On Sunday, for the first time in years, I was not able to finish the Sudoko puzzle carried by the newspaper. Yesterday, I caught myself a nanosecond before adding a carefully measured teaspoon of salt to my coffee. Today, I polished off three packets of chocolate biscuits without tasting a single one of them.
Professionally, I’ve managed to function normally, but personally, I was a mess till I went for a run, and did not stop till I notched up 10 kms. I could have done more, but I knew that 60 minutes is adequate – the first 20 minutes of monotonous pounding to convince the brain to suspend thinking, 30 minutes of Zen like existence, and the remaining time to get back into shape mentally. Running is normally cathartic and it worked this time too. And proof of that is the fact that I have been able to sit and the computer and start typing this out.
On Sunday, I got to know that my mother’s cousin’s daughter had a cardiac arrest and passed away. It took awhile for the news to sink in – a nineteen year old does not die of natural causes - but when it did, I went into denial – such things do not happen, they cannot happen.
I have never met the girl, and the mother I barely know – it was not proximity that upset me so much. It was the fact that children do not die, they cannot die, and they should not die. It is bad enough when parents pass on, or cousins, or friends, but how can the next generation go even before they have properly started the journey called Life?
Nineteen is just too young an age to go – how can you possibly go of natural causes at that age? If a fit and healthy nineteen year old can have a cardiac arrest, is anyone immune? This weekend, it was my second cousin, could it not be just anyone else this week?
A year back, a boy my son used to play with lost his father. The wife I was merely on nodding terms with, the man I had never put a face to, but I obsessed over that death for almost a month. That family was no different from mine – what could happen to them could happen to anyone.
But this is worse, much worse. This is a bud plucked while it is in the processes of opening – it is a flower that has never been able to show its beauty to the world.
After my run, I am able to function normally. But I do know that for many weeks to come, I am going to hug my kids everytime I want to shout at them.
And understand this, I never will be able to make sense of this. Something can never make sense.