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He He

In: Business and Management

Submitted By harsh267
Words 3307
Pages 14
Scenes from a death
When J came out of the door for the first time he almost felt as if the illusion had spread its aura beyond the premises of that lugubrious hospital where the air was occupied by the rancid medicines and the stench of death which mingled more frequently than one expected. He had put up a cigarette to his mouth before even opening the door pretending his eagerness to put out the stress which in actuality did not existed but he almost forgot to light it up when he saw a legion proceeding towards the gate with their murmurs which were more of noises than whispers. For a moment J thought that these people must have been mislead by someone and have mistook this hospital for a place of some deity but soon the contradiction prevailed as two men from the crowd made haste to open the door followed by another four men who carried a body which seemed dead by all means but in truth there was still some life left in it. During the course of action the murmurs changed to convulsions but if one gave a little attention one could easily make out that it were prayers which came out incoherently from the trembling voices. Looking at such a commotion two ward boys from the hospital came out to dispose of the situation but on realizing the fervour of the event they instead rushed forward to help the patient whose life frailly depended on the efficacy of those workers. Soon the patient was taken in the labyrinth of the hospital rooms where it was natural for one to get lost if a certain set of directions were not provided. One of those men who had gone on to open the door gestured to the crowd to move back and sit down besides the wall at the opposite end. They were like flocks who obey their shepherd and so one after another they sat down against the wall constantly looking towards the door. J observed the entire scene, momentarily forgetting that he had a cigarette in his mouth waiting to be lighted, if he had chosen to speak something the cigarette would have fallen for sure. J went up a few steps further to find some solace, he lit up his cigarette and let out a heavy cloud of smoke with a sigh of relief. It was a difficult place for one to hold up his composure, for every moment passed precariously alluding to another death or some devastating truth. It was one of the places which put to test the courage of a man lingering in the face of adversity. As soon as J let out a second cloud of smoke a number of wails emerged from inside in unison ‘Another one gone’ thought J. ‘If they continue to perish like this it won’t be long before the whole city plunges into sombreness. Only outbreak of an epidemic can cause such number of deaths and absence of one means the people here have been caught up in some other virulent disease which is beyond the comprehension and cure of the medicine. Maybe love has started on its revenge.’
Two men came out holding a woman who was quivering violently more out of the foreboding of the future than the grief of the present. After few moments when her strength gave out the two men eased her back into the hospital where she was required to complete the formal duties of another death. The crowd which sat against the wall witnessed the entire scene with cringing calmness; this is how fear usually found a way to creep into others, through the disasters of others. J observed the sitting crowd and discerned that they were not from the city but some nearby village and through their perplexed expression it was clear to him that they were foreign with the ways of city life. But there was a certain unity in them, for they held hands when ever one of them trembled with fear or began to gave up on hope, maybe their prayers connected them with some invisible bond. Four men who had carried the body inside hadn’t came out which added to the anxiety on their faces. J pondered ‘who could be the person they all have come for? It must be someone eminent from their village, for in times like these there couldn’t be any one who was loved or cared so much.’ He, out of his curiosity, decided to go to one of the men who had hurried to open the gate. When he reached near him he halted suddenly and turned to look around in the other direction pretending as if he was lost in some deep thought barely aware of his actions and surrounding, for suddenly, through a panic attack, he had failed to perceive a way to start the conversation but for his luck the man had failed to notice him as he himself was lost in the realm of his own. J contemplated for a moment a way to put up the question, whether he should make an acquaintance first or start with a general statement of condolence. As he stood there J’s ear caught a distant serenade the tune of which he remembered but its lyrics struck him decrepitly, so that he grumbled the words beneath his breath and when he stopped he seemed resolved. J turned once again, this time with few determined steps he came to the side of the man and spoke without giving a thought
‘What grief does bring you here?
The man turned to his side to notice J for the first time. It was hard to tell whether he had heard the question or not, for his expression remained unchanged. It could not be denied that the question was blatant and abrupt and could have shaken any man who was imbued in grief. To the utter surprise of J the man held his hand, murmured a prayer and then with a subtle smile which emanated from the profound depths of grief he replied ‘nature’s course of action cannot be altered’ and moved away to his other lamenting companions. J thought that the entire group was still absorbed in their prayers and would not give up until they heard some news from doctors.
