Sunday, 4 October 2015

What's your 'Date of Death'?

It was the time of cleaning in my home. In a drawer, I got hold of a small piece of stone. Some of my childhood toys were kept in the drawer. A few moments later I recalled that the piece of stone was a magnet which I had kept along with the toys. ‘Yeah I used to play with it!’ I recalled. I verified by bringing the stone close to the main door. It attracted to the magnetic lock area of the door in my home. It was confirmed that it was the same old stone I used to play with and boast to my friends that I have got a magnet.

Finding the magnet, I recalled another thing. This time a concept of Science which we all learn in school! We are all taught that in a magnet North Pole and South Pole exist together. Even if you cut a piece of magnet into two, each will still have its own North Pole and South Pole. The two poles cannot be separated. Never! Single magnetic pole just cannot exist. You keep on cutting the magnet and make it shorter and shorter; still the shortest piece will have its bi-poles. An infinitesimally small or an infinitely large magnet will have its North Pole and South Pole. The length does not matter. But poles matter for property of magnetism!

Science so closely follows nature. We are born and we all die one day. The length of life does not matter but getting born and dying matters for us to be called living beings. It’s like getting born is the North Pole, death is the South Pole and our life is a magnet. Obviously, we all die at different age. Again, the length does not matter. The two extremes matter. If you are born, you are bound to die. Whether a child dies in the womb of a mother or a person dies at the oldest age making the Guinees world record, the end result is the same: death!

This is what makes life interesting; its length is unknown. Imagine each one of us would have known ours ‘Date of Death’, how life would have been! We would all have complaints with God for being impartial for giving larger life to others and shorter life to us. Imagine people meeting each other for the first time, each of them would become so interested to know how much time does the other person will serve useful to him. Instead of asking ‘Date of Birth’, new friends would start asking each other ‘Date of Death’! Competitors would try to gather information about each other’s life validity. Some people would be like ‘I have a lot of time before I die’ and they would waste time and some would be like ‘I have less time than so and so and I have to do more than them’ and they would ignore their family. Governments would announce schemes based on ‘Date of Death’ and people would make fake documents to avail the schemes. Actually, ‘Date of Birth’ would never have focus and there would only be ‘Date of Death’ of importance everywhere. The worst part would be that the start of love and romance between a girl and a boy would become corrupt. When both the boy and girl would become attracted, they would immediately try to know each other’s ‘Date of Death’! You know why! 

 Since we don’t know the length of our lives, we can realize that it is a gift. We can realize that death is not in our hands and all we have is the present time to utilize for what we want. Death can come at any moment: maybe right now. And the best resource to realize the gift of life is ‘Time’. Life comes one ‘Day’ at a ‘Time’. And we can make so much use of it. Close your eyes and sit for five minutes. Ponder over your day to day activities. Ask yourself some basic questions: Do I spend my time on jealousy, hatred and anger? Do I make my loved ones happy often? Do I always say only ‘Yes’? Does my work make me internally happy? When you get your answers, you will realize the gift you have! You will start living your life. The magnet will start attracting iron. The length will no longer matter.

My friend Sanjay Murpani once told me an incident about the great Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs used to live each day of his life like it was his last. Once at a party, Jobs liked a girl. After the party, he had to catch a flight so he couldn’t be with the girl any longer. He was on his way to the airport. But suddenly, he cancelled his trip and turned his car backwards. Later, the same girl became his wife. I don’t know how much of this is true but this is what life is!

Finally, I will share the dialogue of Leonardo Dicaprio (Jack Dawson) from the movie Titanic which I am sure all would have seen: “I figure life’s a gift and I don’t intend on wasting it. You don’t know what hand you’re gonna get dealt next. You learn to take life as it comes at you… to make each day count.”