All posts tagged: death

death & all his friends.

Every time you are in the vicinity of death, something changes. A certain part of you grows, matures, thinks, wonders. Life is uncertain, yes, but seeing that uncertainty float in the air, right before your eyes, makes you question the very essence of life. Often times, I have thought that our lives are reflected in the eyes of other people. Once you leave this mortal world, the only thing that matters is how you live in the memories of people, if at all you live. That thought changed yesterday. I was part of a memorial for a colleague, and people he’d known professionally poured in large numbers to offer their condolences and pen their thoughts in a little black book. The book will most likely be given to his family, and probably contains very fond memories. And you know what? He’ll never know. He’ll never know how people spoke of him, remembered him, missed him. He’s gone. May he rest in peace. It brings me back to my feeble assessment of life. How you may …

Many Lives, Many Masters

Whether or not you believe in science, this is one book that’s bound to give you food for thought. Penned by a psychiatrist, Dr Brian Weiss, Many masters, many lives is what he claims to be the true story of one of his patients. Catherine, a young girl troubled by inexplicable phobias, seeks his help, and when typical psychiatric treatments don’t bare results, he resorts to the rarely used practice of hypnosis. What follows is plain bizarre. In her hypnotic state, Catherine appears to visit her past lives, reincarnations of herself in varied geographical locations and time periods. Often, Catherine reaches an in-between stage, where she’s dead but not reincarnated yet, and she communicates to the doctor the messages of highly evolved spirits (called the Masters), including personal details from his own life. I know it sounds like the plot of some psychological thriller, and as I re-read it, even the highly predictable story-line of a horror Hindi movie. But that’s the beauty of it – what you believe is completely your choice. At one point, …

Untitled

This happened in the summer of 2007, when all I wanted to do was lie under the mango tree in the backyard of my house, and make patterns in my head by tracing out the blue of the sky and the white of the clouds, visible through the small peep-holes made by the leaves of the mango tree. It was still a fortnight and a rain shower before the first batch of mangos would be magically transformed from raw green to the color of the sun whose rays they bathed in day after day.    It wasn’t a particularly hot or dry summer. I spent many an evening sprawling under the voluminous mango tree, listening to the evening cries of birds that nested in my backyard, watching the leaves dance in the occasional breeze, toying with infinite thoughts about our universe. On one such daily dates with nature, when the birds hadn’t yet started chirping, the silence of the evening was broken by my pet dog howling in the distance. His pitch would rise and fall, but …

The Last Lecture

I suppose we all have our notion of how we’ll confront death, when the time comes. Carnegie Mellon (CMU) created a platform for its professors to imagine such a confrontation and gave us the invaluable gift of Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture. CMU’s tradition asks professors to imagine the end of their lives and address graduating students, sharing with them their philosophy of life and what they might have done differently if they could do it again. For CMU’s computer science professor, Randy Pausch, things were a little more real. He was diagnosed with cancer and given a few months to live. His Last Lecture was indeed his last.  Randy’s lecture was a keepsake. It did the rounds online and became one of the most inspiring, most viewed videos on youtube [The Last Lecture, view here].  “Under the rouse of giving an academic lecture, I was trying to put myself in a bottle that would one day wash up on the beach for my children. If I were a painter,  I would have painted for them. …