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Mother Nature's Song
|by Dr. Manasi Dutt|
Mother Nature sings in her own tune, in the rhythm to her own drummer; different from any other drummer. Mother Nature might repeat the same tune following the same rhythm from the beginning of creation till the arrival of the Armageddon, still the music has to be uniquely her own. A human being can sing along with Mother Nature's tune following the same drummer's beat, but if a mortal tries to silence the tune, or change the rhythm, or twist or turn the melody, that mortal is bound to meet with disappointment and danger.
For example, the sun rises every morning in the east and sets every evening in the west; following this pattern the Hindus offer their prayers to the Almighty every morning and every evening. In other words, the Hindus sing along in the tune of Mother Nature in the same rhythm. If anybody wishes to stop the sun from rising, or from setting, one is bound to face inevitable failure and disappointment. All that person can do, is to stretch a blind across the window and keep the sunbeams from entering the room. This is comparable to an infantile act, nothing less than a failure.
The same principle applies with life. Every life is born on this earth at a particular moment and lives on the earth for a particular period of time and when the moment arrives for the life to end, death extinguishes the life-flame. If a mortal tries to manipulate the time of birthing, or alter the period of his/her stay on this earth, or tries to manipulate in what way, at what time, life should end, that mortal is clearly stepping in the arena of Mother Nature and that mortal might face nothing but disappointment and danger at the end of his foolish act.
Manjula learnt this precious lesson about life when she was barely 19 years old, just stepping in her 19th year. At that time she was a medical student at the Medical College in Calcutta doing her rotation in Internal Medicine. One morning, on her arrival at the hospital ward, her attention was drawn to an exceedingly good-looking patient, sitting up on her bed, the end of her Sari wrapped around her shoulders, she sat hunched, her eyes downcast, her face was drawn, as if every muscle on her face was weighed down, drooping with sadness. What is a woman like her doing in the general ward? Manjula asked herself. Since the free general ward was for the patients who were abject poor.
As she came closer to the nurse's station the head-nurse came towards her and informed that the patient is nobody but Shobita chaudhury, the famous actress. Last night she had tried to commit suicide and that's why she was admitted in the general ward. Now the situation became clear to Manjula. Every attempted suicide case had to be admitted in the general ward, for close observation and that's why an exceedingly beautiful woman was in the general ward. But Shobita Chaudhury trying to commit suicide? That was beyond Manjula's wildest imagination. How could a woman with so much fame, wealth, beauty and adulation consider her life to be not worth living?
Once again the head nurse shared with Manjula, apparently the famous actress was jilted by her lover. Manjula wished to scream out to Shobita, 'don't you know that lover of yours is a good for nothing guy? There are many other worthwhile men on this earth, who would love you with all their hearts, just give them a chance, before you take your own life'. At the same time Manjula also came to the understanding that an abundance of wealth, a great deal of success, exceeding beauty, and adulation of millions of fans were not enough to grant Shobita Chaudhury the feeling that her life was worth living. Despite all the richness in Shobita's life, being jilted by one lover, pushed her to the precipice of death, and she was ready to plunge down the steep cliff and embrace her own death.
A shiver passed through Manjula's body. 'I shall never be this foolish', Manjula promised herself. 'No matter what hurdle life places in front of me, I shall never allow the thought of taking my own life cross my mind. I shall never be a Shobita Chaudhury. I shall always remain me, the dynamic minded Manjula. And not emulate Shobita by trying to hang myself from the rafters in the roof-top room in the early morning hours. Fortunately enough, Shobita had failed to loop a rope around a hook fixed in the ceiling. Her petite figure didn't co-operate to make that happen. On the top of that, a neighbor, a student, preparing for a test was studying till the wee morning hours. He saw Shobita standing on a chair, trying to manipulate the noose. He screamed out and called his parents. Then all hell broke loose.
It was also a teaching to Manjula that nobody can tinker with the music of Mother Nature if one is put on this earth to live for a certain period of time. To try to terminate or twist or shorten or prolong that time is often met with nothing but disappointment and danger. Even if you are famous and rich and talented and good-looking like Shobita, one could not tamper with the music of Mother Nature. Shobita was lucky enough not to be left with any brain damage. All the damage she was left with was a croaky voice, so that all her shootings had to be canceled for the next two weeks. The news of her hospitalization was published in every newspaper and every magazine in Calcutta, although it was stated that it was a matter of an illness and not a matter of attempted suicide. An attempted suicide would have been bad for her publicity, so it was kept off the knowledge of the public, as well as of the media. Why would anybody with such good looks and so many movie offers wish to terminate her life? Is she an out and out loony? The fans might have thought.
