Nepal | January 18, 2021

Life’s unfair vicissitudes


Shikha Bahety
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I had heard the phrase “Always be ready for change, because change is the only constant thing” many times in school. Even as kids, we are told to accept and embrace change.

We are told that we will have to smile even on our darkest days and, that, if nothing else, whatever happens “happens for a reason”.

The dots are always connected; life always goes on so we, too, should move on.

While this consolatory mantra exists, sometimes we cannot help but question the unfair vicissitudes of life.

After all, I could not simply accept my dad being taken away by the almighty without questioning it.

How is it possible for him to go away so suddenly, that too forever? How can it be that I won’t ever see a person I had just talked to a night before, tomorrow? How is it that
the plan that we had for that Saturday fell through? How can the heart of a person who has never been to a hospital before just stop, without a single word of warning? How is
it possible to accept that there is no science to this, yet it had to happen? Most importantly, how it is that if I want to talk to him right now, to ask even the smallest thing, I can’t?

And then, my frustrations point themselves at life itself instead of just my father’s untimely demise.

How do we know if we are going to get up the next morning or not?  How do we know when to say goodbye if we don’t know when our last day is? How do we comprehend that the life we say that belongs to us after we go away is ours? I do not have answers to any of these but I know for the fact that nothing is ours forever.

Everything perishes, everything has a limit.

That which remains after all of this are only the memories of what used to be.

We find ourselves clutching the memories of what used to be and wondering if those moments were enough.

While this may sound fatalistic, I am saying this because it is very important for us to understand and value every moment. It gives me jitters when I think that I may not get up tomorrow, when I wonder about my dearest other.

As much as I hate to say it, I have experienced death and I have realised that it can happen and it has.

The most that can be done from our side is to believe that every day is a second chance, that the moment that we have been blessed with is an opportunity in itself.

A version of this article appears in print on January 16, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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