Surreal quality to the festival....
How different is reality from what we plan….The day before Deepavali we spent downstairs bursting crackers with my neighbours’ family and the newlywed couple, who traditionally spend the festival with the bride’s parents. We went to sleep at 11.30 pm and an hour later got a call that one of our friends in the family quiz group that we belong to, had died of a sudden and massive heart attack, at the age of 51. We went there and did a lot of arrangements as a tremendously shocked wife and daughter just could not cope. We returned home at 5 am and slept till 8.30, when I lit the lamps without feeling in the least festive.
I called my sis in law to speak to her before she left for Mumbai to visit her family; she told me that my childhood friends’ father (both the parents and the son and daughter live in Bangalore) had passed away the previous night and that since they got the answering machine at our place they thought we were still in the US.
My friends’ father was over 70 and his death didn’t strike me as tragic in the way that the younger man’s did, with teenaged children and the mother, and aged parents, left to fend for themselves. The guy refused to take care of himself after he had a heart attack several years ago and lived, ate,smoked and drank to the hilt. He had a quick exit…but his duties to his family remain unfulfilled.
It is strange situation, in that since these are friends and not relatives one has to carry on with one’s festival and receive visitors as usual when one is not feeling at all in the mood for it…
Well, by now I am reconciling to the fact that such opposite things do co-exist in the real world and we have to deal with it. We decided not to visit either family in the evening but visited other friends who were celebrating. Tomorrow we will visit the bereaved families.
Weird how I could spend a festive evening while my mind was still running on the time when my husband had his heart attack and how easily things could have turned out very differently if we had not been lucky….
I am in such a funny frame of mind. I cannot articulate how I feel right now; it’s all mixed-up and strange….one of the weirdest festival days of my life.