06 February 2010

What if?

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 7; the seventh edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Watching ones mother weep for you, while you lay on your death bed, waiting to die, isn’t surely what you would fancy to see. You would wish you were rather dead than witness such a thing. I too, so much wish I was dead than lay here, impotently.

I know mother would miss me and more than her, Sumati would. If I somehow manage to live, then they need not suffer the heartache that my death would give them. I wish to live. I ask to myself, "What if I could live?"

I wonder how many sons and how many husbands have faced the same helplessness that I am experiencing now. Death is a lot easier than life lived bearing the loss of loved ones. I know why I am here. God wants me to realize the mistake that I have been committing, since ages. The lives of hundreds and thousands that I had wasted to quench my lust of power and riches, had cursed me. I would lose not only throne, but also the dreams that Sumati and I had seen together. Our love would be lost. I ask to myself, "What if I could live?"

Surely, time heals everything. Sumati would move on and so would mother. They might weep for weeks or for months, but with time I would be a mere memory. They would meet new people and with them they would make new memories.

“Mother, I wish to see Sumati”.

She did not look happy. I expect she is jealous, jealous that I am asking for someone else when she is here. I said, “I have an unfinished business with her”.

She called the footman, who was standing at the door and asked him to fetch Sumati.

“Don’t worry, son. I am sure you are going to be alright”.

“Mother, I know I won’t last until sunrise”.

She argued, “I am sure you will”.

“Mother, promise me that you will try to forgive me. The battle wasn’t necessary. Many men have lost their lives and their families have lost them, because of me. I am sorry for being such a beast”.

There was someone at the door. At once, I know it was her, my love.

“My lord!” she swept towards me and without a warning put her hands around my neck. Still crying, she said, “don’t go, my lord”.

Mother slipped away from the room, leaving me alone with Sumati.

Holding her chin, I made her face me and looking into her eyes, I asked, “Will you make a promise, love?” She nodded.

Holding her face between my palms, I pressed my lips on her forehead. I could feel the tears trickling down from her eyes. I said, “I want you to face my death, bravely. I want you to move on.”

She backed off from me and burying her face in her hands, whimpered. She was saying something, but I couldn’t catch a word…words that were lost in her sobs. After awhile, she calmed down and managed to say, “How can you ask for such a thing, my lord? I want you to remember the promise that you made to me. You promised companionship. You promised marriage”.

I ask to myself, "What if I could live?"

“You have always been selfless. You have always given me your love and loyalty. I ask for one last thing. Free me from those promises”.

“I can’t, my lord. You are asking me to forget to breath. I can’t stop my heart beating and if it beats, it beats only for you otherwise it will cease. I will die…” before she could say further, I locked my lips with hers. We kissed for an eternity. I knew I would miss her and she would not be able to love anyone else other than me, but I was helpless. I was tired. My body ached and was begging to be set free from the pain. My heartbeat had to cease and I had to stop breathing, but I knew I would always love her.

She took my hand in hers and placed it on her stomach.

I pushed her away. For a moment, I forgot to breathe. This was worse than death. I did not know what to do other than cry. I cried, cried for life. I again asked, "What if I could live?" I knew no one would have to suffer if I did live, but it was a question I could just ask and do nothing about it.

"What if I could live? What if?"

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  1. Strikingly interesting ... with apt narration and treatment :)
    liked your imagination :)

  2. a man about to die asking the question...he has a lot to look forward to and hates the suffering he will cause...a slice of life- well composed

  3. cause of dying is nt narrated - u hav just touched keeping it upon readers :( - bt its ok wid da plot-we all knw we will die on day & we alwz want 2 foget da eternal truth :) good work

  4. Death is indeed a dreadly uninvited guest that sweeps away everything in life.."What if i could live.." Probably each one of us will probably wish for this at the final hour..Naishh captivating post..:)

  5. Somehow you have reminded me about death, and some responsibilities. A very well-written post. Keep it up!

  6. nice narration - the most certain death comes in most uncertain ways

  7. Interesting! I'm sure several people go through the same thing in their last moments....

  8. nice way to handle the urge to live vs preparing to die

    you have a way with details that is captivating!

