friends

DEATH NOTE

Before you start calling or texting me after you read the blog title or before you even question my state of mind, I want to assure you all that this is a regular post. You do not need to worry about anything. It has been a while since I wanted to write about the emotions, if any, that people who know me will feel after I die. This is a genuine statement. Sometimes, we just have to accept how fleeting our lives are and should not underestimate the value of our lives. When I first started writing this post(January 2017!), I was on my way to NYC on a bus. I had the wildest thought of surviving the journey and then publishing it when I got connected to the internet. The wildest thought is just one of many complex emotions that makes us humans: the will to live. After all, who does want to die, right? Ever since then, I was tweaking few sentences now and then and had labeled this post as a draft. Somehow, I felt I was doing this post injustice by not publishing it sooner.

Death Note is meant to thank and also apologize to all people whom I have had a connection with in my life. This is just a regular blog post that I want all of you to read. I do not know when I will die. Maybe tomorrow, next month, in five years, or even at 64. Hence, the beauty of this uncertainty inspires me to write to you all before it is too late.

First of all, as always and will always be, I want to thank my parents for everything they have done from the moment I was born into this beautiful world to guiding me in becoming a respectable person either by giving me reliable advice based on their experiences or by criticizing my actions and showing me the right path. At the same time, I want to acknowledge the efforts they put into ensuring that their children are getting the best from their lives and, like all parents do, always hoping for our best. Sometimes these efforts go unnoticed by us, and I want to apologize to my parents if there have been such moments. Maybe I did not call you for weeks, or maybe I questioned your advice rudely. Whatever the case, I am sorry about that.

Next, I am profoundly grateful to my elder brother and my younger sister for making every moment of my life worth something to be cheerful about. Without you two, life would have been too dull as we would not witness each other’s short-tempered behavior when we did what the other did not want. Lovely times. To my brother, thank you for introducing me to the world of Arsenal. Without its beautiful football, my life would have been very boring. Arsenal is a family to me; their win brings me immense joy while their loss greets suffering (as is the case right now). Furthermore, thanks for the advice that you give in different aspects of my life and for showing your concern regarding what I do. On the other hand, I love my younger sister, and it is so much fun to tease her all the time. Making her angry by doing insane things is always going to be one of the best moments of my life. It comes with a complete package: her subtle micro-expressions, the short temper that she shows and my laughter that follows shortly. Sister, I will always want to see the best of you and hope that you live the life you have always desired. After all, a brother needs to take care of his nakkali sister, right? Thanks again to my brother and sister whom I consider the closest friends.

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Like brother, like sister!

Moving on, I would like to thank all of my extended family (uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, grandfathers, grandmothers, maternal uncles, maternal aunts and everyone who fall in this circle) who have been my second family and guided in every way possible. Thanks for being there when I was away from home and worrying about me. I apologize if I have made some mistakes that have hurt your soul either by not calling you often (honestly, I find it difficult to keep track of all the members of my extended family) or by not following your advice. Thank you for being there.

Budhanilkantha School has been my third family. I cannot truly express into words the best ten years of my life that I spent in this school from 2004-2013. The importance of this school has been so much that I have written numerous posts about my school experiences in this blog. Of course, the members of the family need some attention too. To all of my friends, I have a confession to make: I don’t have any best friends; it is too difficult to differentiate. Kudos to anyone who had. That is a decision I will never be able to make. Thanks to all of my 3000 D batch friends whom I studied with together, played together, teased together, basked in the sun together, went to picnic together, fought together, made sweeping changes in the school together, danced after our events together, confronted our teachers because we thought that was in the best interests for all, spent weeks not talking to each other together, cheated in tests together and what not. I can write a book about all of you. The essence of our stay in the school is so high that when we meet and decide not to talk a single thing about school life (coz we tell the same stories again and again and again and never get tired of them), we end up talking about it somehow and spend the entire day reminiscing about our school lives. A distinguishable BNKS trait! As a side note, I apologize if I went out of my way and had hurt your feelings in any way possible and thus would like to re-cherish our friendship. Apology to anyone whom I had been rude to or whom I did not help when you requested for it.

I would like to thank all of my teachers in Budhanilkantha School who were more than just teachers as we had the luxury even to discuss the EPL matches and tease them if their team had lost. Such was the atmosphere that we thought of our teachers as friends and shared interesting stories with them while they would openly share theirs. Thank you to all of our teachers who gave us valuable life lessons that we still keep with us and thanks for your immense passion for teaching which has made us what we are today. Also, I apologize if I have hurt your feelings when discussing some issues, but I hope you understand that there were genuine reasons (best interests of the students 🙂 !) behind those actions.

Lastly, I would like to thank my friends, seniors, juniors and the fantastic professors at Ramapo College whom I currently have the luxury of spending my time with. Trust me, you have also contributed greatly to who I am today.

Of course, when you write such post, there will be people missing in this list and who feel they should be included too. Apologies from the deepest of my heart. I would like to thank all the readers who have finished reading this post. Else the blog post would fail to serve its purpose and mine too. Once again, I would like to reiterate that I am in the best state of my mind and this post is just a medium to express my gratitude to all people who have had significant impacts in my life.

Thank You. Arigato. Dhanyawaad.

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THE TWO PEOPLE I MET IN HEAVEN

“It’s too early for you to come here, Manasbi.”

“Where am I?” I quizzed myself as I looked around the place but did not see any buildings in my field of vision.

