A few days ago I watched famed "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" (click for video Link) by Late Prof Randy Pausch . Anyone who has watched the lecture will testify that his simple words are very inspiring. His intensity, energy, humor and mannerism seem so poignant because all the while we know that this man fighting with pancreatic cancer has only few months of life left. No wonder the video was rated excellent every time it was viewed on net. After seeing the video I read and saw almost everything on Randy Pausch that was available on net. To say the least, he truly was a man with a deep strength of character.
‘Anand’ was a film produced by legendary director Hrishikesh Mukherjee which won film-fare award in 1971. The film is about a cancer patient named Anand ( Rajesh Khanna) who, despite knowing that he has just a few months of life left, believes in living his life to the fullest. He comes to Mumbai to live his last days and comes in contact with Bhaskar Banerjee (Amitabh Bachan) , a honest and serious doctor, who is distressed seeing poverty and vegetation in the slums where he treats poor patients. Bhaskar’s interactions with Anand make him notice the colors behind all the despair and complexity in one’s life, and teach him a lesson. After spreading happiness everywhere around him and changing the lives of many, Anand, as destined, leaves them all, which inspires Dr.Bhaskar to write a book on his life. (Click here for a video Clip)
Well, we all know that death is inevitable and grim reaper will surely come one day, but does it perturb us or creates an urgency in us, to focus on set purpose of our life. Fact is most of us live with leitmotif that tomorrow will have more time than today and we presume to have an eternity to achieve our true objectives. Zest of life sets frenzy for attaining more materialistic things and in that passion we begin to take our relationships and friends for granted. When the reality strikes in a form of an ultimatum of some months, we realize that things and people that truly matter were often most neglected. When we die, for most of the world our absence shall mean nothing, however, for a very few, life will never be same again. Sadly, during the course of routine life these very people do not get the time and attention they deserve.
It concerns me that despite knowing the universal truth of mortality, an average Indian does not prepare for death. By preparedness, I basically mean two things. First, there should be sharing of information about assets, liabilities investments and commitments with someone close in family , so that there are no hassles that add salt to injury. Second, it is duty of every individual to ensure that his aggrieved family is monetarily comfortable. Insurance by many is looked at as expense and some combine investments with insurance, which in my opinion is naive. To exemplify, a 3 lac rupee insurance with LIC costs me RS 19300 per year under assured return plan, if nothing happens to me this amount will be given to me after 20 years with 8% bonus. On the other hand a term plan for insurance of 25 lacs costs me just Rs 13500 per year but here if I remain alive I don’t get anything back. You see, if I remain alive I should thank my stars that I have another year to make and enjoy money with my near and dear ones, If that proves to be otherwise, at least they will be financially little comfortable. Term plans like fire extinguishers are investments for exigency.
Isn’t it strange that what develops over years disappears in a flash? Even stranger is the fact that death is a great re-conciliator that takes away all the severity leaving behind some impressions and some memories .The essence of life is truly contained , in the famous saying “Live every day as if it were your last and then some day you'll be right”.