it is said that happiness is nothing but a state of mind. I am not wise enough to comment on such things or to argue on philosophy but from whatever I have seen in my life, I don’t think I become happy with cheeriness or merriment around me. There are very few times when I felt happy because everyone else around me was singing and dancing in joy. People go nuts on Holi but I never really felt that way, at least because of surroundings. On the other hand, sadness is definitely a state of mind. You feel so sad at times for no apparent reason and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t get over that feeling. I might be sounding depressed or pessimist here but I am sure everyone of us must have felt that way at one point or another.

2 days ago, around 11 PM, I was trying to finish off some work when my bother called. The very seeing of his name on phone made me a little uncomfortable coz he is a typical 9_PM_IN_BED_9.05_PM_ASLEEP_9.10_PM_DREAMING guy. I picked up the phone somewhat nervously, hoping all is well. Mr. M passed away, he said. I felt a sudden depressing chill inside. We talked for few minutes before disconnecting and then I tried to focus back on work… but well.. just couldn’t. I am usually a very level headed guy, not often on and off emotional roller-coasters but at that time, I don't know what got into me and all I could do was think…

I didn't know Mr. M personally. In fact I had never even met or seen him. He was my dad’s friend from his walking club. After my dad shifted here, he was a little depressed and alone, missing his friends and our old home in Bikaner. Mr. M and some other guys from his age group formed a small club and they used to sit and chat in mornings and evenings. Talking about this and that, sharing experiences of life, treatments, challenges with new age phones and laptops and what not. I knew Mr. M from my dad’s stories of this club. He was a widower with kids settled abroad and him trying to find happiness and company with friends like dad. Day before he passed away Mr. M, Dad and some other friends went to Jaipur Literature Festival and he was having good time eating street food and all… and the next day it was over… just like that…

He used to live alone in the next building to us. In evening he felt some uneasiness and called his brother. In around 15 minutes when he (brother) came, the door was latched. He somehow managed to open the door and by the time got in, Mr. M was no more.

I am at loss for words to describe how I felt when I heard this whole incident. I mean, the guy had the whole family, kids, grand kids, brothers and everyone.. but when the time came, he took his last breath all alone. No near ones or even a stranger in sight. 4 walls and nothing else.. People say that your whole life flashes through your eyes in such times. What Mr. M would have seen at that time.. his young age, job, marriage, kids, grand kids and yet no one in sight. What pain.. what anguish.. what loneliness.. what emptiness he must have felt at that time. It took just 15 minutes may be but what he might have suffered and gone through in those 15 minutes. What he might have felt at that time. He might have felt thirsty but no one to pass a glass of water. May be he had some medicines from prescription but no one to pass those medicines.. May be this was destiny and this is how he was supposed to go but this is just not fair. Any human being doesn't deserve this. Live life for others.. work like a dog, save to make your kids’ future, to settle them, get them married, buy a house and then die alone in that house. With nothing but emptiness!

It has been 2 days but I am still not able to get past this feeling. if this is why we humans live.. this is why we have kids.. work.. savings… so that we can come to an end like this?

RIP Mr. M and may the good lord comfort your family!