Whispers to the Falling Leaves

We discuss the news, my mother-in-law and I. There is a deafening anger behind the sadness that accompanies a tragedy.

The two-year-old who had fallen into an open borewell has died, despite round the clock efforts to rescue him. Of late, news of such unfortunate tidings has become repetitive, like some kind of an annual event.

Every time a news like this breaks out, the usual round of blame-game begins. Why has the government continued to remain so callous despite the tragedies playing themselves on a loop? What were the parents thinking, letting a toddler move around freely in a dangerous zone? Why is the awareness of danger-zones so less among the population?

I am tired of this story. I am tired of getting angry against the government that continues to perform incomplete jobs. I am tired of venting frustration against uneducated and ignorant parents. I am tired of the sadness that overpowers me, when a young life is lost. Yes, I am definitely tired of this story that we simply do not know how to end.

Young ones are dying everywhere, physically, mentally. Saplings that are meant to grow into tall, strong, beautiful trees.

I watch the autumn winds prod the old yellow leaves into falling to the earth, telling them to let go, to get back to earth, their mother. I hear the winds whisper to the withering leaves, telling them to go back home. And I wish this part of nature would become an inherent part of human nature too.

The world is growing frigid because the hands of Death has changed directions. The hands used to be warm, when Death came for the old. Warmth emanating out of an acceptance that well-lived lives are on their way, heading into another journey. Warmth emanating from the understanding that where an old tree falls, another one will grow in its place. Death’s hands were warm indeed. But as with climate change, so with Death – the ticking clock changes directions until there is nothing to tick for, anymore.

Is it because we are chasing immortality that Time has changed its directions? Is it because we do not make the death-wish that Death has changed its course? After all, both Time and Death are a continuous movement, and they have to go somewhere. And there is only one other way to move inside a circle, if not clockwise. If not forward, then backward is inevitable.

Take for instance, Japan, a country with highest old-age population. Well, it also a country with one of the lowest birthing population. When Death’s hands don’t grow warm, they grow icy. And ice freezes things, makes Time stop. Birth and growth are on account of Time’s movement. What happens when Time stops?

I don’t want Time to stop. When Time stops, stories don’t happen – yours and mine. I don’t wish to stay on forever, caught within the pages of an incomplete story, living a life in the absence of laughter and love.

Death, die not

For without you,

I am lost

In life’s meandering knot

That is why I make wishes.

I wish people would listen to the whispers of the wind, take lessons from the elements. In my language, the art of listening – it is called Shruthi – of things that can be heard. And we hear things all the time don’t we? Why don’t we listen to Nature, then?! To hold on to the young, and let go of the old. When the wise trees can do that, why can’t we?

Here’s to acknowledging Nature’s lessons on holding on and letting go!

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