Last week I got a message from a close friend. She mentioned about losing a dear friend to the heavens above. I had read her Facebook status that indicated the same, but I couldn’t muster up the courage to call her and ask her what happened. It’s tough to say something at such a time. You are grappling to say something appropriate but you don’t know what to say. This dilemma defeats the person you are and the one you want to be. Finally, after some resisting, I called her.

I was in a local train when I called.

I asked her what happened. She mentioned about her friend taking a local train to get to Point A and then no-one-knows-what-happened! When the family lodged a missing complaint, that person’s body was found at Point B at a police station the next morning. The police said it was a train accident.

I stood far away from the door till the station arrived.

I listened silently, recalled a few deaths of friends that I have witnessed in the past, and tried very hard to say “something” to her. Finally, she told me, “You know what Sam, we had an argument last week and I hadn’t spoken to my friend since then. I feel so full of regret that I did not talk to him and that happened to be the last one week of his life. I realize that we should not hold ourselves back and tell everyone who matters that we love them.” I couldn’t agree more.

I walked home and thanked God that I reached home safe.

Last evening, 3 bomb blasts bathed Mumbai in blood all over again! The blasts that took place at Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House, and Dadar came to remind us how unpredictable and insecure life can be (and also how impotent the government is, but that is a different matter altogether)! When I heard about them, first thing I wanted to do was to call home to find out if my family was safe. I couldn’t get through. The networks were jammed. The only thing that ran through my mind was, “Let EVERYONE be okay. God please!” In a flurry I received messages from my close friends residing in Delhi and South India and even Mumbai asking me the same thing, “Where are you?”, “Where are you?”, “Where are you?”, “Where are you?”.  In my mind I went, “I’m okay. I’m fine. I can’t text you!” Time passed, fear subsided, network returned and I replied to each one of them. After I reached home, again I was glad to have returned safe. I was reminded of my friend who lost someone close. I also recalled what she said. I told the people who matter how much I love them. I tried to. I hope they heard it.

I know it’s such a bloody cliché to say that life in this city has become so unpredictable. When you’re leaving the house, you don’t know if you’re coming back or not. But you still get out there; fight the battles that are waiting for you, and come back home to a family that loves you but finds it difficult to express it. Amidst all the humdrum and the madness, and while running all the races that we usually do, we tend to lose out on some very basic things of life. Like a work-life balance, for example? How many of us have that evading thing called a work-life balance? How many of us have satisfying relationships? On the contrary: How many of us tend to hold onto our ego to win an argument? How many of us go out there to make sure we win at every step of the way, each day?

It shouldn’t take us a bomb blast to bring us face to face with what we have and what we’re forgetting to acknowledge. It shouldn’t take us a corrupt government to bring light to the fact that we as citizens can do our small bit for the community (like people did yesterday). It shouldn’t take us a death to fill ourselves with regret that we didn’t tell someone we loved them, or are proud of them, or that they matter.

It shouldn’t take us grief to see that there is love and good spirit all around us!

 – Sameen