Reflection and life

Another death in the family. Uncle passed away on Wednesday after spending weeks fighting between life and death in the hospital. He was a fighter. It took a toll on the family where life went upside down, taking a u-turn, shuttling between home and hospital. I remember meeting him two weeks back and was shocked to see the jovial man in this state, feeble and losing weight. It made me sad. I told him, Uncle! I will see you when you are back home and we will chit-chat. A feeble smile appeared on his face. It was the last time that I spoke to uncle.

It’s been a month of illness where his son spent the whole day and night sitting at Fortis. I accompanied him where we indulged in lil bit of chat. I think moral support is very important. How do we cope with grief? It’s something which is difficult to comprehend. What remains are wonderful memories spent together! It brought me back to the time when Dad sunk into coma and passed away, way back in 2007. I couldn’t recognize Dad when I met him. Somehow, I was able to cope with Dad’s death because it was the time that I moved away to Pune and then Mumbai and naturally cut myself off from attachment. In short, I was detached emotionally despite being the only child who was close to Dad.  The period of detachment worked for me or else, it would have taken a long time for me to cope with Dad’s death. The uncle who died  was a dentist and has been a strong pillar of support when Dad suddenly fell ill and passed away.

This week has been a very tiring one, from attending early morning conferences till the evening, spending the night at hospital and uncle’s death. I am still recovering from physical fatigue that took a toll on my life. The lack of exercise must account for something where I spend the time slouching on the chair and typing. Lack of physical exercise is such a bane. I am trying to cut my sugar intake since yours truly has a sweet tooth but for kicking the butt, it’s been a nearly impossible task. I am raring to go back to yoga classes after more than a year.

Uncle’s death brings one face-to-face with life’s reality.  I stay with Mom for quite some time now and been trying to move away for my own good and to detach the self. As our parents’ age, we don’t realize how important it is for us to detach emotionally for one day will come where we will be on our own and their physical disappearance will take its toll on us. I don’t want it to happen.  I wonder, how many of us realize the importance to detach emotionally! I feel it is of utmost importance. Trust me, it makes us independent and we grow in leaps and bounds. I am guilty of that. I was always an independent person, cherishing my freedom that gave me wings when I left the family cocoon for Pune and Mumbai. But, it waned away when I came back. It’s an area where I feel that I am not growing enough. True independence happens when you are on your own and doing your personal things. I’ve dabbled with moving out for quite some time. Staying independent is bliss.

I do not really subscribe to this view of being the perfect son or the bull crap of getting married to fulfil parents’ need. We no longer have this shaadi conversation, Me and Mom. It fizzled a long time back. I am someone who believes that one should only get married when he or she wants to rather than pleasing parents or society. It shouldn’t be a compulsion or some sort of fucked moral compass to adhere. It’s my life, after all. Neither do I believe that I should stay with parents since it’s my duty. Sorry, I don’t see things this way. It’s all about growing and conquering life beyond the family’s nest. Children don’t need to stay with parents after studies or marriage. It limits growth. I feel that any decision should be taken with an open mind rather than blurred vision becoming the holy cow. Moreover, decisions in my life are taken with lucidity minus the samaj or ritual thing. Unfortunately, our Indian society croon a different tune. Read this amazing piece here. The last time I shared on Facebook, it provoked a flurry of emotions.

On the personal front, I have decided to start all over the novel and chucked the 90 pages odd draft that stands neglected for a couple of years. This week has been quite hectic professionally and personally where I didn’t write anything. I intend to wrap up the first chapter by the end of next week. I have started reading The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak and a host of other books on Kindle but at a slow pace. Need to rush things for I have set an objective of finishing 10 books on Kindle by year-end.

It’s been ages that I am penning my thought on life’s reflections. Time to say cheerz. Of course, I am forever a coffee addict and I am in the process of downing a third glass.

See ya soon




  1. Oh my gosh…I am so sorry for your loss, Vishal.
    Life can be so queer, we are all surrounded by demands from everyone else, our own wishes and desires get buried deep down.
    I am very happy to read that you have decided to start working on your novel again. You have such a beautiful mind, the world needs a peek into it. Keep writing. You have my shoulder, counsel and support whenever you need.

