Holiday on Earth

Pic by Mark Ulyseas

Today has been special, I saw a Krait and witnessed the landscape I am designing emerge from a grotty space of tangled weeds and garbage into a wondrous garden full of butterflies and dragon flies with the great Indian sunbird popping in to check out the Allamanda.

Work on the rockery was just not right so I decided to redo the whole thingy. It was hot, humid and as I drank the chilled beer feeling one with nature as I answered it, still holding the bottle of beer…someone shouted my name from the main house…a frantic cry. Of course, finishing what I had to do I rushed back to the house only to find the young lad who was working on the interiors lying on the floor in a semi conscious state;  A panic attack brought on by the delayed schedules attributed of course to IST. Not Indian Standard Time but Indian Stretchable Time. What followed was the mandatory visit to the hospital and the wait outside the ICU sucking on a cigar and watching the ambulances arrive and depart with sick and injured people.

Death passed just once covered under a white sheet stained with blood.

Visits to hospitals, for me, are a frightening experience… Imagine lying with needles stuck in one’s body and dying alone in a room that smells of antiseptic and discovered by an overworked nurse. Another body for the morgue. A statistic. A certificate of death. Certificates for everything…birth, school, college and…death.

We live with certification.

We are mere numbers.

Not infinite, though.

Life is a dream…until fallibility comes knocking with a stethoscope…diagnosing an ailment…then the pills start popping and one embarks on the road to a cul de sac.

I have seen a friend drop dead on the road while we discussed existentialism. I have arrived in a hospital too late, only to be told my father and my mother had died, alone. I have seen friends fade into nearby cemeteries. Yet the life within keeps throbbing in hope; hope that bitch in heat that lures one away from the obvious, the reality of life with an expiry date…not ordained but one by accident.

Illusions, disillusions and dreams make up the canvas of all life beating to the rhythm of mortality. Why do people cling to life? Why do they believe, quite often, that life is untouchable by the phantoms of the dark side? I too have fallen prey to such imaginations. I too believed that life was all that it was worth and death always happened to someone else. Alas, reality that fornicator of the absurd has always arrived in inopportune times to announce the inconceivable.

Friends, family and the odd acquaintance lie buried six feet under, interred with the creepy crawlies of the nether world.

Could it be that we are all winners in a universal lottery, the prize being the chance to holiday on this beautiful planet for a limited period…

…And that when the holiday ends we return to our jobs, which is to serve the spirit in the sky…