Death in the Neighbourhood

               “Hey Maa, I’m going for a short trek around the village farm and will be back in an hour and half” to which there was no reply since there were many guests at my house preparing for my birthday party to be celebrated that night. It was around 6 a.m, the bright orange sun was dazzling and some stars were hiding behind it. The grass fields were full of dew waiting to trickle down the water droplets as soon as my feet would touch the ground. I began my short trek glaring at the exemplary creation that nature had produced. Murmuring the famous ” Yesterday” by the Beatles, I was swaying along the farms right and left, looking for some or the other unseen beauty of the scenery. The happiness was also a result because I had secured a third spot in the science quiz at college. Interestingly, I also laughed at the fact that my friend who won the 2nd prize was beaten the hell out of his parents for not finishing the track line first. Whereas, here my parents were acting like I had discovered India in the form of  Vasco Da Gama even though he was never the one to do so. Such is the wonderful moral of existence and also a fault of humanity, we don’t celebrate the average! Without any adieu, let’s proceed further.

                A huge crowd had gathered around Mr. Zurai’s house. Now what to tell of Mr. Zurai, in short, Zuroo! An income tax officer by profession, a shrewd man by nature and a miser in his deeds! Some even say that he had consumed a lot of illegal money and constructed that huge villa of his. His wife was also the same, a mirror image of his. The village ladies used to have a gathering once a month and all Mrs. Zurai had to talk about is money, jewellery and property. No complaints that the couple were always side listed amongst all the villagers. As soon as I reached their house, my eyes gazed at a sea of  white men and women. Got to know that during midnight, Zuroo suffered from a cardiac arrest and experienced his last breath. I was utterly shocked at that moment, how could such a happy and wealthy person die at 47 having all the best things in the world? Frankly, I was quite disheartened at the sight of his wife crying and all his relatives sobbing in silence. Forgetting all his sins and corrupt work, I questioned the sky “Why did you do this? He was such a capable guy”. This horrific incident struck my mind hugely and I sat there for some 20-30 minutes.

              My parents always said that don’t run and participate in illegal and wrong activities just for the sake of securing hard cash in a fast manner. But death shouldn’t be the punishment for any human’s wrongdoings right? I heard some of the villagers whispering something, hence I walked a little further to hear what they had to say. To my surprise, Zuroo was again involved in some black money game and this time, the cops had visited and warned him 2 days back. Due to the pressure of the cops building upon his mind and the hunger for more and more of glamorous money, maybe, his heart got angry. I really don’t get it when a person falls into a dark pit, instead of climbing up, that dark hole pulls the person way deeper. Instead of the blame game, it depends upon the sole individual to rise up out of darkness. Saddened by this news, I rushed home to tell my parents.

          Seems like the birthday party was in full flow. Mom-Dad and relatives were smiling and their eyes were full of pride. As I entered my house, I saw a photo frame in front of the dining table. There were flowers around the frame and the room had a beautiful fragrance due to the sandalwood incense sticks. Everything was perfect and only one thing looked odd. That picture of mine in the frame! Seems like before my 16th birthday celebration, my third stage had conquered my body sooner than I had thought. I was numb. To my surprise, my dear ones were all happily smiling and had glittery eyes. They were discussing all the things that I had achieved, the drawing competitions, dance classes, photography skills and my latest, the science quiz which I hadn’t won! Death is inevitable. 2 scenarios in one day. One, where a man who had opened his eyes wide open to glance at things beyond his sight and another, where a boy had just begun to bloom out of innocence. How strange that whatever you achieve in life, good or bad, via some shortcut way or some strenous hardships, ultimately, our body is someday going to perish and disintegrate. What’s the moral of this story, you better know this!

– Pralhad