Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Conversation

"Have you thought about organ donation?", he asked, after searching for topics to discuss. Its been almost a year since they were married. An ordinary couple.

"Not really, but where did that come from suddenly?", she replied. Aware that the subject, like many others, would have come to his mind before.

"Just making conversation. One of the topics that interests me. I have been hearing some ads on the radio encouraging it.", shifting the gear up as they enter the highway.

"I don't know... have you thought about it?", taking more interest. In their busy schedule, they rarely get time to discuss matters that are not really important. Things that she picks up during the day, making a mental note to talk about it later when they are together and have the time. She makes another note to write them down in the future.

"Not seriously, but yes. People don't really need the organs once they die. If it makes someone's life better, its a good thing to donate. What the.... Did you see at what speed he went by? I bet he won't have anything worth donating if he crashes,"

"That maybe one of your school buddies going to the same wedding reception as we."

"Probably. Its not everyday that people get to drive their cars at double digit speeds for a continuous 5 minutes. Another advantage of keeping the reception at the outskirts" noticing that smile on her face. Its different from the smile she has on other occasions. All her work left behind and a long weekend ahead, this one is a rare combination of happiness and peace, something we all pray for and there it is. Just like that.

"I agree", getting back to the topic. "It is a good thing to donate. Imagine someone who is blind gets vision one day. They get to see how their parents and siblings look like, how their food looks like. How they look like"

"How flowers look as good as they smell." he adds. "How the sun looks as warm as it feels."

"Or if someone gets a new heart, the load that would get off their minds. How their family would rejoice?" Her imagination getting her high

"They can start worrying about the next Speilberg movie or the latest government scam instead of their next heart attack and raising medical bills", suddenly that sales target and raising fuel prices seem silly to him.

"The donors would never be forgotten. They would be seen as Gods by these people"

"All that for giving away something you won't be needing. Initially there was that reservation about donating eyes that the donor would not have eyes during the funeral. But i hear that nowadays they replace them with dummy eyes or something so that they won't notice the difference", Adding another reason to donate.

"Yeah, I've heard that too. But then they also say that the success rate is very low. The probability that a donor's eye, heart or kidney would end up being used is very less. The probability of a successful transplant and a healthy life for the patient is even lesser."

"Oh yes. When dad had been to the doctor for his liver problem, the doctor was expressing his sympathy for his liver transplant patients who even after very rarely successful transplants, live like patients who are in constant danger of fatal infections."

"And its the same case with blood donations. The probability of someone's donated blood being useful is very less."

"But I still feel its worth it. Its like our reservation system. The chances of a worthy candidate getting the appropriate aid may be very less, but i say hundred donations are worth it even if it gives at least one person and his family a better future." Bringing the car to a halt in front of the hotel lobby, "pick up the gift from the back seat, would you?"

"Ok. Hey! is my hair ok?" she enquired, adjusting the sides a bit.

He peeps back in, "You look gorgeous honey" with a smile, before turning to the valet boy.

The couple proceed to the reception, have a great time and a sumptuous meal, and drive back home. This time a new subject, something to do with her colleague who joined another company few years back and now came back to the old company as boss to someone who was his boss before he left.

The topic of organ donation may come up again as something less important or may never come up again. Is it the fear of committing to something that isn't really in our hands? We don't know when, where or how we'll die.

Or is it the belief that there is still time left? A feeling that we are not destined to die so early, or god loves us and our family too much to put us through the pain, or there are so many things left to do that we just can't afford to, or don't have the time to die. When you see those accidents on the road, have you wondered what that person was planning in his life? What was he planning to do that weekend? How many parallel futures of people related to him were disturbed and in some cases destroyed?

Or is it the hesitation to think about one's death? Maybe the thought sets in motion a chain of other thoughts that relate to our death. Like our will, or our bucket list, or something that we want to achieve in our lives, or some mistake that we want to correct before we leave the world, or the fate and future of our families when we are gone. No. We can't die now. Not possible. Or is it?

