when I die…

There is a story I vaguely recall from one of Alfred Hitchcock‘s collections… this is a murderously summarised version of an excellent murder story… but I can’t remember the reference to the original as I’d read it probably more than a decade ago.

——

There was a guy who really hated his boss, having lots of problems with him but being very submissive and having a violent hatred inside. Finally he can take it no more and decides to murder him.

At some point he comes across a unique kind of henchman, who says he can commit the perfect murder very effectively without a single trace. Then after lot of hesitation, he decides to really go ahead and asks him about the modus operandi. Then the henchman says that he’s part of a secret murder club comprising of 100s of people. And the way the club murders is that any time anyone takes up an assignment, the chosen victim is made known to all members. The way they do it is that every single member of this club spends all the time day after day living with the intention that this victim has to die. And when so many people are having a collective intention, then the death of the victim becomes inevitable. And the henchman gives this guy several real cases where this strategy worked quite well.

The fellow is very much intrigued by this fantastic methodology where nobody really does anything, nobody can be suspected or arrested, yet the job gets done!

After reflecting on it, he eagerly agrees, but has one doubt.

For this to work, the victim also needs to know and understand about this club and live with the thought that so many people are wishing for his death now, right?

And the henchman says yes, you’re right sir, and your death starts today.

—–

Ok I actually started off with a different idea but couldn’t help recalling that chilling story. So now to the main point.

Its usually considered inauspicious to talk about death in general. But the well known but easily forgotten fact is that more than the words, its the intention that may matter.

So when I speak about my death, I have no intentions or thoughts or least of all psychic premonitions about any time line of my death whenever it happens, and if I were given the choice, would concur with Birbal… In a classic Akbar Birbal story, Birbal is sentenced to death without pardon, but is granted the one last wish where he can chose the method of execution. The next day Birbal decides on the method: ‘old age’, the Emperor laughs and grants it!

It all started with no one in my home really keen on celebrating Diwali with lighting deepas and lanterns – in memory of my lost brother.

When my Dad had died, I was miserable for a very long time. I just didn’t feel like doing anything – everything seemed so useless and meaningless and the pain had weighed heavily in my heart. The real fact was that somewhere in my life I had learnt that “this is the way we are supposed to be when someone close to us dies” and it all was perfectly justifiable. Even if I forgot and have some fun, I would soon feel guilty “how can I be having fun when he is not there” and soon a dark cloud would accumulate over my head, and I would revert to being comfortably miserable.

A turning point was when in the workshop I approached Kichu during a break and lamented to him about my situation – maybe expecting some consoling and sympathy from him. But he was a man of integrity who did not mind taking the risk of hurting me with some hard truth: so he simply questioned me “If your Dad somewhere was watching you right now seeing you so miserable, would he be happy? Would he want you to be happy or sad?” The question made me really reflect – go inwards and look for an answer within. A lot of memories of my dad came up and the overall personality of how caring and concerned he had been about me. The answer was an obvious NO.

Somewhere down the line, maybe we feel we are doing the departed person some kind of favor by being miserable about their death. Maybe by being miserable we are trying to tell them how important they are to us. But mostly when I was mourning, I was feeling sorry for myself for having lost him. A bit of regret for not having valued him enough when he was also there – but it was more about me than him. I was fooling myself by doing it in his name. So here I had to ask myself – for whose sake am I being miserable then?

So I want it to be absolutely explicitly clear to all my dear and near ones – that when I die, I want my death to be either ignored or celebrated but not mourned! I hereby ‘absolve’ anybody being obligated to misusing me as an excuse to be miserable 😆

2 Responses to “when I die…”

  1. a common man ಸಂಜಯ » Blog Archive » deathly ideas on why this life matters Says:

    […] The whole root cause of all the misery we associate with death is our narrow tunnelled vision of life of just one lifetime that begins at birth and ends at physical death. […]

  2. Indz Says:

    Very true indeed, I was also going through the process from a very long time…this post of yours is so meaningful and i’m so releaved to see someone who had gone through these before and infact its kind of releaved me of my guilt too…thanks again for this wonderful message!

Leave a Reply