“Mom! There is a cockroach in my room!” Radhika shouted while dropping her school bag on the floor and running out of the room.
“Cockroaches aren’t dangerous, they just look like they are.” Vivek, Radhika’s younger brother, informed her.
“No way! Cockroaches are weird and their moustaches are so dreadful! I’m not going inside the room until that cockroach is removed.” Radhika declared.
“They are not moustaches, they are antennas, cockroaches use it to communicate with each other,” Vivek said loudly from inside the room, “and the cockroach is no more on your bed, you can come in.”
Radhika entered the room and saw Vivek holding the cockroach with its legs and looking at it very cautiously.
“What the hell are you doing with it? Just throw it away!” She ordered.
“I’m checking if it’s a male or a female.”
“Boys are sick!”
“You know a cockroach can stay alive for weeks even if its head is removed.”
“What do you mean by ‘removed’?”
“I mean removed, cut, detached.”
“Stop kidding! How can someone live without a head? That’s impossible!”
“A cockroach’s head is good for nothing, It has no brain, no eyes, no blood, no nervous system, hence a cockroach can survive without the head too. Its science, don’t bother about it, concentrate on your thesis.”
Radhika kept thinking about it, living without a head seemed impossible. She did a search on the internet and was startled to know whatever information Vivek shared with her was correct to the point.
That evening, her diary read like this:
The thought of a headless life kept haunting me all day. It was not only a headless cockroach which was disturbing me, there are headless human beings as well. I wonder how important it is to have a head to be human and equally important is to use that head too. People go through their lives without giving a thought to their daily routine and as days and weeks and months pass on, people find them in a no man’s land where their life is at the brink of death and they haven’t known anything about life itself.
Vivek kept talking about the scientific explanation about how a cockroach can live without a head for weeks, but I was thinking that life is much different than what we think about it. Sometimes if we feel to, and it is possible, life can be extended for one day or two days, but the process is never going to end. Life is not associated with something which is alive, it’s a complicated process. The first day is not the birthday, its just the beginning of the process of birth and then one is born again every time one learns something new. One goes on growing.
I had no idea a cockroach could teach me about living an egoless life. Ego is in the head, not in the heart. No head means no ego. A headless cockroach is way better than all the saints of the world only if one could learn from it.
I think it was meant to happen, I was meant to step into the room today and see that cockroach on my bed. It was going to happen, that’s why I was there, that’s why life is so mysterious. We are not accidentally anywhere, we may think so but it is not so. There are connections, nothing is accident, life belongs to those who are completely unafraid to accept whatsoever it brings.
I am thankful to that particular cockroach for making me understand the simplest of fact about life:
“If a person does not use his head while he is still alive, he is as good as a cockroach, should be left to live in his own shit.”