"No matter how rich you become, how famous or powerful, when you die, the size of your funeral will still pretty much depend on the weather." - Micheal Pritchard

Friday, September 7, 2012

3 is greater than 2

A common problem with people when they drink is that they want everyone within a 4.79 meter radius of them to drink too. If you happen to be in such company and are not the drinking types, then be prepared for a 10 minute lecture on the health benefits of drinking alcohol followed by a 5 minute brief on how it relaxes the body mind and soul. To check if you understood the concept, the offer to drink would be extended to you every 5 minutes in between other discussions till they are in their senses. Once they start loosing that, you'll be tried in the court of law for the crime of not drinking and making them look like irresponsible citizens.

So this time, i gave in at the fifth minute. A beer and a few burps seemed like a more energy saving option. We were in a hotel room, 11 PM, the three of us, after a very very long day. There are some trips that you can never forget in your life because of certain incidents that happened. May be an accident, or a close escape, or getting into trouble with the cops, or sharing the passenger seat with your crush who friendzoned you at the end of the trip. There were no such incidents in this trip but i can never forget this one.

I live in Chennai and the other two (Nikhil and Sagar) live in Bangalore. We had planned this one for a few weeks. To meet at Bangalore and then go somewhere and do something fun. I started in the Innova, early on a saturday morning. The plan was to reach Bangalore, pick up the guys and head out to Sangam (a place where 2 rivers meet) and Barachukki falls which were around 150 Kms from Bangalore and about 40 Kms apart, and reach back to Bangalore. I picked up Nikhil at around 1 and he started listing out reasons why we should be sitting in a cinema hall and follow it up with a burger instead of starting out so late without planning any accommodation blah blah blah. Sagar was out with his cousin who had come to Bangalore, so he was out. Its a wonder how relatives manage to fly in at such crucial times. However, the trip was called off, almost. I didn't drive all the way to Bangalore on a weekend to pay for weekend premium tickets to watch some movie sad enough to be still selling tickets. So I talked Sagar into ditching his cousin. Nikhil didn't need convincing, i was driving. Change of plans. Pick up Sagar and spare clothes, drive to Sangam, pass time, drive to Barachukki, have fun, sleep in the car, wake up, drive back.

Again, i would like to mention that there was nothing crazy in this trip. It did not remind us of "Zindagi naa Milegi dobara", although we did take a few pics based on the movie poster. You could call it a "Dil chahtha hai" type of trip, minus the mercedes, and the beach, and the girls, and the boat. Anyways, there was one factor that was common in these movies and our trip, we were 3. Its a magical number. Less than 3 and there is only one conversation in which you necessarily have to participate. More than 3 and there will be multiple conversations and you are left out. When there are 3, there is still only one conversation, but you have a choice to participate. You can doze off and wake up to some keyword and join the conversation again. You are never left out and there is always a conversation in progress.

The trip was never planned to be great. Just 3 professionals taking a peaceful break from the routine weekend. But everything seemed to go our way. The weather was just fantastic, the roads and routes just perfect, safe fun in the river, playing Jhonty Rhodes in waist deep water, found a very decent place to stay the night (enter alcohol), woke up early on sunday (that is a great achievement in such a group), took a boat close enough to the waterfall to touch the water, got wet in a smaller waterfall, some very memorable pics, and the drive back to Bangalore to have tandoori for lunch.

There were these moments in between, like when i was lying in the rear seat with my feet hanging out the window, and using the window as a sunroof, singing some classic songs together, discussing non sense. At these moments there is a feeling of real satisfaction with life. Weekends like these make the troubles of the other days worth it. I forget my boss, my dad's expression when i said i'm taking the car to Bangalore, that cool new laptop which is on my wishlist for sometime, everything is gone. There are no regrets, life suddenly seems perfect. I wish this weekend never ends but i don't regret the fact that it will. I'm ready to face the world. I've recharged myself.

We always plan trips, most of the time they don't happen, other times they don't go according to plan. This was one trip where we got exactly what we wanted, a memorable break. A weekend to cherish, photos to upload, and a story to tell. There cannot be another one like it, but we still wish.........