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Monday, May 28, 2012

Grief Wins Today

The good news came just now. Two of our Voices Co-ordinators, Shreya and Oishee, have scored over 97% in the CBSE XII exams of this year, and I saw them both on TV. I heard Oishee mentioning Voices, too. The news makes me very happy, and is a proud moment for everyone at The Statesman Voices.
Now, let me go back a few hours. A classmate of mine called to inform me that another classmate, Medha, was in a road accident this morning and died there on the spot, along with her mother and grandmother. Her father and brother were taken to a hospital, where her brother also expired. Her elder sister stays elsewhere, and at this time probably doesn't know yet. Calls have been flying back and forth since then. I myself have called another friend and a teacher. The news has reached both schools: ours and her brother's. All friends are in tears. I myself cried. Medha's boyfriend is in shock. The friend who gave me the news had to get the confirmation of this horrific news from a stranger who answered Medha's phone. I hear her body was shown on TV. I ponder about how a whole life was whisked away in a moment, and I reminisce about our times together. I try to reconcile with the truth, and I mourn.
Perhaps, emotion is less about its quality or reason, and more about its strength and the impact it makes on us. This is the first time in my life that positive and negative emotions have overlapped so very closely. I have realised more clearly than ever that most of the impact they had on me were of the same kind: differing only in strength. Comparing the exam results and Medha's untimely passing, I find that the feeling is eerily the same, differing only in its magnitude. It is a feeling that disorients every normal idea about contradicting emotions. As I write this, I am grovelling in a haunting depression. And as I typed that last sentence, the battle inside me was over. Today would be marked by many events, but for me Medha's death would be the most prominent. My pride at the achievements of my friends, which on any other day would have given me cause for immense jubiliation, takes the back seat today in the presence of prior grief and shock.
I'm not crying anymore, but I can feel that I can smile and laugh less. At the same time I also know that it is more important to console the living, who have faced this loss. I also know, though I don't like to admit it, that life will go on, and I, like everyone else, will move on and push this backwards in memory. The mourning on Facebook, this post, and others like it, will be relegated to archives and history. However, for now, I find it difficult to take full breaths. I'm remembering in flashes things that we did together: how we teased Medha about her indecisiveness; how she, on the last school day before vacations, shouted at us to stop worrying about our studies, how she treated some of us to delicious chocolate a few months ago. These things would ordinarily be forgotten, as new memories would take their place. But now that the person herself is gone, we hold on to these for dear life, and remember them forever. People speak of the souls of the dead haunting us, and skeptics cite logical explanations to counter their arguments. Perhaps, the things that haunt us, after the death of a loved one, are but manifestations of our memory of them, twisted into fearsome things by our grief-ridden minds. Perhaps, the haunting feeling just means, that even in certainty, we are repulsed by the truth. 
I hurriedly made something, to honour Medha, though I don't know anymore how much it could mean. 


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