I gaze outside the window and see the Peepal tree dropping yellow leaves. I m reminded of the story Last Leaf by O Henry. I see the mortality of living beings, plants are living beings I was taught, though they do not walk around. Hail Professor Jagdish Chandra Bose, we know plants feel.
I think of my end. I wonder how it would be- one to be remembered, one which would be forgotten, one which will be lamented, or one which would relieve people. I have my life (and here i mean the life as opposed to death) in my hands, I at times think if I could make my non-living more worth-while if I self immolate and die for a cause, not reservation of course. There are better things to die for.
I think of my parents, my loved ones. Their presence, their absence. And their permanent and invevitable and permanent absense, which I know is somehting I might be/ will be accosted with someday.
I rethink. Is thinking of death, my loved one's death, an objectionable/undesirable/unnecessary enterprise?
X: YES, because it causes you pain yourself even before the cause of pain arises. Why subject yourself to that? Why can't you just live in present and rejoice!!
Me: But you can't escape certain truths, X. These are truths of life and death. And living in their cognizance is a better way to live than to live in the complacence that certain unpleasant things will never ever happen, merely because they are unpleasant.
X: Are you talking of preparedness to face them? See there is certain inevitablity attached to certain things, these things. But why need to think of them now, when may be you don't really want to get prepared. You dont want to lose the concrete present bliss at hand to some nebulous thought process, which you also know is a passing one, till it actually manifests. So why waste even a tiny time in the pondering over the probability/certainity of something unpleasant happening when that requires you to compromie on is a happy/peaceful present?
Me: Preparedness is certainly an issue. It includes physical preparedness (wills, etc :P) and emotional preparedness. While the former is very very materialistic and does not need explanation, the latter is inexplicable! Its like knowledge, that yes, at some point I might become an orphan, a widow, and then I should not be shattered to death. The cognizance I feel makes you better equipped to face the reality when it comes, even if the present joy might be a little compromised.
X: Yuck, you are talking of wills and all! Its so economic and feeling-less an argument! And I m sure you want similar cognizance of not only death but other unpleasant realities of life, isn't it?
Me: Yes, it is in fact a dirty economic an argument, as I already said, too materialistic. But then, by challenging this what you are questioning is the entire regime of law (YES I m a lawyer-to-be I am allowed to give law arguments!) which talks of wills, insurance, inheritance etc. Somewhere it is legally recognized that thoughts of death and prior to even evident probability of death in near future is somethign which is at some level even desirable. You can't just bask in the sun of present glee!
Also, yes the need for cognizance is for other unpleasant things as well! If a mother can knit (read prepares) for her coming child (pleasant things) with there not being zero chance of still birth or unconcious aborption, why can one not have preparedness for unpleasant things. Other unpleasant things, say break up, loss of job, ruining of business. It just leaves you less shocked and ruined when it actually happens. I remember having wept long before my sister'sbidaai thinking of it. But that way I wept lesser when she left, because reality had set in. I guess its mature way to live then being an escapist.
X: So terminally ill Y on death bed should think of how he is gonna die soon? Let the reality set in?
Me: Honey, here it is a different sort of reality. The underlying thing is that setting of reality at some time in future should make acceptance of an unpleasant thing easier, but in this case, what is actually happening is the life, what is left for Y, is getting diffuclt if he is constantly reminded of the impending reality- his coming death! Obviously this is an exception and he should not be doing that.!. Otherwise too, I m not suggesting that you constantly engage with the idea of having to live without someone special, how will it be etc etc. But do not let is escape the back of your mind.
I run short of arguments to put in from X's side, may be because I m so convinced with what ME says. Its an incomplete blog, with writer inclined to certain ideology. But this thought, needed mention. Somewhere. Here.
I still continue looking outside the window. Seeing more yellow leaves fall. Its not just botany and plant hormones, its more than that.
PS: Rajen Bali. Just that. Happy?