Saturday, November 28, 2009

For Whom The Bell Tolled........

"Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God"
Psalm 90:2

Dearest brother,

It just seems like yesterday, that I was standing by your coffin , as people gathered to wish you their final goodbyes. It seems like yesterday that I was kneeling in church, as Father Mathew conducted the Requiem. It seems like yesterday that mother fainted when you were being taken away for burial... and it also seems like yesterday that I stood by watching, as your coffin disappeared slowly while they filled your grave with earth. The mournful "In paradisum" still rings in my ears... and yet, tomorrow, it'll be a year since we laid you to rest.

I don't have much recollection of how a year passed by. They say, Time heals all wounds. But nobody says, how long does it take to heal... or to even,stop hurting. We're still shocked that you're gone and we miss you so much... Mother spends hours, sitting by your grave and talking to herself. Father keeps re-reading the letters we used to write home from school... Shirley and Cathy always try to keep smiling, and Isabella keeps asking me when is her daddy returning. She was so upset when you didn't turn up for her birthday. I don't know what to tell her. She just knows that Daddy has gone to Jesus, and waits everyday for you to return. I have not the heart to tell her that you're not coming back. All of us are still trying to get on with our lives, but something or the other keeps happening which doesn't let us move on.

The media is always calling us up and they think that by doing this, they are doing us a great service. For the past one year we've been hounded by the local media for "reactions, interviews, debates" and what not!! We've changed our numbers because of them, and yet they manage to find out our new contact numbers. They ask questions like "What was your son doing in the Taj?"... "Do you miss him?"... "How did he die?"... "Which terrorist killed him??"... "What were his last words?", and none of them bother to be polite. We can't even grieve in peace. I have lost all respect for the media. Even our suffering is used to up their TRPs. I wish you were here, and even if these newsmen had come, both of us would have definitely been able to kick them away... but alone, I don't think I have the might to fight such hyenas!!

One question which they asked Dad was about, how he felt about the lone surviving terrorist, and if he was upset that the terrorist hasn't been hanged till now? Dad said, "I neither sympathise, nor empathise with him. But, I feel sorry for him. More than punishing this chap, we should punish those who indoctrinate these young people with such radical thoughts!!" I wonder how Dad finds the strength to forgive him.Earlier I was upset that he said so, but maybe Dad is right.

As usual, a lot of politics has played out since the past one year. Big big politicians make big big promises. Narendra Modi said he'll give money to the families of all those who suffered like you. I wish he had died instead of you. They think that money will fill the void in our hearts. The local MLA had come to offer "condolence" and "be with us in times of difficulty". You were right, when you said that all these politicians were the same... unsympathetic.. selfish..pompous and ill-mannered.

I wish God hadn't called you from us so soon. The only way we console ourselves is by saying to each other that He wants the best people with Him, so that they don't suffer the ills of mankind... and you were amongst the very best. I wish I could tell you how proud all of us have been of you. I know you watch over us all, from above... but I wish you could come and console Mother and Isabella.

Remember the cherry tree you planted?? I kept saying it'll never bloom and you said it will. You were so right... it finally bloomed, and the blossoms were so beautiful. Mother and Isabella made a small bouquet out of them, and placed it on your grave. I hope you liked them.

We have early winters this year. Its snowed a lot. Mother keeps worrying that you might be very cold. I told her that she needn't worry for you were resting with God, and am sure you'll be very comfortable up above. But then you know our Mother. Not a moment goes by, when we do not think of you. The initial days were very difficult. We'd keep waiting for you at the dining table... I know that gradually I might accept that you are no longer with us, but I doubt if Mother will ever feel so. Mother still lays out a plate for you...

I am sorry I wasn't there with you at the end. None of us know what must have gone through your mind, and all that you must have endured. The more I think about all that you must have suffered, the more troubled it troubles me. I tried to get all the information I could. I wrote to many people. Some were kind enough to reply, and I thank them for all the information they could share with us.

"Dust thou art, and unto dust shall thou return"...All of us are made of Dust.. and it is to Dust that we shall return... It's so true. I wish I had paid more attention to the sermons. You always told us to seek refuge in the Lord, during times of tribulation... so i have turned to Him with a hope that He will guide us through our grief.

You've left me with huge shoes to fill and I know you will continue to guide me like you have always done. If only Life could be lived in retrospect...

On the day of the Judgement, when the Lord judges the living and the dead, I know we'll all be forever re-united. Till then.....We miss you.....

Fondly remembered by.... All of us!!

"Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall all indeed rise again: but we shall not all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall rise again incorruptible. And we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption: and this mortal must put on immortality. And when this mortal hath put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? Now the sting of death is sin: and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who hath given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast and unmoveable: always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."
Corinthians 15:51-58