Friday, April 10, 2015

What would change if I knew the time of my death ?

Last night I had a dream. I saw myself sitting at a bench in Central Park, gazing at a group of carefree kids laughing their heart out. I was so engrossed that I didn't notice a white bearded man in a tattered coat (with curious resemblance to Morgan Freeman in Bruce Almighty) take a seat next to me. "Why do you think they are so happy?", he uttered. Without a blink, I answered, "Because they have no questions." In a flash, the time stood still with only the man and me alive. The man said, "My child, I want you to be just as happy as anyone else. If finding answers are so important, ask me anything but only one thing that can give you back the smile." He had no halo but I was awestruck enough to believe that he was there, in that moment, for me and meant each word. I closed my eyes and wished, "When shall I die?"

Katolische Pfare Halstatt , Austria  (Source: World's Most Beautiful Cemeteries , Conde Nast Traveler)

The question of when and how each one of us shall die arouses a strange gut wrenching feeling. But to think of it, having the answer to that question would make me witness a miracle, which is life itself.

A long life span may seem more comforting, but on the contrary, it permeates a complacence that does not allow you to complete even half of your bucket list by the time your clock stops.

To pack bags and travel the world with my partner ,taste and learn the most exotic cuisine, dance with the local folk-lore and take in the humanism underlying the diversity across - would immediately take priority over- investment in life insurance premiums, giving birth to a new life or adhering to the life-long norms of the society- only if I knew that my life is shorter and crisper than what most people wish to be. It was disturbing to realize that I had also assumed that I am going to have a long life and have probably staved off so much time, not living each second to the hilt.

The man will probably not come back to give me the time in hand. But he did shake me up- to value each second for there's no right time; to value each person for there's no best companion; to value this life for there's no chance of being born again the same. If my plans for life are prone to change basis the time I have, I guess I need to re-work my priorities. All cheese that had to be moved much earlier or is planned for tomorrow has to be moved today. The last thing I want is to sigh on my death bed is the question, " What would have had changed if I knew the time of my death?"
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