I write about death with a disturbing frequency and an even more disturbing insight, like I have studied it closely, dissecting every tiny aspect and profile with surgical precision and in obsessive detail. I have been doing this for years now; writing in perpetual fear of losing the ones I love to this inescapable truth and inevitable end.
My last few posts have been soaked in this fear, doused in darkness, and heavy with the harsh reality of losing someone. Some things happen in our lives, very unassumingly and silently, and they creep up on us at the oddest of hours-in the middle of the night, or while you're putting on your new black dress, or while you're relieving yourself in the bathroom and humming a Simon And Garfunkel song, or maybe while you're drilling into a patient's tooth- and change everything.
I once wrote about how death is like a nimble jungle cat that strikes without warning and without tell-tale hints.
Yesterday, I was at the clinic working on a patient, when I received a call from my boss about something to do with payment protocol for a particular case. I heard him out, nodded and mumbled some obedient yes sir's and alright sir's, and that was that. I got back to work, completed the drilling and filling for my patient and headed back home without knowing that this was to be the last time I would hear from him.
Dr. Ghosh, my boss, passed away two hours ago from a massive cardiac arrest. Just like that, he's gone.
I didn't know him very closely or for very long (just a little over two months), but the knowledge of his passing struck me like a guillotine to the neck. He was a man with a smile on his face and conviction in his gait. His hands were those of a man born to heal people, and his patients always loved him for his amicable personality and impeccable work ethic. His guidance at the workplace will be sorely missed by me, more than anything else.
Death tears little pieces away from your life, leaving behind a smaller paper to write your story on. It's like a giant eraser that cuts faces out according to some mysterious incomprehensible whim, and perhaps that is why we should develop a trained sense of myopia, seeing nothing but what is at hand, and what you currently have.
Staring far into the future can't possibly draw out much good, and taking life too seriously shall only lead to collected regrets to ponder upon when you're old and decaying.
But perhaps what I need to learn, more than anything else, is how I need to stop writing about and romanticizing death like it's my invisible yet omnipresent muse. There are happier things to write about, surely; and I think I've exhausted my quota of morbid vignettes and poetry a long time ago.
Let us learn to celebrate life like it is a brilliant vaudeville show where everyone gets free popcorn and candy. Death is just a curtain call; the show will always go on, day after day.
Rest in peace, Dr. Ghosh. You put up a great show, and I'll never forget you.