The Gearbox of Life and Death

Onkar BordeMay 10, 2021Life and DeathInterfaith Connections

It was a holiday today!

I was very excited, as holidays give me the ticket to picnic and explore the new world where I was recently shifted. I grabbed my “mysterious” shoes (they are never present at the place where I left them). I started off! I went through narrow roads and glided along the slopes.

Suddenly my tires started wobbling as my bicycle was now on a narrow unpaved road where the houses were lonely and sad. While moving through that place, I heard cries and screams of grief! When I went a bit closer, I found that people were crying because one of their relatives had died. This made me feel sad and awkward, so I quickly turned back and landed straight at my gate. I parked my bicycle and then quickly grabbed my rug and lay on the bed. I was thinking about the situation, the people, the grief, and the man. All wandered in my mind, making me feel nervous and sad!

Not only here in India, but everywhere, after someone is dead, we often conduct a particular ritual to calm his or her soul and to pray for a safe journey to heaven. This ritual varies according to our religious backgrounds and beliefs.

Days passed, and the incident was deleted from my memory. After some time, I got an invitation to a traditional celebration in which a newborn baby gets a name! When I went in, I saw joy and a different version of tears: the tears of happiness!

I enjoyed the celebrations that day and finally, after the heavy dose of dancing and fun, I was quite exhausted. So I tried to rest in my cozy warm blanket. I tried to sleep, but something didn’t allow me. I suddenly realized a link between life and death! I had discovered a not-so-good perspective by observing the behavior of people all around me. I considered the question, “Why do people celebrate when someone is born, even while knowing he or she needs to die one day?” Also, I thought “Why do they cry when someone is dead, even knowing that this is the only end of the cycle of nature and life and death?”

This common thinking and behavior are derived from the tradition we have been following for years! I consider this grieving a “glitch,” because even by grieving and crying or by enjoying and celebrating we cannot go against nature and modify the incident which happened/is happening/will be happening. The death will increase our pain and the birth will increase our responsibilities.

My mind fiddled with these questions for days. Finally, I found that these contradictions were just a glitch that every human has. We humans always grieve every loss, wasting time and getting closer to death.

We all cry after some loss takes place, but I think by being sad, we are just losing the treasure which is hidden, waiting for us further along. Death is of course serious, but it is natural, no one can stop it. In my opinion, we are just opposing the impossible-to-stop cycle of life and death.

People today often think about the past (the loss they faced) and try to predict the future (the loss they will face). They miss the precious present and do not claim the happiness which they are getting from the people who are still alive.

My mind tells me to avoid the traditional method of grieving before facing the loss. Instead it dictates that I spend some golden time with the people who are about to die. Sedimentary rocks reshape and transform because of the continuous pressure exerted on them by the water and air above, and in a similar way, we humans have also transformed. We humans grieve when someone is dead and celebrate when someone is born because of the tradition we have been following.

We people just cry in grief after facing a loss of life, but if this is the case, birth is also a moment to cry, as the person born will die after a certain time. I think instead of stopping after facing a loss, we should try to dig out that treasure of happiness that is still present by enjoying the golden moments of joy before someone lies on that bed breathing for their last moments.

Yes I know this sounds quite arbitrary when we try to cope with this strange explanation on “life and death,” but it helps a lot to react, react to these extreme situations!

The following lines of the poem will help you simplify the complexities which are presently tickling your mind:

Cut the past, ‘cuz you cannot modify it, or bring them back!
Shut the future, ‘cuz you never know it
and even if you know it, you cannot avoid going away
Focus on the present so that you never lose the moment of joy before they die
Life is a cycle running on a frictionless surface
which has no brakes to stop it or modify its speed
Don’t grieve when it’s over, instead enjoy until it’s not over!

Onkar is a 15-year-old who likes playing football and enjoys singing. He is very interested in robotics, along with hacking and programming. He loves writing and sharing his experiences!