“I have been trying to understand the concept of life and death for quite a long time now and have my own thoughts on that. I feel that we start our journey of life, while death accompanies us each day. Death is constantly traveling along.Whether it is the death of your loved one or your first heartbreak or your friends backstabbing you, you encounter death in every stage of your life”, said Rahul to his grandmother.
“True my son. But why are you so morbid today!!!”
“I don’t know granny. There is something inside me which is troubling me after I lost Rhea in that car accident. I do not understand why we have to go through this stuff. Why someone who is visible in one moment is invisible forever in the next!!”
“These instances happen in life my dear Rahul. Stop thinking on those things constantly and move on with each day”, said his grandmother.
“Move on!! Is that you want to say granny. How easy it is to utter these two words “Move On” but how difficult it is. Good night!!” said Rahul while slamming his bedroom door on his granny’s face.
Rahul was engrossed in his own misery .He was not concerned with anyone’s sorrow. Next morning Rahul woke up to the news of his grandmother passing away in her sleep.
This shattered Rahul. He was unable to handle the grief . He plunged into the world of depression. The doctors decided that it would be safe to cure Rahul in the hospital than in home. Rahul was sent to a psychiatric ward for further treatment.
One morning in hospital Rahul had a visitor who introduced himself as Rahul’s grandmother’s friend. He was a well suited handsome charming old man who was full of energy and enthusiasm . His face was glowing like an angel and his smile was bringing comfort to Rahul.
Granny had a friend, thought Rahul a bit loudly.
“Why said the man. Can’t old people have friends”, He chuckled .”The way she was a friend to you , so was I to her” .
With this he brought out a packet from his pocket which was full of goodies liked by Rahul. Rahul greedily started eating them. While he was engrossed in eating, the old man questioned Rahul about his discussion with his grandmother on the day she had passed away.
Rahul was startled. How do you know what we were talking he asked the old man. The old man smiled and said it was not rocket science my dear young fellow. After you fought with her and left the room your grandmother had called me and we had spoken about it.
“Oh that way”, said Rahul and started crying. He told the old man that life had only brought misery to him and he wished no more to live.
The old man held Rahul’s hand and heard him out. He also promised Rahul that he will come back the next day with a surprise for him.
That night Rahul could not sleep. Memories of Rhea, his parents and his grandmother haunted him and made him more miserable.
The misery of memories and depression were mounting on Rahul’s mind and in that one moment Rahul decided to end his life. He decided to jump off the roof of the hospital. Suddenly he heard a knock on the door. He wondered who it could be in the wee hours of the morning. He opened the door and was aghast to see the Old man (his grandmother’s friend)
“How come you are here this early morning uncle”, asked Rahul.
“Why you are so confused” said the old man. “Remember I told you I will come back with a surprise. Come lets go.”
Rahul stood up and the old man took him to the roof of the hospital.
The hospital had three floors only. But Rahul noticed that when they reached the roof top the lift showed 28th floor. He was confused .He wanted to talk but he could feel his throat choke.
The lift opened into a terrace which had no walls around. But there was something magical in those surroundings. The cool breeze was touching Rahul’s face. It brought a smile on that depressive face. The stars were twinkling in the clear sky above. The moon was shining in its full aura.
Beautiful he said admiring the beauty around. The old man seemed to be smiling. He told Rahul to sit and enjoy the beauty. “You used to understand the language of the birds at one time. Is it true Rahul”, the old man questioned.
“Yes, it is”, smiled Rahul. He then started telling the old man about his old good happy days, when his parents were alive. He also told the old man how he met Rhea and their love story. He also told the old man about his siblings, his grandmother his accomplishments and then failures. Failures that gave him so much of pain and loneliness. Failure to hold on to his parents, Rhea and his grandmother.
Suddenly they saw the first beautiful ray of sun coming up in the sky. Rahul exclaimed “I wish I had my camera with me today.”
The old man smiled and asked lovingly, “you love photography too.”
“Yes I do”, said Rahul smilingly.
Humm that is good. But for whom would you click these beautiful pictures Rahul.
Rahul saddened again and started looking at the sky in dismay.
The old man continued. “Why don’t you jump from here. It is 28th floor and I am sure you wont be found alive after you fall.”
