They will ask thee about intoxicants and games of chance. Say: "In both there is great evil as well as some benefit for man; but the evil which they cause is greater than the benefit which they bring." - 2:219, Quran
How different each death is, and yet it leads us into the self-same country, that country which we inhabit so rarely, where we see the worthlessness of what we have long pursued and will continue pursuing. - Iris Murdoch, 'The Sea, The Sea'
I have some mental unburdening to do. The past week has been difficult but it's surely nothing compared to what Pb is going through or A. To obsess about being half a nothing would be extremely selfish, but like they say, 'There may be a famine in Africa but the boil on your neck is more painful'.
Day after day after day... '44 die as bus falls into canal', '39 killed in a suicide attack', '20 killed as bomb explodes' and worse - '20 year old boy arrested for killing a 7 year old girl after luring her with sweets and raping her', 'Man stabbed by friends in a quarrel over money', 'Mother-in-law and husband set fire to woman as her 5 children watch', '10th class student commits suicide'... such headlines are so routine that you gloss over them as you turn the pages looking for something 'interesting. Or maybe you click your tongue, mention it to someone around and forget it for the rest of forever. And then someone close to you dies, and with every mention of death you wonder what their loved ones must be going through. Of course, this empathy hardly lasts, soon enough you forget your mortality and life resumes its normal futile ways... both mercy and a curse, for how would we live through a second, if death is all we thought of? But then again, what's the use of living life without preparing for death? How swiftly a zillion things would lose if death was an instant away? And yet... such heedlessness.
When sis was telling me about the female patient with 90% burns, (who was set afire by her husband and mother-in-law while her children watched), we were having lunch and my mouth hung agape and stayed so for the next 5 minutes. I finally managed to utter, 'But... how could they... for dowry?! Are they animals?! Where's their humanity?' And dad looked up from his plate, gave me one look and said 'What do you know what poverty can do to people?'
Oh and G lost his life because a lawyer who was drunk while driving with his wife, mother and kids, stabbed him. Oh, and a hospital refused to treat him immediately, so G died simply for excessive loss of blood while on the way to the next hospital. A few months ago, a local MLA raised a hue and cry at a govt. hospital when his 1 year old niece lost her life because the doctors/administration insisted he fill some form first. And then his supporters joined him and in their unbridled enthusiasm, misbehaved... and what do you know, it turned into a communal issue, followed by a doctors' strike at the hospital that led to hundreds of poor patients with no one around to attend to them. This is the value we attach to life.
It's no wonder I keep hearing people say, 'Who would want to bring a child into this world?'...
For now, this is a rant. I hope and wonder if any other action can be taken other than making dua.
And I must remind myself:
Every soul shall have a taste of death: And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have attained the object (of Life): For the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception. - 3:185, Quran
Know ye (all), that the life of this world is but play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting and multiplying, (in rivalry) among yourselves, riches and children. - 57:20, Quran