Eid Mubarak!! Hope you had a great time. I know I am late on the Eid wishing but I was busy on Eid day with guests pouring in all day and the next day I had uni from 8 to 8 so sowwie. Better late than never right?
This Eid was bittersweet given the tragedy that occurred at Mina. My aunt and uncle are at Hajj this year so of course we were anxious to contact them and they are alhumdulillah safe. But of course those martyred at Mina would be someone’s aunts and uncles, someone’s mums and dads. I can’t bear to imagine the feelings of loss those families faced when they heard of their beloved ones passing away and the realisation dawned that they wouldn’t be waiting at the airport to welcome them back with joyous faces.
I guess Eid this year had that effect on everyone. As I logged onto WordPress to read posts on my feed, people were sharing their feelings of sadness and loss.I tend to avoid thinking about such feelings. I am that girl who will always look cheerful no matter what. Tejas’s post on his cat, Ershad’s post on death,and revels’s thoughtful post on trust made me realise how happy occasions can be marred with feelings of sadness.Death is certain. Death is inevitable.The impact of death is a mental smack. Getting a smack on the face hurts but only for a little while. The pain subsides. But a smack on the heart, you know that feeling where you are feeling numb, your brain feels like it has frozen, because you can’t process anything. The Earth is still rotating, people are still going to office, kids are still getting herded off to school, everyone is laughing,socializing but for you it’s like everything is in slow motion. You are not part of the real world. You are not hungry, you feel no emotions. Just numb. A smack on the heart. And the heart stops beating. No emotions.
I remember the time when someone messaged my dad on Facebook to inform him the death of his friend. A close family friend that had been there from the start when we lived in Dubai.Our families were real close. My dad’s phone popped up with the message’s notification and since the phone was close by, I picked it up to hand it over to my dad. I glanced over and read the message and froze in my tracks. I couldn’t believe it. All day at uni I was remembering the family memories of when that uncle and his family with lovely daughters used to come over. Uncle was a jovial man who had diabetes. His condition had become so serious that the toes of his right leg had to be amputated and he had become blind in his later years. Even so, he was the most cheerful optimistic man who greeted you with utmost warmth when you met him.
My mum was a chemistry teacher at a secondary school in Dubai. When I was 10 years old, her school took the school kids to an island for excursion. It was a 2 day trip so the supervising teachers were allowed to take their children along. And so my brothers and I went along mum to Seer Baniyas island. The trip went amazingly well and everyone was having a great time. While returning, one of the school kids decided to get a bit naughty and ran along, diving head first into the open sea. His friends rushed along with him. Mum and other teachers started calling out for them to come back. And return they did. Except the one. The first one. The pioneer. The mastermind. Everyone started shouting his name to tell him that his prank was not funny, he better show himself up. Little did we all know, he had sunk to the bottom. He had swum to an area where the sand sloped off and as he stood up to breathe in air, his feet gave way and he was lying at the bottom. The outside world was shaking their head, imagining the prankster to show up at any time. As minutes passed away, comments on the idiocy turned to panic and frenzy and the male teachers started diving in. After what seemed like hours, a pearly white body glistening with water and frothing in foam, suddenly appeared from beneath the sea. A helicopter suddenly came in view and the school boy was put in a stretcher and flown over to the nearest hospital. The mood in the bus was eerily quite, everyone muttering and mumbling prayers amid sniffles and tears. After a while, one of the teachers got up and gave a speech that I didn’t understand. But all the girls and teachers started crying audibly. My stomach lurched as I anticipated the news but I still had to know. So I turned to this girl, who was another teacher’s daughter and who I had befriended during the trip, to ask what had happened. The prankster had fooled us. He hadn’t gone to swim, he had gone to die. The anger was great, the anguish even greater. He was my mum’s favourite student.He was a bright and obedient student. Only this time he didn’t obey. And it cost us all. His mum couldn’t bear the shock and slipped into coma. And to this day, we avoid going to beaches. The school disbanded excursions for years.
Time does heal.It has been 12 years since but every time we remember that trip, a pain shoots on the inside.The memory is always there even if it is muffled by the chaos of life.
***Image via Google