Rahul looked at him in bolt from the blue .He again remembered his miseries and stood to jump down. The Old man continued. “You know if you jump from here these birds that you are hearing wont stop chirping. Sun too would shine on its own time .The stars wont stop twinkling. But yes maybe something will happen for an hour around this building. People would be in distress. They would gossip about how and why it happened. The police would create a report. Your siblings might as well share some tears for a day or two, but after all this hocus pocus everything will go back to normal, the way it was .You know what I mean. Nothing in this world will stop because you decided to quit Rahul!!!”
But I have no reason to live!!
“Of course you have” said the old man.” It is just that you are not interested in searching because you are lazy. Have you ever thought how many deaths your granny went by living her life in this world!!”
It was when she saw her granny dying at the age of six. It took days for her to understand why suddenly her granny had stopped talking. Why people had suddenly stopped laughing and why and how everything came back to normal. She was a very brave woman. Even when she became lazy like you, she stood herself and found a purpose of living. And her last purpose was you Rahul. Even when you left her alone in the age old home when you got married she lived alone bravely. Then you brought her back, when you lost your wife. Did you bother to feel or ask how she must have felt. What made her so strong to go on with life so positively.
No you didn’t. Because you were busy in singing your own sad story.
But she too left me, cried said Rahul once more.
Yes, she did because it was her time. Her learning’s were over and she had too but you are still alive. You still have your karmas pending on earth. Death did meet you again when she left. Death broke your heart one more time and hers too. She was forced to dismiss her contract of being your granny in this lifetime because her karmas were settled and her body was tired. Her soul yearned for a young body and for that she had to leave the old one Rahul. This is how it is.
What do I do with this life now. It is of no good for me anymore .I have no reasons to live.
The old man started laughing and said, everyone goes through this stage but to give up or to quit is not an option. If your life is no good for you then give it to me. I would be happy to take your soul but you have to sign this contract first. He took out a paper from his jacket which said that once you have given your soul, you have no right on it.
Rahul could not understand what was happening.
The old man patted his back and left a card in Rahul’s shirt’s pocket, saying call me when you are ready!
Rahul heard the nurse calling his name. Rahul sir, please wake up its morning.
Rahul opened his eyes and realized he was in his room and it was just a dream which had looked so real. He sat straight for another 15 minutes and then recalled the card which the old man had put in his pocket. He immediately searched his pocket and he found the card which was blank with only words written “Soul Collector”
Rahul pondered on the dream the whole day. After lots of thinking he murmured to himself, I am ready!! He immediately saw the old man on his door with the contract in his hands. Rahul stood up and signed the contract. The old man held him by his hand and took him to a place far away from the hospital.
Upon reaching Rahul noticed a kind of community, which had small houses .Each house had one stray dog and eight kids with a lady and a man.
He also noticed karate classes being taught to the kids staying there.
Rahul asked the Old man about this place and what was role was he supposed to play here.
To which the old man explained ,that this is the place where we keep abandoned children and animals and all they need is parents. We look for those lonely souls who cannot give meaning to their lives and we counsel them to be the parents for these abandoned children. We provide all kind of facilities here . There are some souls who do not wish to be a parent but they hold some creativity which we can use to teach the kids. We use them as a teacher. This is a vast community holding many options for you too. Its upto you what you choose. You won’t be forced to anything, he said smilingly.
Our mission is to give the world, souls who can help others.
Some of the parents you will notice are rich but seek love. Some you will notice, have no money at all but they are full of love. My job is to bring them together and give parents to these kids and pet’s so that they learn what a blessing a family is and how necessary it is to be compassionate. I want you to help them create happy stories. So are you ready Rahul, the old man asked.
Yes I am but how did we reach on 28th floor last night. He turned towards the old man with this question but the old man was not visible anymore.
The guard asked Rahul who he was talking to. Upon telling the story of an old man to guard, the guard smiled and took him to manager where he saw a big picture of that old man on the wall. The manager said the man in this photo is a man who started this organization long time back and he still directs the wandering lonely soul towards the purpose of life.
He looked closely at the place one more time. Something was familiar but what he wondered .
While the manger took him for a round to the other building which would be his first step on becoming a parent ,he noticed an old age home and realized that this is where he had left his granny when he had got married to Rhea.
Rahul smiled and said he would be happy to give his life to such an organization and stayed there forever!!