Death is nothing; It’s dying that is so hard.

Is there something called Destiny? or something called ‘Naseeb or Bhagya’ as it is meant in Hindi? or as it is referred to as ‘Taqdeer’ in Urdu?

I honestly do not know; many learned, cynical, scientific people would have answers, unfortunately I am not one of them and hence prefer to think of the easy words.

Death, something that most people are scared of, worried including me. But at the same time, there is some faith that says “Ab tera waqt nahi aaya”

Over the past so many years, it seems I have managed to get away, wouldn’t go as far as saying cheating; but definitely yes there is something that manages to save me always. Time, People, circumstances – honestly do not know and so refer to them as my Destiny, Taqdeer for want of something better. Out of the many times, fights, strikes, travel in Bihar, NE, Indonesia where there have been incidences, the following 3 are the one, where for a while I actually saw the light:

It was 1980s when as a newly minted Manager working 14-18 hours a day in Ahmedabad, it was once a week when we used to splurge on a movie/thali in the evening. I stayed in a rented place quite away from the city, even ahead of the IIM campus where there were just stables. A short cut was always a rough road, with jeeps, bullets whizzing past in the night. That night speeding to change before meeting friends, I met with an accident. There was just a Kaboom and the next time I woke up was my uncle (a doctor) asking me to walk and keep walking and remain awake. After a couple of days of being pronounced fit to travel back to Baroda, I saw the scooter – it was half, the left part was shorn away by the jeep/tempo that banged me. Having waited for nearly an hour, my friends Mehul and Hemant along with couple of others, came in search (remember there were no cell phones) and found me unconscious, took me home, called the doctor. “Don’t know what made them come in search, don’t know why no other vehicle came barreling after or during the time I was lying there” The only thing I remember or I think remember is somebody shouting ‘Accident, bhag, bhag…..’ There is absolutely no memory of that time or day. The only thought that emerged here “Shit if I had died, how would all the pending work be achieved, there is nobody capable to complete it”

It was 1980s again when operating a courier company, one had to travel to Bombay the Head Office periodically, so typically at times take the evening flight out of Ahmedabad as a courier, finish the work next day and the day after morning flight back to Ahmedabad. When a manager travelled, the courier boy would leave early to be present to take the flight back or vice versa. The company undergoing M&A at that point, there was a sudden summons to reach for a meeting. Reached Bombay, and had just got engaged, N was planning to be in Baroda for Navratri so decided  to quickly take the morning flight and return to Ahmedabad, finish work and come to Baroda. Upon reaching Bombay, learnt that she was in Baroda already. The two courier boys who came from Baroda and Ahmedabad had confirmed tickets back by train. However, Santosh from Ahmedabad wanted to reach Ahmedabad early for some wedding preparations in the family. (Background: He was a very hard worker, quite elder and had been taken on recommendation due to not being able to get a job. Always polite, willing to do work that nobody agreed, he had become quite close to me) So he gathered courage to approach me and ask if he could fly in my place. I managed a Rajdhani ticket to Baroda and allowed him to fly on my ticket Bombay – Ahmedabad IC 113 the ill fated flight. I reached home in Baroda and went to sleep. Early morning, there was chaos, with phone ringing and my parents trying to find out where I was. Our rickshawallah first called than, office calling from everywhere. Took the car and rushed to Ahmedabad. The scene is so imprinted in my mind even today that, when 9/11 happened, and Mangalore crash happened, the scene surfaces, the smell of charred flesh, blackened parts, hospital, morgue. (It is recently during my Ahmedabad visit, another dear friend who had lost his brother in the crash, managed to speak about it and we shared our notes and hopefully found some closure.) The only thought at that point and for quite some time after, Oh God! If I had been on that flight, What would have happened to N?

Time passed, small episodes kept happening – fights & strikes in Bengal, Travel to lawless Bihar, NE, locked in office for money, periodically stranded in hotel rooms, all was par for the course – with faith & that N was always waiting for me, soon K also joined her.

The ups and downs came, went and in some ways I think lethargy stepped in. So Dame destiny probably decided to give another kick, more stronger compared to the escapes earlier.

February 2015 Swine Flu that had me completely out and looking at the white light, clouds and angels. You can read about it in detail here. The narrowest of escapes, if I so say to myself. And the thought was, Will I ever be able to fulfil my promises to N & K?

Or my preferred way “God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now, I am so far behind that I will never die”

This is not a macabre post but celebrating my Life all over again.

Written by AD
ex waiter, angadia, travel agent, dotcomer, dukaandaar, marketeer, people watcher. appreciates single malt, food, friends