  9. Hi! nice post but i wanted to say just one thing.. you have written one sentence..." many men have lost their lives and their families have lost them, because of me. I am sorry i was such a beast"
    I was actually waiting for something to substantiate it...
    Am sorry if me pointing it out is inappropriate.. but i hope u find it useful...

  10. Nethra,
    A good post with crisp narration but there are somethings which need to be changed such as the wife addressing her husband as "My Lord" and also in the start u have used the word 'impotent", in any other circumstance it would have been fine, but from a man's perspective it is quite awkward [a man on the death bed being impotent?, obviously yes, but is it reportable enough?]

    Good post tho, i liked it :)

  11. Nice justification to the title. Nice story.
    One small correction: you've used forgot to "breath". It should've been "forgot to breathe"
    All the best for batom!

  12. Mahesh
    I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for taking out time to read the story! :)

    I couldn't think of anything better for the title "what if". Thanks for visiting my blog. :)

    Isn't it obvious that he was a king, because Sumati addresses him as "My lord". So he got wounded in a fight or something, though I didn't mention it anywhere in the story. If you have failed to notice it then I think I should be more alert while I am writing, the next time. Thanks for taking out time to read the story. :)

    Yes. Everyone wishes the same unless he has lived his life completely and happily. I'm glad you liked the story. Thanks. :)

    Though I always remember death, I fail to understand the responsibilities. I'm glad you realized it. Thanks for taking out time to read the story. :)

    Exactly, it comes when we don't want it to come. Otherwise, I think we never want it to come. Thanks for visiting the blog to read the story. :)

    Psych Babbler
    Yes, almost everyone experience the same. If they don't then they are the luckiest. Thanks for visiting the blog. :)

    No one ever prepares to die, happily. We gotta die anyways because it can't be otherwise. Thanks for taking out time to read the story. :)

  13. Tanmaya
    It wasn't inappropriate. I supposed readers will understand that he was a King because of the "footman" and Sumati addressing him as "my lord", but I have failed. I will keep in mind not to forget minute details the next time. Anyways, thanks for pointing it out. :)

    Thanks buddy. :)

    Sumati addresses him as "my lord" because he is a King and they are just lovers. If they were married then she would be at his side along with his mother. Isn't that obvious? I guess this time I failed to write a good story.
    The story is from the guy's point of view not the narrators, so if he feels he is sleeping impotently, then it was necessary to mention it. I just wanted to show how frustrated and defeated he was.
    Thanks for your opinion, it surely wasn't otiose. Thanks again. :)

    Thanks! :)

    I corrected it. Thanks for pointing out the error. All the best to you too and thanks. :)

  14. The only truth in our lives is Death.. !!!!!
    A very touching post indeed !

  15. Well written. I like it. I like the starting para. It built up the curiosity. Nice. Would like to hear the flashback, of what happened that caused his death.

    Keep writing :)

  16. interesting isn't it how a man nearing death changes his perspective?

    through comments I could see others also had problems visualizing the exact nature of ppl involved... perhaps you could have given more stress on the background..

    but the msg is loud and clear...


  17. the ending is very touching... very well narrated...

  18. A gripping post on a date with the grim reaper. Did not realize it was a period piece, a little background or setting would have helped.

    Good luck !

  19. Appreciating -

    When you want it - you don't get it - most lives are lived that way. You have a good story at the core.Also liked that you ended it appropriately.

    Critiquing -

    The time setting could have been elaborated a bit better,it only struck me when I read "my lord"...and maybe some sentence reconstructions - like "I ask to my self"

  20. I usually don't read others comments before I finish writing mine, lest it distracts my understanding, of the post , and even lesser comment about comments.

