Clouds: Death

by Ilhamul Azam
read the suite from the beginning


I come out on the balcony, there are so many stars in the sky. I look at them, the moonlight floods the balcony with its haunting yellowish light.

“What are you thinking Dada?” whispers Shilu swinging her legs to and fro.

I say nothing.

“ Are you thinking about death?”

“Why do you ask?” I ask without staring at her.

“After Nanu’s death yesterday, everyone has been thinking about it.”

When Nanu*[1] was dying, I was there. She was dying, we all were dying with her. A while before her eternal sleep, her eyes became big. The eyes had something to exhibit, maybe fear that endangered the peacefulness of our existence.

My Nanu had been ill for many days, I was asked to see her every time. I didn’t go. I was afraid of seeing someone suffering who had been so actively lively in my memories, I didn’t want to distort the memory of that bliss. Now, I feel not the same, regret is so bad. Now I see her in my dreams so often, where she is an active person, not someone who is suffering for a peaceful breath, not someone who has not adequate blood running through her body. I don’t tell anyone about the dreams, how do I tell as well? with what audacity? I wasn’t there with her when I should have been. 

“What happens after death Dada?”

She dazzled me with so deep a question that has depth never-ending, that has so darkness surrounding it that nobody can see beyond.

The concept of fear is so profoundly intertwined with death that it seems to me, there could be only two outcomes, either it is nothing after death or there is something intolerable that we will consciously endure.

My friend had once said to me, “ I don’t think there will be any divine punishment after death. The objective of punishment is really worldly and GOD is beyond all these.”

Perhaps he is right or maybe GOD isn’t what we think HE is, HE shouldn’t be also. HE is never to be thought of by anyone that is why HE is GOD.

Maybe the critical criticism of divine deity starts to occur in my age, when the soul is full of spirit, the blood is warm, the eyes have a sparkle and search for answers that might make them stop questioning conventionality.

My mother tells me pretty often, “ You are always against beliefs that we have trusted blindly for years.”

Who knows my questions might end as I grow older, weaker.

[1] Conventional regard for the mother of mother in Bangladesh.  

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