Saturday, July 20, 2013

Nasrun minal lahi wah fatahun kareeb...

Fatima slipped into a coma. Her body started shutting down. When the doctors suggested that her family members come to meet her immediately, Shah Rukh understood that it was only a matter of few hours. Until then, few people had been allowed into the intensive care unit. Shah Rukh refused to let his mother go without a fight. Numbed by grief, he prayed alone in the hospital parking lot. He was convinced that if he repeated his favorite prayer 869 times, Fatima would live. Nasrun minal lahi wah fatahun kareeb, he mumbled over again and again. It was a sportsman's prayer that means, God give me the strength to win. His uncle came to the parking lot several times to fetch him, but Shah Rukh spent half an hour praying amidst cars. By the time, he got to his mother's bedside, she was barely breathing.

Shah Rukh believed that death comes only when a person is completely content. So he tried to hold on to Fatima by making her feel unhappy. Sitting by her bed, he narrated to her the litany of all the bad things he would do if she left him. He would not take care of Shahnaz, his sister. He would fail as an actor, he would do everything to ensure that their lives were a mess. A tear fell from one eye. Fatima was clinically dead and the tear was perhaps an involuntary spasm of the body. But Shah Rukh took it to mean that she had heard him but was by then so close to God that she knew that her son was lying. For a fleeting moment, Fatima looked as attractive as she had before sickness sapped her. Her glazed eyes and cracked lips seemed to regain their lost vitality. Shah Rukh combed her hair and kissed her. Then there was a flurry of movement to shift the body. In an overpopulated country, beds in the intensive care unit are always at a premium.

At the burial ground, Shah Rukh sat by Fatima's side. When the maulvi interrupted his meditation, insisting that he join in the last prayers, Shah Rukh swore at the priest and nearly got into a fight with him. "I just wanted to look at her face that I would never see again," he said. "I wanted to touch her skin. I wanted to take away some memory, something tangible that I could retain." When they buried Fatima, he finally wept.

Shah Rukh sank into a fog of despair and anger. For the first few days, he refused to eat. Getting him to take a sip of water was a task. He was dry-eyed and shattered. When Divya Seth suggested going to the cemetry he refused, saying there was only earth there, not his mother. Every inch of his home and the city reminded him of his loss. Shahnaz retreated further into an inaccessible silence and aggression. Ten years ago, much of Fatima's jewellery had been sold to pay his father's hospital bills. Fatima's own sickness had plunged the family further into debt. Shah Rukh began to feel suffocated in Delhi. Two weeks after his mother's death, he packed his bags, took his usual after-midnight Air India flight to Mumbai, and landed at Viveck Vaswani's house at 5 A.M. "Let's make films", he said.     

 - Life After Death, King of Bollywood: Shah Rukh Khan and the Seductive World of Indian Cinema


Sometimes good people live sad lives... :(

My Dear Saul, 
It breaks my heart to write this letter. I've known since you were a young man that you've been a keeping a secret. But I know there was a reason. At first, you probably didn't want it to admit it to yourself. And I never thought I could be the one to ask you. So now I can only hope that you've had a beautiful life and someone to share it with even if you didn't share that part of it with me. You deserve all the happiness in the world my Saul, I trust you found it. 

You have to give up the life you have planned to find the life that is waiting for you. All our lives we grow by giving up things by loss and moving on. Big things. Little ones. How we handle those losses really defines who we are. 
 - Nora Walker 


The episode where Nora's and Saul's mom dies is emotionally devastating. As devastating as Shah Rukh's loss of his mother.  How do we deal the loneliness of loss? 


I have started sending post cards to all friends whose address I have. Who sends letters these days, right? There is still an old world charm associated with sending a handwritten letter/post card. If you want, I would be very happy to send you a letter/post card. Please fill in your address in the form below, where ever in the world you are. The details would be kept strictly confidential. 

Let's bring our letters back :)


Dialogue of the Day:

"Khoobsurati ko pehchaane ke liye bhi ek nazar chahiye hoti hai."
 - Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya

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