Showing posts with label Real Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Real Life. Show all posts

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Death - your Comfort break

With the number of high profile people who have died this year, 2011 is truly turning into a tragic year that the world history will remember forever.
While the media might be ready with their obituaries, how do relatives and loved ones of those who died cope up with the irreparable loss?
For most celebrities vying for their 15 minutes of fame, high profile deaths will be a way to rehash half chewed emotions and cheap sentiments.
Death is a scary thought. I remember how scared and upset I would get when my parents would mention their deaths.
Most kids and over-grown adults still get ruffled up and refuse to accept any talk of their loved one's death.

But is death really a bad thing?
You could be the biggest billionaire the planet has seen. Or you could be a homeless beggar living on just 32 rupees a day.
You could afford to buy a Bentley every single day and still have money to burn or you could a person who skips a second meal today so that he can eat a single meal tomorrow.
You could be on the cover of Forbes or you could be that random dirty face you pass by at traffic stop.
Death is a relief for all humans. It is that event of your life where your harshest critic and your toughest foe level up.

Death is something like where we finish our act on the main-stage and head back home.
You know that you no longer have to act or pretend. You can finally be yourself.
You don't have to worry about taxes. And if you're famous, your procession will be the last time you'll ever create a traffic jam.
But whether you are rich or poor, all you'll need is just 6 ft of earth.

When the fanfare and the tirade of obituaries die, does it really matter to the person?
Would the recipient of all that glowing eulogy raise up from the coffin and cheer?
All the flowers in the world cannot lessen the pain nor fill the vacuum that person left in the lives of his/her family.

Could we have been less critical and more appreciative of that person when he/she was alive?
Maybe, yes.

Because the world is an unforgiving place to be. 
Let the dead rest in peace, because they deserve it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cheap Life

Last Thursday, I was involved in an accident.

Now, before you start to type in your reaction, I didn't have a scratch on me.
However what I did witness shocked me.

On a way back home at half past 10 in the night, I witnessed a fatal accident.
A motorcyclist was sprawled right in the middle of a narrow road, with his head crushed beyond recognition. Face in a pool of blood with his knee and pelvis crushed. Hands outstretched as if he was blown away. No helmet. Minimal damage on the bike.
A solitary cop stood by the side of the road trying his best to redirect impatient drivers through a four feet gap in the road. The traffic lights were flooding the road with more traffic, as usual.
Many motorists filed past. Not one stopped to call the ambulance or offer help the lone cop with the unending traffic.
Not one stopped and I bet not one cared.
Not one would have thought more about this accident or lost their sleep over this.
He after all is just a statistic now.

Must have been a law abiding citizen.
Must have been a loving son, brother, husband or father.
Must have been a hardworking employee.
Must have been a tax paying citizen.
Must have been a deeply religious man.

But he certainly didn't deserve to lie in a pool of blood mixed with brain matter and bubble gum.
If he was a VIP or a Politician, the cops would've cordoned off the road. But 15 minutes into the accident, no one bothered. He is obviously dead since we can see his head is crushed beyond recognition. His tax rupees might have helped pave the very road that bore his shattered skull.

I was deeply shocked though.
Reasons that were guesses. I reasoned that he might have been hit by another vehicle while he was speeding down the road himself.
I prayed, that his family be consoled. That he find peace in the afterlife.

I searched for the news of the accident the next day. Found none. But remembered him in silent prayer every time we traveled on the bike.
Two days after the accident, I found a corner in the local newspaper, about the accident.
Sharmil, our unfortunate victim was a keralite. At 24, he left an indelible mark in our lives.
Little did his employer know that he was not coming to work that day. Little did his family know that they are not going to talk to him ever again.

Questions unanswered.
How will the truck driver ever rest in peace? Knowing that he snuffed out a life so young. That could have had a lot of hope, that certainly had a lot of dreams and shouldered a lot of responsibility. Like Lady Macbeth trying to wash off blood off her hands, would the truck driver be trying to wash off Sharmil's blood off his hands?
How was a truck able to speed on a road that is barely broad enough to have two cars? And where were the traffic cops who ambush hundreds of motorists?
How was the truck allowed to escape?

Shuddering even as I write this, this may go down as a mere number on the statistics in the traffic department, however this got us pondering.
Is life cheap? Do we deserve to live a death where we are just a passing attraction or an annoying traffic distraction?
Or is it just because we are Indians. One among a billion where our vacancy is quickly filled up by new births.

I guess it could be both.

By the time I've taken to write this, India added 50 newborns to her population. But Sharmil is not coming back anymore. His family will forever remember the 24th of March, 2011 as the darkest day in their lives. 

May his Soul rest in Peace and May the rest of us show some respect to the Living.

Saturday, October 09, 2010


While stuck in traffic (not out of the ordinary), I was waiting beside a sedan. A man and his son. The father could have not been older than 30 and his son, 5 or 6. The kind of age when kids have usually learned how to use the F word and other wonderful words with a flourish. 
As if on cue, the father started cussing and swearing at the hapless traffic lights.
With a look of absolute disgust, the son was trying to look disinterested. But alas, his father had already taken his son's literary virginity.

Humans are perhaps the only creature that uses its talents and capabilities to deliberately harm, hurt and malign others of its own species.
It is said that charity begins at home. But I believe good behavior, love and virtue begins at home too.

I remember the first time I heard the F word was in 10th grade. We used to be so petrified to use it !
We had a 'Use a foul word, Wash your mouth with soap' policy at School.
And the first time I used it, felt so sick that I was blue in the face.  

However over years, having been among children what I notice is how children as young as 3 and 4 years old are not only using the word, but embellishing it with the right gestures.

Growing up, I've watched very little television and I remember watching cable when I was 17 and out of school.
Thank God for that.

However, Media and the Family now babysit and nurture our kids. 
We are slowly bringing up a generation of gutter mouths.
Growing pains, some may say. But I say this is mutation.

'There is no point shielding them from the realities of life..' Some parents might say.

But are we really doing a good job of parenting?

When we cuss and swear in front of (our) kids, we think we are being cool and matured while still being indignant. Boy, can we be more wrong?!
Children are like a sponge. Mopping up behavior, traits, habits and culture and the learning starts right from the womb, some experts say.

But with all the gutter talk going around, I wonder how any of our children will be able to speak a decent sentence without a single word of obscenity.

Out of the very mouth that sings praises for our God, comes the most wicked and foul word. Culturely, sexually molesting a child is portrayed as illegal, immoral and taboo. What about adults who gutter mouth in front of (their) children? Their impressionable minds are forever molested and raped by language that, until a few decades ago was unacceptable.

Indians like to pooh paah all this to Western influence on our society. Movies and television cement that belief in us. I have seen many reality shows that beep every 4th word in a sentence. Indian shows too!!
But having being abroad half my life, I can boldly say that ordinary Americans and other denizens of the West do not talk that way in real life.

So when are we going to clean our mouths with Soap?

Elementary, my dear Watson!

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