Monday, May 21, 2012

one can’t choose but wait

I lost my sister about ten year ago. I was young then. I didn’t really know what losing someone really meant. Instead, I was proud that I didn’t shed a tear when I heard the news or when she was cremated without my knowledge.
She was 23 when she died of blood cancer. Back then, I didn’t know what blood cancer was but I knew it was a painful disease that gradually kills.
A year passed after she was diagnosed of cancer. She was admitted at the Thimphu Hospital. She lay bed-ridden for months. Later she was referred to Vellore in India for treatment. Even after desperate attempts by doctors, they failed to get hold of a matching bone marrow.
She had never been the same after that. She loved to drink bottled Miranda juice, and despite her pain, she always had something funny to say.
A bunch of her front hair was grey. It was unique. High fever consumed her, her body too fragile to even sit upright and her face was dark because of the continuous blood transfusion she had to undergo.
Whenever I hear of a cancer patient, her poor fragile body and the pain comes back as if it just happened yesterday.
Recently, a friend of mine said she would not mind dying of cancer. She reasoned that if she knew she had cancer she would have the time to do good things, like praying and earning spiritual merits.
Does it work that way? What happens to those who die a sudden death? Do they not go to heaven? Everything has its own time. Some people are very religious at a very young age while some wait till they are a little older or old enough to start praying.
I don’t really subscribe to her ideas but perhaps this is why many people prefer dying while asleep.

Birthday memoirs

Last night I was going through a box filled with my childhood stuffs. I fished out all the birthday cards I had received over the years. I stood there thinking.

I tried to remember a few friends who had, in the tussle of life, faded away from our memories and the birthday celebrations that have faded with them.
I thought about the cordial wishes on birthday cards that have been replaced by tailored wishes on Facebook. I realized how the count on wishes from your friend list on Facebook mattered and the last time I received a card for my birthday.

I remembered the times when I woke up in the morning and found presents on my pillow or underneath it. The excitement and suspense to open the presents made me wait for another year to celebrate another birthday.

I missed the birthdays when we took chocolates to school for the whole class. It was like a custom. I don’t remember when it started but my twin-sister and I ensured that we had chocolates for the whole school.  For me, or rather my parents, celebrating a twin birthday was never easy. Everything needed to be in pairs- a pair of gifts, a pair of cake, a pair of everything.

Back then the issue was that it was my birthday and everything had to be special but now I look back and sub-consciously wondered if I should have been there to share the cost.
Normally we don’t realize that parents too have birthdays and that wishing them on their birthdays brings them the greatest joy. I quickly recalled the birthdays of my parents and ensured that I am the first one to wish them on their birthdays from now on.

When you are young, birthdays come with gifts.  As you grow older, birthday treats mean booze, partying and a lot more booze.

As you grow old celebrating birthdays become childish yet you await birthday wishes and presents year after year.  After all it was the day you were born.