I opened my eyes and saw the daylight. I was in a big subtle ground filled with people. I didn’t remember anything, about the place, why I was there and even who I am. All I could understand was that I might be sleeping from a long time and after waking up I felt refresh like I never felt before. I stood up and moved towards the stalls that were spread all around the ground. People were talking to each other, some laughing aloud and some sat under the stalls sad and tired. There were many faces that I didn’t recognize. I tried to recall my past but no picture or thought could be ventured, as if I have lost that part of my brain which had stored all the memories of my life. I walked through all the stalls; there was nothing in there, only people sitting in groups, discussing about something very serious. I wanted to know what they were talking about but hesitated to join the strange faces.
One after one I checked almost every stall. I didn’t know what or whom I was searching there, may be that was an obvious human nature, to explore everything that is unknown. And then I heard a chatter and laugh of a group of girls. They were coming towards the ground from a far end. I kept watching them in amazement as I heard the sound of laughter in that melancholy environment. As they approached me, I started recognizing their faces. The positive spark of their smiles and laughs was transmissible and I too started smiling with them without any reason. Their faces looked familiar and then in a fraction of second I remembered who they were. They all were girls from my college, they were my classmates. They too recognized me. We met with each other in full enthusiasm. We discussed about the college, about that dull environment of the ground. I was happy that atlast I recalled my college memories. Those were good days and my classmates made those days special and memorable.
I talked to them for a while and then I left them to move forward. They were in a group, although I was their classmate but they were best friends and I felt a little awkward with them because of few reasons – firstly they were talking about themselves and their lives which I had no idea about; and secondly, although I have recalled them and the college days spent with them but not to the fullest, all the moments that they discussed in which I was not present with them, I was not able to picturise that. So, I decided to leave them there to enjoy with themselves.
I walked through that ground exploring every nook and corner upto which I can go. There were boundaries all around it, so I tried to search the entry or exit point to move out of it. I was unable to find one and once again I came near the stalls. Again I saw people outside and inside sitting in groups, discussing very serious topics. Their faces were sadder than before. And then I saw the group of girls that I saw before. Now they sat inside one of the stalls. They were worried and sad now. I could not see a smile on anybody’s face. They were talking about something and comforting each other as if, something happened that they didn’t expect.
I moved a little towards them to hear what they were talking about. One of them said, “That is a terrific and a horrible thing.” Other consoled, “We can’t help it.” And another added from behind, “Atleast we are together and not left behind to remorse.”
I was not able to understand what incidence made them sad and talk like that. And then one of them spoke again which made me realize why I was feeling so strange about everything there, “We are dead now! And everything is left behind. Our family, friends, jobs, savings, relations, and everything!”
Now I started making sense out of everything, why everyone in the stalls was sad and what they would be talking about. The mere idea of death had desolated everybody. But I was still not getting it. I was confused about the expression of death because I didn’t remember what it was, who I was. The only thing that I could feel and understand at that moment was that I too was dead along with all those who had gathered in that ground.
I was engulfed by all these thoughts and the surroundings. I didn’t know whether I was sad or what kind of emotion was gripping me but for an instance I thought that I had nothing to be sad about. I was still looking at the girls, when a stout boy came near me. He jerked and looked at me with a smile. As I saw him smiling, all the distress that had engulfed me vanished away. Again I felt that positive spark, I felt good about that moment.
The stout boy spoke in excitement, “Why are you standing here? Don’t you want to go beyond this ground? Don’t you want to explore? I am going and I know you also want to join me.” Then he took an about turn and started running away from the stalls, periodically looking back to see as if I was coming or not.
I could not think of anything or anyone, so I just decided to follow him. Atleast he had a smile and wanted to explore beyond the ground, which was enough for me to take decision. His little steps by running didn’t take him farther and within no time I approached near him. I was surprised when he took me to a narrow opening in the fence. I had searched the exit before also but didn’t understand why I didn’t see it there. He crossed it and exclaimed back at me to cross it fast. Once again I listened to him without thinking much.
As we crossed the fence, a different world appeared before us. There were houses, roads, trees, mountains, rivers and everything but no people or any living being. Both of us started walking through the road. We saw a beautiful garden in a distance, the boy immediately ran towards it. I too walked behind him. We reached the garden, which was beautifully constructed with lush green mattress of grass and shady trees that had fruits on them. The boy was happier and excited too, so was I. After playing in the garden for a while, we lied down on the grass and watched the clouds on the sky. We talked about the beauty of that environment. I was so immersed in the moment that I wanted to behold it. I closed my eyes to absorb everything.
The silence of the surroundings was taking me to somewhere in the serenity of the vast space. I never wanted to open my eyes but I had to. I started speaking about the sky, the clouds, the depth of the space and the atmosphere. Still lying on the grass, I was explaining everything that was spontaneously coming from my mind. I felt a little strange because the boy was not responding. I got up to enquire about him. He was not there anymore. I shouted with all my strength, “Hey!” and stopped. I didn’t know his name nor I cared to ask, but now I was confused that how would I call him. I kept walking and calling, “Hey! Where are you?”
Although we had met only a few hours before but still somewhere I felt a responsibility and attachment for him. Humans are so weird beings, how can we feel attached to a person whom we have met a few hours ago, I thought. Then I saw an old house in the far end of that garden. I thought of checking it for once as I thought may be because of curiosity the boy went inside. Through the stairs I climbed the first floor of the old wooden house. It looked familiar. The floor, windows, doors and walls all seemed to be familiar as if I have been there before. And there he was, jumping on the floor, just like a child. He is just a child, I should have expected this behaviour from him, I thought and an expression of satisfaction came onto my face.
The boy then ran down the stairs, so did I. He kept running through the garden and suddenly stopped at a distance. I followed him and stopped beside him to see the reason. In a distance I could see some people gathered and sat around a fire place. The fire was not burnt properly and smoke was continuously coming out of the small fire place. There were many men, women and children. I could not see their faces, so I tried to move near them. And slowly their faces were revealed, “I recognize them!” I said to the boy. Staring at them for some more time I said, “They are my parents, my family, and my known! I’ve recalled them.” The boy looked at me in surprise.
They were sad and the environment was engulfed in a mysterious melancholy. A man was saying something and everybody else listened to him carefully. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t go near them. I wanted to talk to them as I used to do before. And the boy and I kept watching the entire scenario from a distance.
He asked, “What is happening there?” “I don’t know.” “Are they praying for you?” “Yes I think so.”
“But what difference has it made, we are here same as we were before. I can’t see any differences” exclaimed the boy.
“May be they can’t see us like we couldn’t see the dead when we were alive.”
“What will happen now?” he enquired. “I don’t know” with these words a silence broke out between us and we sat there only to watch everything and everyone.
After many hours, suddenly the sun started shining brighter and brighter. Both of us were dazzled by that bright light. And then I felt a force uplifting me. I got to know that now the time had come for me to go from that world. I remembered it from my life that after death our souls are brought to the almighty and then he decides our future fate. I was ready to be consumed into the almighty.
Slowly the force uplifted me to a greater height. The boy grabbed my clothes. I looked at him. His face was desolated as if he was saying me to stay back. With a smile, I tried to convince him, “I hope we will meet again soon.” And with that the force drew me towards the source of the light.
I closed my eyes and just enjoyed the moment in which I was floating in the space. No one around me, no one to snatch me back, no thoughts, no emotions, no feelings and nothing inside my mind – just the light and the weightlessness, the space and the infinity. And there I approached towards that infinity that I would never had known if I was alive.