Dec 25, 2013

Death's Disruptive Drama

Our this life on earth is so fickle and uncertain that vast majority of us do not know in advance as to when exactly the curtain of death will fall over the stage of our physical existence, restraining us from putting into play our aspirations and attractions and reaping the relative results.
It is true, death does not affect those who are able to meet it with the rational understanding that it is only a fresh form of life in an unknown sphere and unknowable form. It is equally true that death of a guardian may not mean suffering or irreconcilable loss to those fortunate some who may have something or someone else to fall back upon. Or again, their position is also secure who are well - up to stand by themselves to build a life anew with the passing away of a supporter.
However, because our lives are so very much interdependent due-to karmic ties with good many souls, death of a person, particularly if he happens to be the only earning member in the family and that too, should it take place when the dependents are not able to earn a living, the situation can be one of shock, manifold privations and impassable trials.
Here's a pathetic case of two budding young-men bubbling with life, whom death relentlessly removed from the scene of a promising life, causing misery to some, shockful death to two and drove two other helpless sisters to put an end to their lives.



Out of my 29,000 miles trek-tour in the country, the longest happens to be the one from Surat (Gujarat) to Pondicherry. One morning, I was crossing the bridge on river Chitra near Chittoor town, (Andhra Pradesh). A car was coming from the opposite direction. From the movement of the car I felt that either the man at the wheel was under the influence of a drink or that he didn't know driving.
A little later, when I was almost a bit past the bridge, I heard the sounding of horn of another car coming from behind. Next I heard the boisterous noise of something being hit hard. I had only to turn round to see one car being thrown over the railings of the bridge, into the river. The other car lay still one side up, smashed and crushed against the bridge. Its drunken driver escaped with minor injuries.
I ran to the scene of the accident : the wild noise it made summoned many people working in the fields around the river. The car that had fallen into the river which was knee-deep with water, was almost shattered and the two occupants therein were lying dead with multiple injuries.
Many in the crowd recognised the victims to the accidental death as Sundariah and Laxmaniah.
The drunken man of the other car involved in the collision, and later held responsible for the accident, was identified as Krishnamurthy, an apprentice working in one of the local motor work-shop.
During my two days halt in the town I gained, acquaintance with the family members of the dead youngmen and came to know the following pitiable details about them.
Many years back, when Sundariah was still a lad, he had once gone for a stroll in the fields of one Ramchandra. After moving about here and there, wanting to rest a little, he lay on the bushy growth of grass around the well there. Tiredness and cool breeze ushered him to sleep.
It was about that time that the 10 year old Rukmini, daughter of Ramchandra, who was then with her father, had gone to the well to fetch drinking water for him. While she was drawing the little bucket from the well, she happened to notice a big size snake emerging from a pit very close to Sundariah's legs. She let go the bucket - picked up a weighty stone and flung it at the cobra, killing it on the spot. Thereafter, she called her father, woke up Sundariah and beckoned them to see the dead cobra which she had killed.
Sundariah saw the venomous lifeless snake that could have caused his death. He thanked Rukmini profusely and from that day, out of natural gratitude, he was drawn very close to the family of Ramchandra.
Few years thereafter, Rukmini had an attack of smallpox and the disease claimed her sight, making her completely blind. This caused much sorrow and worries to Ramchandra and his wife. Rukmini was their only daughter and even with their little means they were hoping and harping upon a happy marriage for her. But now, with her going blind, their expectations were naturally shattered and even made them to become apprehensive of whether she would be married at all.
On learning of this tragic incident, Sundariah's noble mother prevailed upon her son to consent to brighten Rukmini's lightless life through matrimonial ties with her-even as the girl had saved his existence being interrupted by the possible sting of a poisonous cobra. Sundariah readily agreed to captain the ship of Rukmini's life and to steer it to the shores of domestic bliss. He was formally affianced. This gladdened everyone in the town and both he and his mother came to be loved in larger circles for their generous gesture.
Some years passed and Sundariah was to be formally married to Rukmini. The day was fixed. Just on the day before the wedding ceremony, his friend Laxmaniah in whose partnership he was to float a modern bangle factory, called on him to take him to see the proposed site.
Sundariah's mother advised him to put off all engagements till the marriage was over. The new business partners in the making silenced the old lady by telling her that they would take only half an hour to motor to the place and to return back.
That's how, both Sundariah and Laxmaniah, who seemed to have conspired with fate, left for the site and met the shockful death, in the accident on the bridge over river Chitra on Chitrapournima day.
Rukmini, who was cherishing wishful dreams of a fine married life with Sundariah who for her was to be a good goad and symbol of her future happiness, couldn't bear the news of his death. Her shattered hopes rocked her heart and shocked all her limbs, resulting in her instantaneous death.
As for the details about Laxmaniah, my enquiries revealed that having lost his father some years back, he was living with his mother and three sisters. The day before his death he had disposed off by sale to one Rajabhushanam the family's landed properties to raise money to put up the factory. Laxmaniah allowed the amount of Rs. 25,000/- to remain with his friend, intending to take it when needed.
On the fateful day Laxmaniah borrowed the car of Rajabhushanam for going over to the site and met death with Sundariah.
The news of the death of Laxmaniah came as a thunderbolt to the family members. His wife, who was then ridden with labour pains and from whom the news about the death of her husband couldn't be withheld, collapsed immediately and reached the other world. She was jointly cremated with her husband.
After some days, Laxmaniah's mother went to Rajabhushanam to collect the amount of Rs. 25,000/. He falsely told her that her son had taken away the money from him on the very evening of finalisation of the sales-deed.
This was something contrary to what her son Laxmaniah had explicitly told her before he proceeded to keep date with death. Her feeble heart thudded with ruffled feelings. She didn't know that vile people like Rajabhushanam remain good only for want of opportunities to cheat and run down people.
She pleaded, imploring him with bended knees not to defraud her and her grown - up daughters. She wept, cried and whined, but all this failed to kindle pity in the dark and black heart of Rajabhushanam. He remained deaf to threats, pleas, reasons and arguments. The poor thing could do nothing.
Her experience with Rajabhushanam taught her that foul people are like vultures flying high up in the sky of opportunities eyeing for their prey, and ever - ready to swoop and strike. The difference is that while the vultures only strike the dying and strip the dead, the human vultures prey upon the helpless living persons whom they swindle relentlessly.
Rajabhushanam was a money-lender by profession and, like others in his trade, flourished on human calamity and was therefore factitiously free from fine feelings. He ruthlessly inflicted naked poverty on the family of the late Laxmaniah.
After Laxmaniah's death and the fraud played by Rajabhushanam, two of Laxmaniah's sisters saw no charm in continuing life as it would have given them nothing but misery and pain. They both took FOLLIDOL, one of the most corrosive poisons, openly available in the market, and put an end to their lives.
The forcible removal of Sundariah and Laxmaniah from this world stage of life caused 4 growing souls to sorrowfully stage a walk - out from mortal existence.
While perspectives naturally change with the growth of discrimination and understanding. Yet, till then, for the immature who cannot front life's issues with deadened feelings or dispassionate out - look, DEATH is bound to be viewed by them as an imperious monarch, who without pensive concern is ever enacting this type of tragic dramas, infringing upon the personal rights of frail human - beings who wish to prolong their stay here on earth.