Do you know how it feels to die at 18?
Do I? Not really; I died at 23.
I can tell you how I felt when I left home at 18, though.
I was heartbroken.
I would hug my mother every 5 minutes before I left home.
My sister would read out to me her list of gifts she wanted me to bring when I come back.
and say, I will miss you.
My dad was not going to miss me.
for all he wanted to make sure was if I had packed my stethoscope – his farewell cum study well gift.
At the check-in gate, he waved me goodbye.
I didn’t except that
but, he cried.
I turned 23 a few days back, here, in Dhaka.
Friends from Pak and India got me a cake & a Parka.
and my parents back home sang songs, over Skype.
I took my finals last month and I got a job at Salimullah.
As a doctor.
I wouldn’t join before April, though.
I wouldn’t because this March I was going home.
to keep my promise I made to my sister and my mom.
I did reach home on time;
No one was happy to see me, though.
they dressed in white.
As if someone had died.
And, yes, I was the one who had died.
They sat before my 5 by 8 photo, with a garland on it.
I was there, and believe me, I tried to tell them, too.
I am here.
but they won’t listen to me.
My sister stood up, looked at me.
Walked to me, took a pause.
I was happy until she passed through me.
and I fell, in pain, on my knees.
They couldn’t see me.
because I was not Amardeep.
He died when Nepal decided it needs another airplane-museum.
I am his soul, that had made promises,5 years back.
and I am here.
to keep my promises.
or say, I am not here.
because they don’t see me and I can’t feel them.
But I am still around.
I don’t sleep and eat.
I can’t hug my mom when she is low.
but I see her sob, every night.
I don’t see my dad cry.
but he does, in the shower, I know.
they loved me.
and perhaps, I didn’t.
maybe that’s why, I left them all, here.
once knowingly, and then, because God wanted me to.
I don’t know how it feels to die at 18.
because I didn’t die.
I just left home.
but I could still talk and tell how I felt.
This is harder.
dying at 23.
This is harder
To cry and not have tears.
to feel the pain, and not have a heart.
to tell them, I miss everything, and it goes unheard.
At 18, I’d have died an easier death, I bet.
On the flight, I took from home.
I had less of dreams back then.
and the separation would have been once and for all.
But to die at 23,
On the flight back home.
It was harder.