‘Can so much prayer help to evade death which only needs to tighten its chains to put the body to submission? These are the times when one cannot rely on faith too much’ reflected J and started on his way back. Continuing his obligatory duty of waiting J went inside the hospital and sat on one of vacant chair which lay between an preoccupied old man and a woman in her thirties who was ceaselessly chatting with her other neighbour. He sat down between them so slyly that none of them noticed that the seat besides them was now occupied. After few minutes J became accustomed to the constant sobs that emanated in patches from all sides of the hall room. In between those sobs came the wails of the woman who J had seen outside, the two men still accompanied her but this time they were holding various forms and papers which were necessary to release the dead from the gloomy bounds of the hospital. Whenever the woman found a bit of strength she exhausted it through deafening shrieks cursing the world of injustice which had been inflicted up on her but she was conscious enough of devoir that needed to be carried out for one last farewell. She quite frequently moved in and out of the door stumbling up on several people giving an impression that the burden was unbearable and that she might buckle down any moment and collapse, for the two men themselves were unable to keep pace with her as well the demands from the dead but in truth it was the intricate procedure of the hospital to relieve the dead that caused so much of commotion. J found it difficult to fit in that melancholy, dismayed by the spectacle he had before him he slipped into an interlude from the reality as gradually the noises around him subsided.
Two evenings before J had decided to take a stroll in the central park, it was an unusual decision from him as he seldom went for such excursion but it was certain through the vigour in his steps that he was propelled by some enamoured feeling, for whenever someone passed him he greeted them with a hearty smile and on occasions intruded the group of kids who where jauntily engrossed in their games. The frisky aura of that park only added to J’s impulse and he circumvented through the groups of children, old men, women and even vagabonds who all seemed to have gathered to abdicate their daily tribulations. J remembered how as child he often came to the parks with his friends, if they had been given the choice they would have forsaken their homes for the sheer joy of being in the park. It was the place where they were driven by madness, where bounds held no meaning for them, where time ceased and coalesced with the intangible horizon which was almost mystical. J was overwhelmed by such a feeling once again, he was happy walking around and savouring the moments. When he had reached at one end of the park he saw that there weren’t many people around, he went up to one of the empty bench under a ‘peeple’ tree which almost eclipsed the bench making it somewhat dark and obscure but by no means it looked gloomy. As he sat there for a while lost in some reverie, a man came up to him and without speaking anything extended his hand in which he held a box of sweets. J looked up to him in amusement and before he could ask the question the man said ‘my daughter’s marriage is after a fortnight. She will now get a new home. I am the cleaner here for past 18 years. I have seen my daughter grow playing here and now that she has found a new house i feel relieved of my duty. Such a great day it is. Pardon me for accosting you in such a manner but happiness knows no bounds, moreover the people who come here i consider them as my family’. J was astonished at such an offering, for he could not remember an instance where a stranger had offered him anything like this but instinctively, after looking at the undeceiving expression on his face, he took out a sweet from the box and before eating he said 'Indeed it is moment of happiness. Do pay my wishes to her'. The man nodded with a smile and in a manner of gratitude swayed his head to the sides and then on finding other visitors in the park he excused himself and went up to new the enterants to share his joy. J reflected on the incident and thought 'The place remains blissful irrespesctive of the age, there is something in the aura of this place which buoys the spirit of the people. Even the saddest one here looks happy.' J was merely enjoying the idea when a couple came and sat in such close vicinity, careless to pay attention to the surrounding, on the grass that he was able to hear their conversation without making any effort. He didn't wanted to evasedrop by intention or by luck but he felt so pleasureable that he didn't wanted to leave immeadiately, besides he could clearly make out that the couple were still a apprentice in love. 'Ignorance becomes bliss in such times. Such is the power of love. But love has its own stringent ways for its accomplishment and when once stung by poison of love it has no remedies but itself. Such a labyrinth is love' thought J. The young man who was barely out of his teens was making infallible promises of love; the one which fools or novice make to their loved ones but it came out in such a poetic manner that even J was taken for the intricacy of those words. The young vivacious girl who too had renounced her teens for the youthful blossom blushed and hid herself in the arms of the man and moments later they held each other hands as a ritual and pledged an indelible allegieance to each other. It was another pleasant spectacle which had befallen before J in that park. The couple sat there for sometime in silence as did J, it was as if there were not two but three lovers who sat oblivious to the world in the enamoured corner of that park.
A rattling sound devoured of the serenity of J and he once again found himself in the sordid bounds of that hospital. While he was still coming to terms with reality he saw a number of people were holding back a man who in his savage fury had knocked off a window glass. He seemed hurt but hardly aware of the damage he was persistent on inflicting more injury to himself than any of the object. J in his confusion asked the man besides him
‘What drives man to such convulsions?’
The old man to whom the incident had struck as surprising as the rest of them said in a low hushed voice ‘His mother lies on one of the bed and the doctors won’t allow him to see her. They say she is unconscious and so cannot see anyone but her son thinks otherwise, for he met her last evening only and they exchanged memories which bought a smile to her face. Last night he portrayed the confrontation in such an articulated manner that it felt like i was also present there. He is now delusional that the hospital has only kept her to barter money from him so as to compensate for the fast healing of her mother.’
J listened to the man in complete earnest and when the man finished he said incisively ‘this place does make one delirious. With death hovering around incessantly how can one remain lucid? But don’t you think death has been frequenting us more than it used to be?
