Ode to my uncle

Published On: January 20, 2017 11:00 PM NPT By: Vidwata Mohta

After a small hike, I reached the wall from where I could look down into the still water of Kensico Reservoir, New York. The water was gleaming as it reflected the sun; however it was cut by an alternating streak of darkness that surfaced from the deep. As I stood there all alone, taking in the immense beauty of nature, I saw life and death in that pattern.

How unfairly we think of death, treating it as a snatcher, intruder and, something that shouldn’t be mentioned. If it were not for its horrifying shadow we would not see the light of life. Deep in my heart death still was a foreign language that I had no business dealing with, not yet.

But a few days back, one telephone call jarred all the philosophy of death out of me.  Death had buckled us down to our knees as it plucked a young flower from our garden. I stood wondering at the justice of God, haunted every minute by the image of my smiling uncle who now wouldn’t be there for us.  My uncle was no more. 

Bhagwad Geeta tells us that the soul is eternal. Our bodies in ultimate truth are just garments that we take off when we die. It is beautiful to know that we belong to the divine source of energy which has created this universe, that we have an opportunity to stay in this world to give love, achieve respect and become a better person before we meet the divine again. Divine is death. But I am not prepared for the divine until I have given all that I am here to give. Nor I believe was my uncle that day when he went out for his walk early in the morning. There must have been a miscalculation for it was not his turn yet. 

I cannot shake his image that haunts me much of my waking hours. With him he took away our childhood. He met death doing what he loved best. He must be onto another walk because he cannot just cease to be. So it is not farewell, it is just that you are now a walk greater than the walks you took.

Vidwata is a software engineer and freelance writer

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