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An Opportunity

death , proud, enemy, youth

An Opportunity

DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so (John Donne)

Unlike the poet till now I don't know if death is an opportunity or destruction. I have met both types of people who label it differently. Not only death has been delivering bodies and souls of others but also that of some of my closest and dearest ones. First my father, then my maternal uncle and my fast friend passed away leaving me shocked and bereaved gradually. I do not know how I consoled myself in those tragedies. However a recent misfortune of a classmate whom I had little acquaintance has given me severe tension that has left umpteen upheavals.

In our batch out of thirty two only two were girls. Although both were awfully close up, there used to vast difference between them as if they were tulips and roses; if one was in jeans another would wear kurta sulawar and vice versa. Or goes the cliché a woman is enemy of another feminine. I swear, before that night I even didn't know their names.

I don't know it was due to their beauty or girls' scarcity in our university; they were the grand attraction for some dudes so there used to be competition among those brats for wowing either nymph. However I hardly mingled with them. Not because I underline my classmates as I had done one degree earlier. The crux is that I wasn't a regular scholar because of my new appointment in a university outside the valley. Besides that I am a married man living with my family and have been in teaching, the noblest profession. Perhaps our duties mould our personality. Above all unlike some friends I hate flirting girls since my school hood when I had been a lonely Brihaspati (Jupiter). Neither have I liked to get involved in extra marital relationship or premarital sex.

Unremitting rainy season had just departed; the fall was in dawn. There were snow white pieces of clouds hanging in the blue sky. Water in Rani Pokhari was rippling in her own rhythms. On that fine Monday I took a leave to fill a form for coming up Convocation. When I saw the long tedious line in front of Nepal Bank Bhotahiti branch and Account Section in Jamal respectively due to bank employees' strikes, the transactions of the bank was in coma for last week, I lost my heart. Luckily I met some former friends who were standing in the queue, and then with their help and favors my work was done within an hour. After that I met a trendy classmate of mine, Aswasta who was close to those two damsels.

I was aspiring to buy a beautiful side bag for a long time. However it had not happened in spite of my savings. So it was the most suitable time to do so as the most fashionable companion of mine was with me at that time. And I had a precious thousand Rupee note that was being squeezed in my wallet. He suggested me, "You get nice one at Putali Sadak." So we were walking on the pavement. He told me many things about our friends, teachers, on going chasm and this crooked society on the way.

To our great surprise while strolling around, we met Apaijita one out of those special two girls! The spot was exactly below Ghantaghar, The Clock Tower; she was coming from the opposite direction. What a coincidence! After a brief exchange of greetings, she enquired, 'Long time no see! Why are not you regular?' I used my sense of humor. '…because I'm a tourist!' Before we departed she mocked, 'Everyone is tourist here'. Then she continued taking giant leaps. Looking back I found the same vigor and confidence in her. She was pacing forward as a tigress.

Later Aswasta told me she'd become highly ambitious, 'she changes her offices as the weather changes,' said he 'recently she has started in an internet company but I think she quit within this month. She is boyish and egoist'.

'Who cares she's a modern type, huh! Our society is still primitive in spite of blowing modernism winds,' I added and he nodded. We went to shopping and had ice-cream at Nepal Dairy. I wondered, 'If life were as sweet as it'. Pat came a reply, 'I don't know but life melts like it.'

Few weeks passed. I was having very hectic schedules. One evening, I rang Aswasta to enquire if it was the right time to fill exam form. He told me the deadline for it, and then asked, 'Do you remember Apaijita?'

'Which one?'

'The one whom we met at Ghantaghar three days back', he sighed 'committed suicide the very evening!'

'Oh, no! But why?' My heart was very heavy due to the mercury pang.
'We also don't know she had been living here alone; her parents live in India; she only wrote 'I'm a failure' in her suicide note. Later we found your photo and contact number in her purse. That's all.'

I was dumbstruck hearing it. I could not understand why she was carrying my information. Did she like me? Certainly, not! Everyone knows I am an inert gas who is very inactive in this regard. I have already made it clear that I am not a playboy. Hence, though I had already lost few close ones, her suicide gave me more hurts. It's because I can not bear unnatural deaths. At once the evening remained standstill. I tried to concentrate outside forgetting it ogling pitch of darkness. Slowly I turned a volume:

One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
I read metaphysical poet Donne's verse written on Death again and again.

Now countless questions come in my mind. Can anything be mightier than Death? I could not sleep the whole night. Why a master level student of Journalism in her mid twenties has to hang in her room? Is this mundane world where women are compared with commodities responsible for it or her narcissism that led that motive? And I still don't know if it was the maximum freedom she had or this cruel society killed her. I'm still confused if it is wiser to live despite of odds as Sisyphus seeking an opportunity or seek death. What is most mysterious is why I met the friend not of mine few hours earlier under the city Clock Tower of her suicide? And why she was carrying me is an undisclosed enigma.

It is equally surprising that those who have to die do not die but the ones who must live pass away sometimes. Does Death give better opportunity? I am perplexed.





Published: 2007-01-15
Author: EAK PRASADDUWADI

About the author or the publisher

Born in 1976 at Dhola-9, Dhading, Eak Prasad Duwadi now lives in Kathmandu. He’s involved in many National/International organizations. English Literature Master’s Degree holder with couple of other degrees including Mass Communications, Mr. Duwadi who has won notable awards, is a prolific writer in contemporary issues. He has been teaching in reputed Schools, colleges and university students for last ten years in Nepal. Currently, he’s a faculty in Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel.

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