The old man was somewhat baffled by the question but with a certain calmness he replied ‘Death has become more precarious these days. It can embrace anyone without admonishing. I used to believe that it was our sins that accounted for death but seeing the pattern it all seems absurd. My son, whom I sent out last night to see out some trivial work, met with a terrible accident. Would you believe!! I could have gone myself and achieved the purpose but i rather chose to send him and now i pay for the consequences. It’s hard to blame oneself too, for one cannot have premonitions of such things. There is no use for repentance. He was run over by the errand of a drunken man. God was gracious that it only left my son injured; i could have lost him too. But what justice god does? No one knows where the man is; maybe he would have no guilt for the act. It amazes me sometimes how people grow indifferent to the general act of humanity. Now, we can only hope for the better contingence. In another way one can look at it as a new beginning.’
J made a gesture with his hand to give his condolence to the old man for the misfortune and then with grave expression he simply nodded his head and turned away to the other side. He was perturbed and weary of waiting and his observations and thoughts made him more tired. Meanwhile the man who had lost his cool was taken out to refrain from causing any more damage. The lady who was sitting on the other side of J noticed the dejection on J’s face and conceived that he might have been taken by sudden grief which often invades and ravages one’s peace when one has just got hold of his calmness. She spoke out almost candidly ‘Death is not all that bad as it is perceived, you know death must have its reasons.’ J at first thought that she was still talking to the lady sitting beside her, primarily because he was surprised by the languid nature of her words and secondly he did noticed her turning towards him. She looked at him in the face, and saw that his expression changed from being in grief to being completely perplexed, which made it clear to J that the statement was intended for him. Unable to find a reply he merely nodded his head as if he agreed with her but in reality he had hardly understood her words.
She continued, not expecting any reply from J ‘Everyone comes here and weeps over and remorse and cry out for their losses but in truth only few are indubitable rest each of them cover their semblance very well to act for a disaster. Oh! And such a good actors they are! One can be easily deceived to feel for their adversity but look what treacherous souls they have! Do you see the woman standing in that corner?’
J looked in the direction the woman had pointed her finger and saw a young tenuous woman with voluptuous body standing in some deep pensive, and was looking at the patterns left by the dust made by the frequent sojourners. J noticed that despite her serious demeanour she looked unperturbed, he asked ‘What about her?’
‘She is merely waiting for her brother to get perished so that she can go through her vile ways. You know he was so well a few days ago, it has come as a shock to us that he is at the peril of leaving us. If you ask me she is the one liable for the catastrophe. I have never seen such a cruel woman disguised as ethereal princess, for everyone is beguiled by her beauty. There is no remorse on her face rather she will be feeling elated. Who knows which lover she might choose to go with?
J felt as if the woman was speaking more out of envy rather than genuine reproach for the depravity and although he was hardly curious he, for merely continue the conversation, asked ‘what relation do you bear with that woman?
‘Oh! None. It is a blessing that i am not related to her. So much trouble she would have brought. But i have to suffer none the less, i am her neighbour. I have almost become accustomed to sleeplessness. You see, i have come here to fulfil my duty as a neighbour. I pray that her brother gets well soon, for he is the only hope for her.’
‘My prayers are with you. Would you like to drink something? i suddenly feel very thirsty, maybe i can’t sustain the air of this place’ spoke J as he got up without showing the courtesy of waiting for the reply. The woman became a bit startled but replied in same candid manner as she had begun ‘No, thank you. You must not let sorrow take over you, for your life is still to be pursued’. J put up a weary smile and left after nodding to the old man as the gesture of adieu.
He moved out of the hospital door once again, this time a bit agitated he walked away from the premises of hospital but despite his exasperation and stomping movement he saw the crowd still sitting where they had been in the beginning. He failed to understand the reason for his exasperation…...

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...respect. Some of these include: • Certainty and Structure • Collectivity and Teamwork • Conformity • Endurance • Loyalty • Obedience • Respect for Authority Kibun and Nunchi…You’re going to hear these two words passing back and forth a lot here in South Korea. But would you know what it is? We’re glad to help. Kibun really has no literal meaning in English but you can pretty much get the gist of it from the terms pride, mood, feelings or the state of mind. So why bother? The words carry a lot of significance in Korean Business set-ups and understanding and applying the concepts they represent would be good practice of South Korean Business Etiquette. When someone’s Kibun is hurt, his pride is hurt and he loses face. You need to judge someone’s Kibun and avoid hurting it while balancing your own. You can learn someone’s Kibun or state of mind by Nunchi, which is basically using your eyes to determine Kibun. These words basically sum up what is needed to understand South Korean Business relationships: Deep respect for your business partner and understanding body language. Who shakes and who bows…Figure out who the big guys are and you won’t mess up. You bow to the person of higher status and say “man-na-suh-pan-gop-sumnida” or “pleased to meet you”. But the person of higher status offers the handshake first. Got that? It’s just that simple. You don’t have to explain yourself. Here in South Korea, the interpreter tells your counterpart......

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