“Have some juice, I know you will be alright”, he muttered while holding the can of juice with his tender hands, and nearing it to her lips. Seeing no response, the six-year-old innocent kid took her face in his hands and blubbered, “I promise that I will be a good boy and will do my homework regularly, I will never annoy you, never ever….but please talk to me….” The doctor on duty that evening was despaired to see the kid weeping bitterly. He took the kid in his arms and while handing him over to one of his relatives consoled, “Your mom is sleeping; you better go home. I will soon send your mom there.”
She was an unfortunate mother of three small kids, an ill-fated daughter and a dejected wife, fighting her critical illness in the hospital. One of her kids was around as she breathed her last. The boy never knew that he was offering juice to his dead mother. He never imagined that she wouldn’t ever open her eyes even if he promises to behave as an exceptionally good boy. Her body was motionless and her expression was flat.
All the same, her soul was wailing for her small kids. She had no qualms about the kind of death that overtook her. For it relieved her of the agonizing burden of survival. She had already died and re-lived many a time. However, she wished to live for her kids, the little lives that swathed her world with the beauty of unconditional and pristine love. And, she firmly believed that her kids deserved the coziness of her warmth. She wanted to snuggle them in her lap, protect and shield them, forever.
Today, her soul was in its throes. She was witnessing everything happening around her demise. Her dead body was shifted to her newly constructed house, where many people were sobbing and weeping over her death. Her kids were crying and perplexed. Her old mother was in profound shock. The brothers were speechless. Her colleagues were recollecting her gentle behavior and humane outlook. Amidst noise, sighs and shrieks, she wanted her body to be laid to rest as soon as possible. The mourning spectacle was torturous for her.
Suddenly, she witnessed a crowd gathering near her place, arguing loudly over some issue. She was taken aback to see people fighting over the issue of her burial. For reasons unknown to her, some wanted her body to be buried at her in-laws' graveyard and some argued to rest her body at her parental burial ground. The astonished soul ruminated, “Rather than having some grief and sense of loss, my relatives are busy settling their personal scores. Do I really belong to anyone?”
After many deliberations, shockingly, it was decided to bury her in a piece of land that neither belonged to her parents nor to her in-laws with a pre-condition of Amanat (burying temporarily at someplace till exhumation and final identification of suitable burial place).
As the grave at a strange place was filled up with layers of soil, the gloom inside grew gradually until her body was left alone in deep darkness. “Please don’t abandon me here, in this unknown land…you said I happen to be someone’s avowed wife, someone’s much-adored daughter….don't leave me like this,” her cries faded slowly as people departed from the burial place step by step. Nobody could hear her.
Her soul was meandering in sorrow; she felt no one was actually bothered about her passing away. Her loss meant nothing to anyone except her kids who were orphaned of motherly affection and care.
A few days later when her body was still warm in the unknown territory of a mysterious world, her restive soul witnessed another storm. This time it was her death certificate that became a bone of contention. While some wanted the death certificate to be issued in her husband’s name, others argued for her father’s inclusion in the matter.
The scuffle continued. Her death had turned into a dispute. The ‘name’ inscribed on her death certificate was primarily meant for securing some monetary benefits and seemed more important an issue than her loss as a wife and as a daughter.
Left to her, she would have wished to dissociate her name from everyone she had entrusted and rather opted to be mentioned as only a mother of her three kids in a document certifying her death for it created a huge difference only to her children and no one else. Disillusioned in the words of poet Keats who wished not his name but an inscription to appear on his gravestone which read-“This grave contains all that was mortal, of a young English poet, who, on his death bed, in the bitterness of his heart, at the malicious power of his enemies, desired these words to be engraven on his tombstone—Here Lies One Whose Name Was Writ In Water.”
Fleeting forever, she as a mother lost her valuable life. But as a woman, her death robbed her of her identity. She had been turned into a non-entity who became the subject matter for material momentum and temporal trivia. Her worldly assets defined her ‘affiliation’. The senseless society, bloated with a deaf and dumb populace, couldn’t salvage her worth and her individuality. No one thought of her traumatized kids, who were too small to understand the long-term consequences of losing a loving mother.
By now, her soul may be enjoying the highest degree of compassion from the most Compassionate as she died struggling with her illness. However, the mother in her will remain anxious eternally. RIP.