I didn't know what sorrow was till 15th May 2000.I enjoyed a happy childhood,grew up to secure a great job and married the woman I loved.The birth of my daughter ,Niki,added to our happiness.Niki was a precocious child and even as a 5yr old she knew a lot about the Ramayana,Mahabharata and other scriptures.She was deeply attached to my mother and would run to her to narrate the day's happenings when she returned home from school.My mother often commented that she felt that a daughter who had died young had returned as Niki.
On 15th March 2000,we celebrated Niki's 5th birthday by giving her a grand harmonium since she had begun music classes.Two months after her birthday on 15th May,I had just returned from office one evening that i had to go to the Special Circuit House to collect an order for a new assignment.
My mother overhearing this asked if I could also take her to the dentist.I readily agreed and my wife ,seeing Niki watching TV,asked her to accompany us too.Niki instantlyagreed since she was sure there would be a treat in store.My father volunteered to come along since he was superstitious about only three people from the family going out together.
The driving was pleasant and Niki entertained us by singing a son.It was 7.20pm when i came to the car,where my mother and Niki sat waiting,to look for some papers."Father,you're getting us late.I'm hungry and want to have the pizza",Niki exclaimed."5 min.",I said.
About 15 min. later ,I joined my father and another officer at the reception.That's when my mother approached us ,looking worried and saying that she couldn't see Niki anywhere.She last saw her playing in the lawn.She wasn't responding to her calls either.
My father and i ran out and called out her name several times.Many people joined us in our search.After sometime my father spotted Niki's shoes floating in the water in an uncovered sump in the middle of the lawn.We jumped inside and under the 6ft. high waters I felt Niki's upright body.I lifted her out but she was still.
I coildn't believe I was holding in my arms the lifeless body of my dearest daughter who just 15min. back was demanding a pizza.Till i saw her body go up in smoke in the crematorium,I continued to feel it was a prank she was playing on us and would wake up to fill our life with laughter and cheer.
It has been eight years since Niki's death.Being an avid reader of the Gita ,I believe that what probably is tragedy for us may be liberation for Niki's soul.I've learnt to accept uncertainity as a part of life.Let us live our pesent in the most meaningful way.Who knows whats in store for us in future?
For the few short years of her life ,Niki lived like a butterfly exhibiting her colours and enjoying the fragrance of life.Being a butterfly is probably more exciting than just living a life without much action.....