“Just under the surface I shall be, all together at first, then separate and drift, through all the earth and perhaps in the end through a cliff into the sea, something of me. A ton of worms in an acre, that is a wonderful thought, a ton of worms, I believe it.”- Samuel Beckett

Well I know I am kind of obsessed with the topic of death. It may seem like a morbid fascination but birth and death and everything in between is all we have anyways, so focusing on a third of what  human existence entails isn’t such an esoteric pursuit.

As cells age and wear and tear takes us one step closer to the long sleep/ state of kaput as I like to call it, we reflect more and more on what it means to be alive and what it means to be dead. But sometimes death sneaks through the back door when you least expect it. It’s a tricky one, it is.


So what is the ideal approach to life and death, to such random events whose odds are astronomical yet they occur. Believing in a higher power does provide a degree of comfort in such an arbitrary existence but those of us who have lost their faith and belief in a benevolent higher power, and believe the universe to be an indifferent entity; we have lost that slim vestige of comfort too. I have given up on heaven and hell; rebirth and afterlife; and any variant of these themes. For me it would be the end, of thoughts and of what it means to be me. Only comfort I can derive is my constituent matter will return to the universe in one form or another.

So how to approach the interval between life and death, seeming so prolonged at times and so fleeting at others? I believe in the mainstream mantras of the yuppy generation – Do what you love, You only live once, etc. etc. But we all hear them and they sound so appealing too, how many of us are able to follow them? For not every dream can provide financial security even if successfully pursued, there are more failures than successful people, there are innumerable times when all seems lost for many people who chase their dreams ignoring the practicalities of an average existence, the pain of uncertainty; and a thousand other legitimate reasons to stifle dreams and ambitions.


But what is the point of living if we can’t have those little slices of joy every day, when each day is drudgery?


I am alive for now, and I know not when that would change,

So I will follow my dreams wherever they may lead, and however many label them as impractical and strange,

I may suffer and I may bleed and end up broke and broken,

But I know in my heart of hearts, that against the tyranny of an indifferent universe I will have my victory even if token,

Live I shall according to my terms although death may be a different matter,

I don’t want to live a life where every day ashes of my dreams I hither and thither scatter.


I end with another quote by Samuel Beckett – “It is right that he too should have his little chronicle, his memories, his reason, and be able to recognize the good in the bad, the bad in the worst, and so grow gently old down all the unchanging days, and die one day like any other day, only shorter.”

By- Aseem Mahajan

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