Then why pluck the flower in the first place? As a budding physician Manjula had thought about the infertile couples who were desperate enough to start their baby's life in Petri dishes that is also tampering with nature but when folks are desperate, they take to desperate measures. On the top of that, at times people let that Petri-dish baby grow in the womb of a surrogate mother, instead of so much tampering what is the harm in adopting an orphan already on this earth? If pregnancy happens in an in-opportune time, yes, that pregnancy is terminated, all these are as bad as Shobita Choudhury's attempt to end her life. No, we're not the masters of our own fates, the captains of our own ships. Mother Nature is the owner of all lives. The living creatures are given lives on loan, for certain periods of times. Then comes death. The lives are returned to Mother Nature to be used again and again. An ever after recycling plant. Since received on loan, no creature has the right to misuse or, abuse life, only use it carefully, tenderly, like any other borrowed object.
Manjula thought about other examples of life where Nature follows her own drummer. Nobody can make a rose bud bloom by force. Nobody can produce a juicy sweet mango in the cool winter months, the sweet juice of date fruits is secreted only during the cool wintry days, so is Mother Nature, sings in her own tune. One can join her in her music, but, can't oppose it, can't break it, bend it or terminate it.
Following the stroke she retired, so she had no work related stress either. All in all she enjoyed a stable, loving, dignified life always surrounded by her loved ones. Her life was tranquil, without any big upheaval. At this mature age, Manjula enjoyed this life. She was very much at the center of her family. The mistress of her home. Following the stroke, Manjula's mental attitude took on a different turn. The physical disabilities, the pronounced limp in her walk, since the left side of her body had to be dragged by the able right side, and the disabled left arm and left hand shrouded her with despair, dejection and desolation. Not being able to carry on with her medical practice also left a deep scar in her psyche. Without being challenged, she felt as if her brain would rot away. As if her thinking would get limited. These feelings hurt her, she felt like turning into an imbecile.
The physical disabilities and mental limitations dragged Manjula into desolation and despair. The desolation, despair and dejection wove a slippery slope lined with slimy moss. In her extreme emotional vulnerable state Manjula lost her grip on reality and fell off the slippery slope. At the bottom of the steep slope rested the snare of suicide and after falling off, Manjula stepped right in the snare with both feet. Now for the first time in her life she could fathom how despite all her good looks, great wealth, enormous fame and loud adulations, Shobita Chaudhury had considered her life to be not worth living. Same kind of thoughts washed over Manjula. She decided not to continue with a life where body parts had been stolen away by the stroke, never to be returned again, a life where she would never be a physician again, a life where she would never be the captain of her own ship again, a life that would remain adrift till death, such a life is not worth living, so was her final deduction.
She was impatient to call it quits. She was ready to end her life at the earliest possible moment. She waited till the time arrived to take her next dose of medication. Instead of taking one dose she took tablets as much as her right palm could hold. It was about 65 to 70 tablets that she could hold. A cocktail of medications. Pills against high blood pressure, pills against depression, pills against insomnia, pills against convulsion, so on and so forth. After gulping them down in the washroom, another bunch of thoughts washed over Manjula's mind. Who knows, soon I might be walking without a limp, but I wouldn't be around to witness it, soon I might use my left arm, but I wouldn't be around to experience it, tomorrow morning the sun would rise and beams of sunshine would flood the living room through the wide panels of the bay window, but I wouldn't be around to bathe in the sunshine, my son and daughter would come home during the week-end, but, there would be no mother to hug them. At this moment Manjula hurried to the kitchen and shared with her husband Pallab what she had just done. Immediately Pallab took her to the hospital, where Manjula gulped down two bottles of charcoal, then her blood was taken to determine the levels of medications she had overdosed with. Her heart readings and blood oxygen levels were monitored continuously. Her vital signs were checked hourly. The first day she spent in the intensive care unit, then one more day in the general ward. Finally when she could think clearly, walk steadily and didn't suffer from any drowsiness, she was discharged home.
Trying to manipulate Mother Nature, trying to terminate, or twist, or turn her song. Mother Nature is forgiving. She grants the mortals a couple of more chances to learn the lesson. Just the way for the second time around, Manjula got the chance to learn the precious life-lesson. This time around Manjula conceded that she did learn. With bowed head and folded palms Manjula acknowledged that Mother Nature and Goddess Durga, the supreme goddess of strength and power are the one and the same.
Manjula closed her eyes, folded her palms and sent out a silent prayer, 'dear Mothers, I have learnt my precious life-lesson, from now on I shall sing along with you, in your own tune and in your own rhythm, but never shall I oppose you, put up a brick wall or build a dam against your flow. I shall let life flow along in its own pace in its own waves. Like an expert surfer I shall rise and fall with life waves never shall I oppose the waves. I shall wait patiently for my day of departure from this earth, as determined by you. Yes, this time around Manjula did learn the precious life-lesson. She did concede that she was not the captain of her ship, the guiding light of her fate, rather the Divine Mother was. Manjula surrendered to the Divine Mother and sang along in Her tune, at the rhythm of Her different drummer.
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