Sunday, March 27, 2011

A bystander

A bystander in one of the busiest bus stop of the city, all of sudden pulled my shirt and asked me "What is Life". I tried to ignore him, pretended doing something on my Ipod and letting him know that I was busy with "something" and totally not interested to answer his question. But once again he did the same and asked the same question and nothing more. I had to answer him to get rid of him. I turned off my Ipod and thought for a while. It was already a hectic day and now some unknown guy was asking me the question, for which I didn’t have any answer at that instant. All the running from the morning, the burning tyres and tear gases had made my day something near to awful and now. I had to answer what is life. I thought of leaving but I was in no mood to walk not even up to the next stop. I will answer him and get rid of him. All I could think about was the black smoke blocking the time of Ghantaghar and the eagles flying above the Rani Pokhari. I looked around as if I was searching for the answer around the wall of Durbar High School but all I got was stare from one of the greatest poet of Nepal Bhanu Bhakta Achayra. I don’t know how long I took, but all I could answer was I don’t know. Then lady came and asked me, where are all the buses? Thank god I said to myself and told her that because of the clashes in front of the college they were stuck in traffic jam. Oh god!! Why on earth do they have to do this each and everyday? She said, Again I was left with no answer. If she had stopped for a while and asked me where I study then she would have asked for a reason why do they have to do that everyday but seems like she was pissed as much as I was and had no intention of eating my head in middle of the day in a "Bus station" with no buses not even the likes of bicycles. Now again I was left with the man who I suppose was drunk as hell and kicked out of his office or even his house. Once again he asked me the same question pulling my shirt. I don’t think you heard me the second time but I don’t know the answer and I'm in no mood of answering that right now. Why don’t you go to some busy place where you can get yourself a crowd and have different opinion and chose the best one out, and if you have any other question as well. Then, from no where he said, My wife, she just died of some disease that I couldn’t understand. He pulled something out of the bag and handed it to me. I thought to myself, not interested huh? Sometimes in life you just have to be interested even if you don’t want to. It was some kind of paper, like a hospital receipt, which read "Bir Hospital" at the top. It was like some kind of bible in there, oh dear god she was sick. There were things that I didn’t get as well, first a doctors hand writing and the there were diseases I never dreamed to hear of. Being a student of science I knew that she had some kind of lungs disease there were words like alveoli, bronchioles which I had heard of. And word Emphysema was written more than twice and was circled more than one. I had never heard the word till that day but now I know that it means loss of elastic fibers around alveoli which causes their over inflation. And then I assume she died of lung cancer there were words something like sarcoma which meant cancer. I never thought how to react after I complete reading the paper he handed to me. Now I was there I was sure she died of cancer and what should I say now. I handed the paper back to her and 1st time today he said sorry for bothering me, which I didn’t, wanted to hear, I would have a few moments ago but now? I said that I was sorry as well for not responding to his question, who would have answered that anyway? Until and unless it's in front of camera or some national television program. There was a moment of pause and I wanted to get out of there, but now I couldn’t. I was really troubled at that time. The clashes seemed like they were never going to end and the "Bus" was never going to come and the guy beside me was never going to stop talking. Again he started talking, It was three months ago that I first came to Kathmandu with my wife. She have had the pain for more than a year but, the place where I come from, I was told that it was nothing just the cold she was suffering from. The health post, which is almost as store room where compounder's as we call him there visited us as tourists. I had to do something about her, she used to cry every night with pain and I had promised to keep her healthy and happy forever and I had to keep the vows. I just didn’t know how. Then the only option I had was to bring her here. I arranged some money and came here but, the amount that I brought was a needle in a haystack in this place. I thought I'd be back before I knew and I wont need more money but. And now I know that even if I had it wouldn’t have matter. They say it can't be cured. "Cancer Vanda Rahechan babu teslai sabai lai lancha re nagarib na dhani". I could see the tears shinning, and ready to fall. Tyring to wipe away the tears, he said, Two years ago my mother died of diarrhea. I couldn’t do anything at time and again I couldn’t do anything. The tragedy of death isn’t the death itself but its watching someone die in front of you and you can't do anything. I don’t know there wasn’t much in my life before and now ill get on the bus and go home and there wont be much but I have to live with the fact there's no one with me and I've got nothing.

Theoretically I don’t see the reason to live and practically I just can't die. Last night I saw my wife burning in front of my eyes I remembered how we met, our marriage and everything we had dreamed of and before I had remembered everything, the woman I loved and who loved me so much and was with me the day before had already turned into ashes and the priest was cleaning up the ashes. Now today the dream has shattered into billion pieces and I just can't find the proper way to make it one again. I don’t have a house to live in, I don’t have a family and above all I don't have money, I don’t know how am I going to pay the person I took the loan from. I even don’t know how I'm going to get on the bus. I have no idea of what to do next. I just had around few rupees and I offered to him but he refused to take it. He said that I already have a lot of loan to pay I can’t take that anymore. I don’t know, I guess he didn’t want the money and he just wanted to speak his heart out but I might have mistaken him, and I suppose he felt ashamed and refused to take him, as he looked like he made the story for that. Now it got even more awkward. I just said, that I was not bothered and I'm sorry as well for ignoring you before and for your loss. The man said nothing about that, he said look at that tire burning, and that is what reminded me of her. What is life then? Same thing happens when you burn a tire and a person, you just end of in ashes.

What exactly do we live for and for what reason do we die for? I asked you what life is; because I really want to know what life is, I wish I could ask this to the god himself but I guess that would take sometime and I wanted to know now. I was thinkning to myself what is he talking about? He was talking about something but my mind turned to something else for a moment, police were running towards me and agitators were throwing stones and whatever they found. I had to find a safe place.I walked pass the police and stayed behind them for a moment, they controlled the place of course for a while but before there were stones flying in the sky agaom I was home already. I searched for that guy but he was gone. I don’t know where he went and how? But I still don’t know what happened back there but, he asked me what life is just because he saw a tire burning which he compared with her wife burning? And what's wrong with me? I still can't answer that question. Is there really no answer or? It's just me who doesn’t have an answer. If I'll ever find that guy …yeah I'll ask him what life is!!! Now like he said I too want to know what life is.

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