Monday 12 December 2016

The year of deaths and reminders of mortality

Every year is another beautiful opportunity given to us in terms of improving ourselves and actively chasing our desired goals and dreams. But along with that is also the realisation that our life is slowly heading towards death. The feeling is humbling as well as scary for it drives hard the fact that we do not have time at our behest. The passing away of diverse personalities this year has insinuated many thoughts of mortality and life within me. As I hear news of people who names have been part of my growing up years and adult life pushes me to think of my own life and its fragility. The hardest blow was when the news of our honourable Chief Minister, J. Jayalalalitha's passing away flashed across the many internet websites. The knowledge that someone who was a formidable presence, inspite of the autocracy, drove hard the nail of mortality. The feeling, for quite some time, has been in the air, when Cohen, Bowie, Balamurali Krishna and others left this earth. Well, as one grows older than the previous year, thoughts as these prevail like the dark clouds which cast a spell for a while either passing away or bringing rainfall.

Growing older means that loved ones are becoming fragile and losing the former agility and taut. The body also plays truant especially while getting up in the morning or that stubborn fat which refuses to budge from a you-know-where spot. Enough! I am not here to whine or complain about facts that are irrevocable but thoughts as these cannot be dismissed without the thought running its entire course.

I know many whose lives started by mid-50s or early 60s. I love the energy they display. Yesterday, I was at the venue of the Goa River Marathon. My oh my! The energy in that place was all-consuming - people of varied age groups feeling smug after completing the 21 kms. I wonder how it might seem to them while running and after completing the long run. The myriad emotions visible on their face was radiant, to say the least. Perhaps, this is one way to push fears of mortality and delay the same. Perhaps, it is a way of cheating death. Perhaps, it is the knowledge that death might come any way so let us try adventure and push our limits, raising the adrenaline meanwhile. Whatever it was, the vibes of the place was so invigorating that I felt stimulated to run at least 5 kms next year. In fact, running a marathon has always been a wish/dream/desire but then as always, I was pushing the dream behind everything else instead of pushing myself to run. Ah! I should read Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running and of course there's is Milind Soman who is successfully pushing away Lord Death from approaching him in any direction!

Let me close with a loved and oft read sonnet by John Donne:

Death, be not proud

Related Poem Content Details

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee 
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so; 
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow 
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me. 
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be, 
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow, 
And soonest our best men with thee do go, 
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery. 
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men, 
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell, 
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well 
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then? 
One short sleep past, we wake eternally 
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die. 


  1. Susan, I've often heard this said - You don't really start living until you've accepted death as inevitable. As a Christian, death has no sting for me, and I'll just live my life to the fullest in the meantime.

    1. Oh yes! I remember that verse Martha. And your thoughts on the topic are so true. Hope you are getting ready for the lovely season of love and cheer.

  2. after reading this i think I am happy i am getting OLD :)


    1. Hey Bikram. How happy to see you here after ages. Hope you have been well and happy. OLD is lovely - lots of nice things experienced and yet to experience.

      Come by and say hello sometimes.

  3. Very thought-provoking post! Indeed, our life is fragile and we are reminded constantly that it's a journey , not the destination. Sadly, death is the final destination.

    1. Hello DUTA. Hope you have been well. Life is indeed fragile and I guess we ought to make the best of it.

      Thanks for stopping by.



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