  2. Hi Vishal….May your uncle’s soul rest in piece.

    I have addiction for memoirs autobiographies and such personal posts with self reflections.
    Yes I agree with many of the stated points.
    I guess you do have the luxury of moving away from parents and doing your stuff , and I understand your point of view.

    But what about the parents ? What about their needs and wants ,old age is when they need their kids the most not in terms of money, but the company and care .

    Indian culture among other Asian cultures is one in which we are taught to care of aged parents till the end, and about accepting the loss as and when it comes, never underestimate inherent human strength.

    In your moment of grief , this kind of lecturing was uncalled for ,apologies no offence meant.

    Just putting forth another perspective coz I live with my in laws and my own parents stay on their own as we are two daughters and my heart goes out to them being away from them.

    Nice post Vishal, it’s thereaupatic to vent in the form of reflections.

    • Thanks Haseena for your words. It’s not a rant but I think that I believe. I have always believe in the quest for freedom. I don’t agree when you say uncalled. It’s my honest views. No! I am not offended nor I take it personal. Leaving the home to conquer the sky doesn’t mean we don’t love our parents. It’s all about growing. Growth matters. A way of looking at things, if we are not happy living with parents, we would not be able to give happiness. I respect your views and understand your perspective about living with in-laws. But, then I am not of the belief that a son or daughter should stay with parents out of obligation. Free will yes. I have never believed in extended family where religious beliefs are enforced. Trust me, I know what I am saying, coming from a conservative family. Also, I believe children doesn’t come from but through parents. It’s also true about missed opportunities and one shouldn’t miss it out of compulsion or else, there shall be regrets. Thanks for sharing your views and I appreciate that. It’s no lecture, by the way but reflection that everyone should do.

  3. Hi Vishal,

    Very sorry for the loss. My condolences. Death of a loved one can be extremely painful. Emotional detachment is difficult Vishal. While I agree with your points your mother needs you too at her age and marriage is again a different aspect again. And I completely agree with you on the marriage aspect.
    And good luck on your novel.🙂

  4. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss Vishal! We spoke a few days back didn’t we, when I was just back from Kolkata? I can imagine what you must be going through. Stay strong and you know time is a great healer!
    And I can totally empathise with you when you speak about emotional detachment from parents. It is very ironical that we are at a point in time when we wish to get detached from the very people who begin to depend on us. I understand as I’ve been through this too.
    I left home at 16 to study in a different city and learnt to deal with my emotional attachment issues early on. It did help me gain my own independence. It certainly helped me grow. Just a little thought that you need to also be there to assure your mom at the same time that you will be around for her no matter what. She should not feel abandoned. That’s one thing I still do try and ensure even today.
    I wish you good progress on achieving your reading goal and getting on with the fresh draft for the novel. All the best!

    • Thanks so much, Esha, Yes, we shared about uncle prolonged illness after your trip. Howz your Dad doing? It’s true, I agree when we think about things when detachment comes into the picture. The time I moved to Pune and Mumbai, I was able to detach myself and discovered independence. I love the way you put it. There is no way I will abandon Mom and I believe that being away doesn’t mean I don’t love her. She can do up and down with me. That’s an option I’ve been thinking about. I will ensure she is not left out. Thanks so much for such kindness. Wishing you best and my wishes to your Dad.

  5. So sorry to hear about your uncles passing, and sad to read about your dad too, Vishal. A very emotional and heartfelt post for me to read. Sending lots of well wishes your way. Very happy to read that you will keep writing – novel and others stuff- you write well my friend! I cheer for you!!

  6. My heartfelt condolences to your uncle’s death. May his soul rest in peace. Your post resonatted with my father’s deathg. It taught me so many life lessons. I honour your words of detachment and independency. May God fulfil your dreams and bless you with peace, happiness and health. Very eager to read your book and you are always welcome home for a hot cup of coffee and sweet memories of chit chat.

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