Debasish, Rajan, Priti.
Debasish, Rajan, Priti, Ritesh’s dad.
Debasish, Rajan, Priti, Ritesh’s dad, Mamta Bhabhi.
Can’t recall the actual name, but we always called it TheMemoryGame. It was quite an enjoyable game we played in our childhood when we had to pass time in picnics or during the frequent spells of load shedding. Still remember how we burst into laughter the moment someone missed a name and got thrown out of the game.
Over time, the picnics have transformed to alcohol drinking sessions and we seem to have forgotten these games.
But, as it happens with the cyclic nature of this world, everything seems to come back a full circle, even if in a different package.
This year, subconsciously, we have again started playing TheMemoryGame in our isolated minds, with our own selves. While trying to keep track of those losing the battle, this time there are no laughs if we inevitably skip a name or two. Inevitably indeed, as the list seems to grow in some sort of an exponential progression which we find increasingly harder to keep up with.
More alarming is the fact that the deaths have become just names to keep track of. Names that we strike off our phonebooks so that we don’t call them, even accidentally.
But do we feel a thing?
Where are the bouts of nostalgic agony that seemed like a heavy stone on our chest when we heard about the passing of someone we knew? Where are those silent smiles when we used to recall, with fond pain, some prank we played on the aged gentleman, a friend’s father? Where are those quiet thoughtful moments we unknowingly spent to give the departed their due respect? Where are my own insides?
The number (yes, the names have, even as I write this, started being replaced by statistics) of close people who departed us in this short tenure has been so overwhelming that it seems to have made us numb.
Are we grieving enough? Or are we bottling it all up within us? Have we become indifferent to the incremental count? Or have we shifted into survival mode?
The fact that we are not able to be physically present during the times of grief of our close friends and family is also adding to the burden (of guilt?).
Will this indifference make us stronger and help us accept death as it actually is, an inevitable event in all our lives? Or will it create a psychological syndrome that will wipe off all existing theories and ideals of attachment?
No, I do not know the answer.Only time will tell.
But for now, I feel cold. I feel like a statue made of ice. With tears that froze halfway down my cheeks.