tamaso ma jyotirgamaya
mrityorma amritam gamaya
From untruth lead me to truth.
From darkness lead me to light.
From death lead me to immortality. (Brihadaranyakopanishad)
My father died today. As his breathing deteriorated through the night, his body had become restless and agitated as it fought for air, though the docs assured us that he was probably not aware of anything. At noon, I reminded him of our visits to Vijay Chowk when I was a kid on January 29, and, as I had envisioned for a while, I sang Abide With Me for him on his deathbed. Soon afterwards (and no doubt, it was the morphine kicking in as well), his agitation stopped. At about 1:10 pm, I finished praying the Liturgy of the Hours, joining in the prayer of the universal Church of Christ. And soon afterwards, his breathing shallowed, and he drew his last breath at 1:21 pm IST (2:51 am on the US East Coast).
It was exactly two weeks ago that we found out that his cancer had metastasized. The longest two weeks of my life.
Today was ekadashi in the Hindu samvant calendar. An auspicious day, as many remarked.
Be that as it may, I can feel only one thing. He's gone.
It rained today. In the middle of January. A grey, overcast, heavy sort of day.. It rained as we loaded his body into the ambulance to go to the morgue. It rained as we took it out.
A little while back, a noisy thunderstorm rolled through. A loud retort was heard nearby, and the house was plunged into darkness.