5th October, 2013.
Four months back I lost a classmate of mine to the cold grasp of death. The news was sudden and shocking and none of us were able to process it for some time. This post is a tribute to her, as the fifth month of her absence on this earth begins.
Her name was Palak Mishra and she was in standard 9C. Tall and quiet, she didn’t mingle around and seldom raised her hand in class to ask a question or clarify a doubt. But she was a good student. She was sweet to everyone, had a few good friends and got good grades. She also had a sibling. Although she was in my class and sat two benches away from me, I barely knew her. And worse, I never made an effort to know her. And now that she is gone, I will never know her.
They made the announcement of her death in school on the PA system on June 5th, 2013. We observed a minute of silence for the peace of her soul. During that one minute, the atmosphere in class was one of shock. I noticed a few silent glances being exchanged and realized that all of us (even me possibly) wore a similar expression on our face, one that I had seen far too many times…guilt. Even after the reality of the situation set it, no one in our class was grieving. Yes, a few people squeezed out a tear and a profound sense of guilt was prevalent in the air but except a whiff of it here and there, there was no grief among the students.
The reason? Because none of us knew her well enough to grieve. I remember feeling glad that no one said anything about her because that would just seem fake and insensitive. The bottom line was that she was gone now, and all we could do was offer our condolences or whatever and try to avoid the topic(or maybe write a cheesy post as in my case). I couldn’t get that thought out of my mind. I never knew Palak and now I never will. If I knew that she didn’t have many days left, would I have been any different with her? Would I have said something to her or tried to become friends with her? I don’t know and now I never will.
Everything in this world in temporary and this incident drove that point home all too clearly. Life doesn’t come with a guarantee and what is there today could disappear in the blink of an eye. In our teenage, in high school, EVERYTHING rides on outward appearances. The more loud and boisterous you are, the more buzz you generate. We slip into our everyday routines that dull our senses so much that at times we don’t even notice the impact that it has on all the people around us.
We all fight our own demons, our own battles – I do too – but I just pray and hope that we don’t ever get so involved in our own fight that we fail to see the demons plaguing the people around us. I didn’t get the opportunity with Palak, but now all I want to do is make a difference in someone else’s life. And I hope I can.
Just imagine for a second that this was the last day of your life. I’m sure that the moment you’ll read that sentence a hundred thoughts must have flashed through your mind – feelings unrequited, a thousand unsaid things, a million adventures still to be had…
So what exactly are you waiting for? If you knew you would never see person a again, what would you tell them? If you could stop time for a few hours, what would you do? Say it. Do them. Don’t put off your desires due to the fear of having to wake up the next day and deal with the consequences of your actions.
‘Many times, hearts are broken by the things left unsaid.’
Not telling people how you feel is probably the single most inhumane thing that a person can ever do. Forget whether your crush likes you back or not, go tell him/her how you feel. What is the worst that could happen? Rejection? Then you’ll know that that idiot is not worth your time. Tell your friends and family how much they matter to you. Even if you know that they know how much they mean to you, sometimes all people need is a little validation and assurance. You know your family loves you, but don’t you feel good when they praise you?
And I don’t just mean compliments, if something or someone has hurt you, don’t be afraid to tell them that. If you don’t like something in your life then change it.
IT IS YOUR LIFE. I know you know this, but we tend to forget it sometimes. You have one life to spend with the people you love and who love you. Make sure it counts. If there is one thing that Palak had taught me, it’s that every single one of us here is a miracle and no one should ever feel left out because, contrary to popular belief, none of us can be replaced…ever. Live like there’s no tomorrow (yes it’s cliché but I can’t change what is true).
Life is so fleeting, yet infinite
There is so much more than what is in sight
People surprise you
Events traumatize you
The tears you shed emphasize the sorrows you pack
The time you let go doesn’t come back.
So make a difference wherever you go,
Help the people with you grow
Don’t let anyone ever feel invisible
Cause everyone in the world is a beautiful miracle
We all fight battles that no one knows
Struggling to conquer our inner foes
Live the moment for the future is unknown
Just know that no one is forever alone.