The Rich Vegetarian

An Examined Life

Menu Close

Category: Stories (page 2 of 2)

The passing away

I died instantly.

It is a bit difficult to describe but I will try my best to explain how it felt.

It felt like a release, no doubt but of a very different nature. Like when you’ve been struggling to get out of this real tight dress and then it comes off in one rapid movement. Something like that… My body or whatever I thought was my body felt weightless, I felt like I was a feather that floated towards the ceiling.

As I moved upward, I reflected: it felt as if I was walking with shackles on my feet all these years, that was the kind of lightness and freedom I experienced. Then I started feeling very expansive, very generous, very happy. Like I was once and for all, completely free… no obligations, no attachments, not even a body! It was like an out-of-body experience… well, that’s what it was!

Then I looked around and saw Pinch staring at me. Or what remained of me. I was lying motionless on the dark green sofa that we had purchased during Diwali. I had never realised, when I was alive, how rich it looked. The dark colors appeared gorgeous and the cushions were resplendent. Pinch looked as if he couldn’t believe his eyes. I looked at myself and for the first time acknowledged that I was not such a bad looker, after all. My skin had this strange lustre, some kind of a swan-song quality to it and my hair looked rich and silky. There was this slightly expectant smile playing on my lips and if I didn’t know better, I would have expected myself to stretch luxuriantly, yawn and open my eyes. But I DID know better. I was gone. Forever? I did not know.

I was gone and then it struck me… How much I would miss Pinch. Then it struck me that I had not visited Bombay in 2 years nearly and now I wouldn’t be visiting her for a long time. And then I realised that my parents had lost their daughter. They would mourn my loss, oh I would mourn their loss more than I could ever mourn my own loss. For I was free, truly and totally free… But the people who loved me the most in this lifetime would miss me, cry over my young life, mourn my passing… and I would cry over their loss for I still loved them. More so in death than I ever did in my 26 years of life…

The tears flowed, steadily and silently.

A piece of fiction, nothing more…Pray do not read between the lines for this is just an outpouring of words. With Gurudev in my heart, I have scant to fear…:-)

The farewell…

By the time they reached home, it had stopped raining. The sky was an unnaturally bright blue, the air heavy and hot. They got to work instantly. She got out the ironing board and started ironing his clothes. He pulled out his suitcases from the closet. They were musty from an 8-month long sabbatical. All his travel clothes were soon stacked up in little piles all around the room. He picked a set, discarded another, fussed over a third. Matching shoes, socks, handkerchiefs, underwear… the works. She ironed a couple of shirts, a few pairs of trousers and a pair of cotton shorts and packed it for him. The two pairs of shoes didn’t fit in the suitcase until she advised him to wear one of the pairs instead of packing it. All the items finally fit in and the suitcase was locked. He showered and changed. She reminded him to pack his belts and ear-buds. Soon after, he gave a final survey to his luggage, kissed her good-bye and drove away.

She looked around the dirty apartment and sighed in dismay. The sink was full of greasy dishes, there were dirty clothes strewn all around along with the freshly washed ones, the carpet was a display of brown shoe-prints. She soon got to work, picking this, cleaning that… She folded all the washed clothes neatly and placed them in the cupboard. Picking up the dirty clothes, she filled them into the laundry bags. The dishes were piled into the dishwasher. She got the vacuum cleaner out and ran it all over the tiny apartment. Her knees were killing her but she couldn’t find the courage to stop, take a breather.

After an hour of scrubbing, washing and cleaning, she finally straightened her aching back and looked around. There was nothing remaining to be done. She went into the bathroom and took a quick shower. The clock struck 9:00 pm. She turned the TV on. She surfed listlessly but found nothing interesting. Well, I have to sleep, she tiredly thought. She turned the light off the instant she entered the room so that she wouldn’t have to see the empty bed. Quietly she crept into the once-warm bed and pulled the comforter over her head. The instant her fingers touched the empty pillow next to hers, her reserve broke. She sobbed uncontrollably, like a child.

[A dramatised and *dressed-up* piece of fiction….The essential disclaimer]