I am most scared of. Not life neither death. Its when you are in between. You cant live, eat, drink, shit, scream and you cant even die. You just wait. There is no option. No button. No choice. You life is based on all the choices you made and then, there comes a full stop. Its one of those days.

We know her end is near. Some of us have started muttering it too. Its good for her, good for us, we all agree. Cover our selfish wish with an excuse for her relief. Or may be its the opposite. But she always said its not decent to talk about death. We stop midway. Everytime I get a call from that number, it scares me. Thoughts starts running in all directions. Have just been informed about her status. I give few quick fix solutions. Adult diapers. Wheelchair. This food. That liquid. Those kind of loos. Far away from her, its easy to suggest. Am just emotionally bothered. Those close to her, have lot to worry and more to do. Even the simple gesture of making her sit with a back support is daunting for everyone. The rest is not even easy to imagine.

 The phone is passed on to her. In frail voice, she asked me how I am. My eyes well up. Said am fine. Asked her how is she doing. Could not hear her voice after that. Some signal problem. Just few months back, I was there. When I was about to leave, she held my hand and tears started rolling down her wrinkled face. I acted smart and detached. Arre, am coming soon. Why are you acting ?

On the way back, Deepa Mehta’s Water came to mind. Yes, the same film that sold desi exotica to West. But I liked it. It was only for that old lady who wanted to have a laddo which she wasnt allowed to eat, and one day she gets it, next day she is no more. I remember her telling me so many times that when the end is close, you want to eat all those things that you havent tasted in ages. Food that you arent allowed. That makes you feel guilty because of social norms. In the end, you dont care. You want to taste it one last time. She is scared that she may want to eat non-vegetarian food on deathbed. She lost her husband quite early. Since then, havent tasted meat. Its been quite long. I again acted smart. Said it doesnt happen like that. And if it happens, I will make sure that I feed you the same and make you happy.

And am more scared. In my three decades of existence, I havent seen too many people on deathbed. May be, just six weddings and no funeral. Have always stayed away. From every kind of social functions. They scare me. They bore me. Hate crowds. Hate remembering all those important dates. Can live with the tag of “anti-social”.Infact have started enjoying it. Many say, leave him, he will not come. I nod happily.

So, why the “anti-social” is going all “senti-menti” this time on “social” media. Because it has happened before. Something similar. It was someone else. One more person who was close to me. I came back, wrote a post and it did happen. The end. For a change, am willing to be superstitious.

PS1 – She is there in a script of mine. Few liked it, some appreciated it. And those in power said it promotes superstition. I said its called magic realism. I have seen it all. But its stuck with a corporate house. I dream many times of making it some day and dedicating it to her. The days are counted few now. Hopefully some day it will happen. She will see it from wherever she will be.

PS 2 – BTW, if you havent read the gorgeous feature on Roger Ebert yet. Click here and read it. Its must must must read. 

  1. @pvijay says:

    😦 Feeling sad. Don’t know why.

  2. Kenny says:

    I understand who you’re talking about S.
    I don’t really know the correct thing to say. Like you, I’ve been through more of weddings than funerals. Haven’t had to deal with those yet. At least not of close ones

  3. Kenny says:

    Just read the Ebert story. Almost had a tear. I just realised I’ve been reading his reviews for nearly eight years now! And 90% of the time I’ve been in full agreement with him. Maybe it’s his policy too to watch movies from the heart, not as a critic, not as a filmmaker, but just as an aam janata.

  4. pardemerehndo says:

    one of the best i read on your blog. “Truly”.
    Don’t know what else to say

  5. Manu Warrier says:

    I strongly feel you are the person because of your collective experiences in your life. What has to happen will happen, none of us have any control, what we take out of it, sadness or joy, will make you look at life with a fresh perspective. It could be easy for me to sit and comment on this blog, but I can relate to the pain you are going through.The experience you have spoken about will only make you more stronger.

    Don’t care what people say about superstition etc, that is your choice as a writer and how you want to mould. I can understand the pain you are going through, when your baby is caged by a corporate giant.
    is there no way you can get back your script from the company? Shouldn’t there be a time bound option, if not made in a year, the writer has option to check with another producer? I remember Mr. Rajabali talking of including a clause like this for the model contract?

    Kenny – you said it, Ebert’s quality of watching movies from the heart and as aam janata is what gives us an objective review. Most of the critics in India, barring two or three, everyone loves to show off their knowledge of world/ hollywood cinema and film making, others love to sell out their integrity, some others are arse lickers and some base reviews on account books. How can we have objective reviewing with this kind of double standards all around?

  6. pratim says:

    your best post because you did not write this one for people to read… sach much! hope you have the strength for every situation…

  7. kennydb says:

    Great line, Manu:
    “Most of the critics in India, barring two or three, everyone loves to show off their knowledge of world/ hollywood cinema and film making, others love to sell out their integrity, some others are arse lickers and some base reviews on account books.”

  8. Rashmita says:

    It’s very touchy. I have no words to speak. It potrayed the things which always happen around us. But we never notice it . Evenif we notice, we ignore it. I just put myself there in that stage, I realized the moments. I too avoid to face such moments or try to think critically abt it ever. But, this write-up has touched my heart.

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