The Enduring Fragility of Life

It’s a funny thing, this life. Last Thursday, I was sitting in this Turkish restaurant with one of the most head-splitting migraines I have had in recent months. Julie and Royce were treating me – it was my birthday. A celebration of life. Even if I don’t particularly consider my life worth celebrating…

This Thursday, I sit here, and think about the death of a friend and colleague in Thomas White, the company I used to work for. On Tuesday, I receive an email from my former manager telling me that Sandeep, this guy who we all used to work closely with passed away. Death is by no means a stranger to any of us. But when a young man, 31 years of age, heck he was younger than me, dies of a massive heart attack, it kind of becomes a stranger. Surely, death’s cruel sting is not supposed to strike one so young. He had just returned from a vacation in Miami, back to his room in Chicago, when he died. Alone. No one noticed his absence till almost 2 days later. Just five days before his death, he wrote to Birdy out of the blue – sending her a picture from Miami beach as well. You try to think of reasons – yes, Sandeep was on a death mission anyway, smoking a cigarette almost every 20 minutes. Still…and then thoughts are just unsaid.

It left me thinking of the fragility of our own existence – I feel the days rush by here, and like today, I wish I can stop time in its stride. Just pause a little. Don’t rush so much. By then, who am I fooling? Time is the same for everyone. 24 hours. That’s it. No less. No more. For each and every single person on earth. I wish I can savor these last few days of university life more. I keep thinking how did these days go by so fast? Wasn’t it yesterday that I left Bangalore? But then, I know I am wrong. It’s not to savor the days here or the days there that we exist. It’s to know that there are no days. It’s just life. In pure earnest. In complete honesty, bare-naked, inviting us to live. Just one day. Just one day where we can say we own Time and not the other way around.

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