“You will live 100 years”, if you tell this to your friend, how he might react?
It is not hard to imagine. He will most probably say, “Hey, come on man. Living 100 years will be a curse. By the time I will be 100, I will not have proper eyesight, all the teeth will be gone, and no strength will remain in my body to travel anywhere. All I want is to live till my son can stand on his own feet and I give my daughter’s hand to a good boy for matrimony. But frankly speaking, between you and me, I am ready to die at any moment.”
“Okay then as soon as your son gets a job and your daughter gets married, you will die”, if you say this (I won’t say of course, I am only suggesting you to say this) you will see your friend is not pleased.
“What’s the matter, you said you wanted to live till your son gets a job and your daughter gets married”, you will probably try to say.
“Actually, I want to see my son gets married too, at least that is what my father did, I found him so happy the day I got married. That happy memory of my father I want to be repeated in my life too”.
“Okay what about after your son’s marriage”, you suggest.
“You know I want to see my grandsons and granddaughters”, your friend would probably say.
At this point you might have realized that 100 years could be the ideal time for your friend, even though he thought it was too long a time at least that is what he said to you.
But you try to rephrase it slightly by saying “Okay I wish you die after 101 years.”
How do you think he will react? Definitely he will not look happy. Remember he is your friend (and probably you will never be able to say any of those words). If 100 years was too long for him then 101 years is even longer!
I was watching one episode of Hard Talk by Stephen Sackur in BBC World.
In the program he was interviewing a British woman who came to the show with her husband, who was wheelchair bound. She wanted to take her husband to Switzerland for euthanasia. It is not allowed in Britain. He was very active in sports, had lots of accomplishments. But one fateful day he had a sudden accident and has become wheel chair bound and needed 24×7 assisted living. I observed that she is completely honest, her reason is very clear, what is the point for a sports person like her husband who was so active and full of life, to live a life like this. One thing I could make out very clearly during the interview that her intention is not to get rid of him. During the interview I only observed him crying in his wheel chair, the only sound he could make.
We all love life, the longer we live, the more we love it, and the more we love to live it. It does not matter if we can get two square meals a day, if water drops on our head during monsoon, we want to live. Probably that is the reason we came up with “after life”, “life in heaven” etc. ideas. We know that it is going to end, so why not have an afterlife or an eternal life in heaven.
I had a friend, Abhay Jubhekar, who was deeply spiritual and always liked to talk about after life, spiritual life etc. I asked him one day, if there is after life then why can’t we remember our past lives?
He replied that if we remember our past lives then we will not be able to live in this life, it will be too much of memory, too much of burden. But when we die we regain all the memories of our past lives.
It sounded too good at that instance but when I thought about the modus of operandi, it appeared to me that as if there is a switch which somebody turns off as soon as we are born and it is turned on soon after death.
We all love life but everybody could not think of after lives, it depends also on the power of imagination, probably. So some people thought of life in heaven, an eternal blissful life. Life in third world, as we all know, is not good, and bigger the number before world the worse it is.
So probably we thought of heaven, where things are all mental or spiritual, and not restricted by the physicochemical properties of matter. So what are the ways to get the one way ticket, charity of course, donating cows in the old days, fund raising, NGOs etc. at the present time. Even sometimes killing can open the door, according to some belief.
In some cases we even find dos and don’ts are very well prescribed.
In the epic story, when the war ended, Krishna and the five brothers were not in the tent, Ashwathama, a warrior who fought against the the army of the five brothers, entered into the tent at night, fully armored, and started killing the male warriors and even male children when they were in their beds, resting, completely unprepared to defend themselves, by choking their throats pressing against his feet. And the victims were begging him to kill with his sword. Because a warrior, only when killed by a sword, could gain entrance into heaven.
I heard an 88 year old man saying that if anybody can cross the age 90, he can continue living. I think he meant living forever.
Aditya Enclave and Nilgiri Blocks are two huge building complexes in Ameerpeth, Hyderabad, which sometimes people jokingly call Mecca of software. There are hundreds of software training institutes in these two buildings. To know the latest software technology, one need not have to go to Silicon Valley in California. At least one of the training institutes here will conduct the training.
Come towards that corner of the Nilgiri Blocks building where you will find a green colored big board having the name of Oriental Bank of Commerce. If you look towards the cross road from here, you might see somebody on the road. Get out of the building and come towards the main road and you will see a beggar on the road with only one piece of loin cloth below his waist, lying on his stomach under the hot sun of Southern India.
He is dropped every morning by a truck. If you look you will see he has no limbs, his head is so closely bent to the road that you may not see immediately but if you watch closely you will find that he is blind too. He is making one peculiar sound all the time to draw attention of the passersby, and that is the only sound he can make. Passersby some time throw one or two coins towards him.
The truck which comes to collect him in the evening also collects the coins. This routine is uninterrupted in monsoon, summer and winter.
Does he love his life, nobody knows, only one who could say would be him.
Author: Mintu Ghoshal.