    1] For every one - Please don't sound apologetic if you have made an objective comment to help Nethra write better.As long as it is not nasty/personal it s ok.

    2] Nethra - don't let comments bother you too much,including mine, you need not get defensive or offensive . Accepting or Rejecting is your personal domain.- It is really up to you how to look at this feedback.

    3] Reading a blog post requires patience before comments. This applies to all - let not any critiquing/criticism or appreciation affect your judgement or way of looking at either your or more importantly someone else's post.

    4] Let it not bring out the cynic or blind side of your judgement....oversight and flow are mostly the predominant reasons why good stories sometimes have typos or some misconstruction. Best avoided if one can run a spell check.

    5] But hey if it were the other way round - wouldn't be fun a at all. i.e no compelling story but perfectly written..!


  21. You've had this coming :P

    well I was trying to be smooth like a soap :P Well on a much more serious note:
    1. Most of the people want to have motivations inorder to move ahead in life, in order to achieve something......once they achieve what they want, they either find something else to be motivated by or waste away until they find something else, what we call being demotivated.........
    2. Living a dream is always not a good thing......because in the rarest of circumstances, among the fewest of the people, there might be someone who doesn't have any other want in life (which may be normally good). Having no desire in life is also one of the symptoms for depression.........what if he did not marry anita..........would he have been better off?
    3. He stopped taking antidepressants which dull up his senses n thinking inorder to reignite the romance.......but ended up developing a serious case of night terrors which finally resulted in me getting a twist for the story......

    Maybe my fault, I thought that instead of stating these facts I wanted the reader to think about them and come to their own conclusions

  22. You have written it beautifully.

  23. wonderfully written...its a question many people have to ask I guess, no?

  24. love your narration, it was an excellent read :)

  25. Beautifully written man.....
    Keeep it Up...

  26. Whats In A Name
    Yes, the only truth after life itself is death. I'm happy you liked the story. Keep visiting to read more. :)

    The flashback would be he got terribly wounded in a war that he was waging for power and riches, along with his kinsmen.
    Anyways, you liked only the starting paragraph?
    I will surely update my blog frequently. Thanks! :)

    I preferred emphasizing on the emotions rather than the characters. However, I will try to balance between them, the next time. Thanks! :)

    Everyone on his deathbed would definitely ask the question, "What if I could live?", wont he?
    I am happy you liked the story. Check for more the next time, I will surely update my blog very soon. :)

    Whether it was from present or from the future, the emotions would be the same, right?
    Thanks! :)

    I appreciate both your appreciation and critique. They help me improve. Thanks! :)

    Now, I understand the link. However, it was a good piece of work. Thanks! :)

  27. Makk
    Thank you , Makk. :)

    Exactly. Almost everyone ask that question. Thanks for your appreciation. :)

    Harsha Chittar
    I'm happy you felt it was good. Thanks! :)

    Thank you, Vijay. :)

  28. 'What if?' . We need not be in a state of 'dying soon' to ask that.We keep doing all the time we are living at full pace.

  29. Apoyando
    I try not to ask "what if?" I do things and try not to regret later. So the only concept I could think of was death.
    Anyways, thanks for visiting my blog. :)

  30. Nethra, you are tagged.

    Check out my post

  31. Hey that was nice story!!! But I guess You could have modified the questions like "What if I wouldnt have been so cruel , What if life had given me a chance to improve on .." etc - No hard feelings , just a suggestion :)

  32. Blogger
    Even when he was dying, he was thinking of himself. That is all it is there to the question he was asking and not the one you suggested.
    Thanks for the suggestion. :)

  33. Well written. The pain of leaving behind loved ones after death & the mere thought of how they would exist without me, makes me shudder.

  34. Pooja
    Some people never think about their loved ones. It is scary indeed.
    Thanks for the comment. :)

  35. nice one ! People who are living want to die and those dying want to live ! :)

  36. Sumathi
    Hey, that was you name in the story. :P
    You finally read it. :)
    And thanks for the comment! :)