“That is why I told you that you ought not to be here,” an old man who was at the entrance of the big gate shrugged off his shoulders.

“Excuse me, do I know you? You just called out my name.” I asked the gatekeeper.

“Uff. Another boring question. That’s what everyone asks me when they come here only for them later to realize that there’s a name tag around their neck to identify themselves,” the man said.

I looked down and there it was: my name tag. It had stated all my personal information but something in it caught my attention. It had stamped my death date!

“Hey, why is there a date of death in my tag?” I questioned.

“Coz you are dead, idiot. You just haven’t realized it yet.”

***

“Oh, there you are. We have been searching for over ten hours to meet you. It’s such a relief!” a voice echoed as I saw a silhouette of a young man and an old man in the distance. The clouds were so surreal and full of sparkle that it looked like Disney had embellished the place.

I moved towards the shadows. Every step that I took surged an anticipation of oneness. My breath grew heavy as everything that I heard earlier did not make any sense. It was just a while back that I was dating this blond girl in the cafeteria and I didn’t even have the faintest idea how I ended up here in such a small time frame.

“In case you are wondering, welcome to HEAVEN. Been a long time since we last met, huh, pal?” the figure in front of me greeted.

“Ap….aa…..rrr…..???!!!” I tried desperately to call out his name as I couldn’t believe I was meeting him here in heaven.

K chha Manasbi? Ahem, ahem,” I heard another shadow coughing in the distance as he slowly appeared in sight.

Hajurbua?!

I immediately reached for his foot as I took a blessing from my grandfather.

K chha tero haalkhabar?” my grandfather asked.

Thik chha. How did you guys know I was here?” I asked them.

“Come, we’ll take you to our residence,” Apar replied.

Well, I didn’t exactly know how the clocks of heaven worked and hence in no time I had reached my beloved grandfather’s and my friend’s residences.

“Manasbi, here’s the truth: you are dead!” Apar cleared the doubts in my mind.

“What are you saying?” I didn’t believe what he was saying.

“Let’s skip the details for a moment, shall we? Here, drink some water,” Apar said.

I slowly began to understand the lifestyle of the people living in heaven. My grandfather, for instance, sleeps five hours a day and then heads out for exercises everyday. He had already read most of the religious books that was available in the Heaven’s Library. Most of the time, he hanged out with his buddies and together, enjoyed their afterlives to the fullest.

As for Apar, he has made a routine to finish at least one book in a week and mostly indulges in watching Chelsea’s football games and Australian cricket as sources of entertainment. He also shared the happiness that he experienced when Australia were crowned the ICC World Cricket World Cup Champions of 2015 yesterday.

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“It was a one sided match, and now I can’t wait to watch Kolkata Knight Riders play in the IPL” my friend noted who always gave a good analysis of the games he watched. “You know, I met your grandfather when our Chill Out club organized a one day interaction to spend some amazing time with old people. After I asked a couple of questions and started knowing him, I found out that you were his grandson. And then we have been hanging out ever since.”

My grandfather had learnt to play chess from Apar and garnered some knowledge on football and cricket. He came twice to closely beating my professional friend.

“You know, sometimes we play the paper cricket that we often played during our stay in Makalu House. And paper football, too,” Apar said. I noticed tears flowing from his eyes and in no time, I had mine, too.

Ghartira ta sabai sanchai chhan hola kyare? Maile sabailai samjheko chhu bhandinu. Ta chai raamro sanga padnu ani naam uchha paarnu ni.” my grandfather sobbed as he found it difficult to control his emotions.

Sabaijana sanchai hoisinchha, hajurbua. Maile hajurle bhaneko kura sadhai samjhinchhu. Ani sabailai hajursanga bhet bhayeko kura bhandinchhu. Tara ma ta marisakeko haina? Ani maile kasari bhannu ta?” I comforted my grandfather and questioned on the purpose he had been telling me all this.

“You aren’t dead yet,” Apar said, “Look down, a group of experienced doctors have successfully saved your life and in a while, you will be conscious. Maybe the gatekeeper had wished for the right thing to question your presence in the heaven so early. And, in the hospital, there are your families and close friends sitting outside to hear the good news.”

“But how did I end up in the hospital?”

“When you were dating that girl, your eyes turned towards a six year old boy who was about to get knocked down by a van coming from the opposite side as he tried to cross the road. You made your decision to save the boy and succeeded in the process. However, the van knocked you unconscious and there was little life left in you as you were taken to the hospital. We were immediately notified of your arrival to heaven. And the rest you know it.” Apar provided me with complete details of how I ended up here.

“Now, I remember some of the details.”

Jaane bela bhaisakechha. La ta ni!” my grandfather bid me farewell.

“Look, you have got a second chance. Make the most of it. And tell all our friends that I miss them everyday. Goodbye, priya saathi.” Apar’s words were the last words that I heard before I slowly gained consciousness in the hospital.

Tata, hajurbua. Bye, Apar.” By the time I wanted to say something, it was already inaudible. They understood my expression and seemed glad that I made their day. Next thing I knew, I was in the hospital bed cherishing the magical moment of my revival and desperate, as Apar said, to make the most of my life.

“Oh my god, he’s alive! Everyone, our prayers have been answered.”

All the people that I had treasured in my lives were there and were busy exchanging happiness. Their smiles were divine and perhaps unknown to them was the fact that I had met two of the best people in heaven.

PS: This post is dedicated to my grandfather and my friend, Apar.