Paramu , who spent his entire life milking cows passed away yesterday at an age well above 70. I personally know him as the man who used to come to my mother's place every single morning to collect the 'kadi vellam'. 365 days for some 40 years he did that. And he did it yesterday as well. But unlike the other days, he stopped near the gate , took two long breaths, told my cousin " pandathe polum onnum alla ippo" and then walked to his home some 300 yards away. He passed away some two hours after that. I must admit I wasn't shocked. People die. Thats the nature's law. But somewhere in the corner of my mind came the realization that I had lost a character from the 'book of life'. But then who was he in this big fat world? And thats when i started wondering bout
The Insignificance of Life
You wake up every Monday morning. Work your socks off for a week. You save the money. And then you DIE!Its scary isn't it ? You live some 50 years and then in one moment you are gone!All that you've spent your entire lifetime on, POINTLESS! I've always believed people worry about death due to two reasons :
1. They are afraid of what is beyond. Anxiety. OR/AND
2. The case of non existence. What will be the world without you for your significant ones? What have you done in your life?
Which leads us to the question what is significance? Or rather what was the purpose of your life? And why is 'significance' so important? The answer to these questions are way beyond the scope of the imagination of a 21 year old but sometimes I do wonder " what will ever be 'known' as ?" . In the materialistic world sadly,'Significance', has a lot to do with the achievements in one's life. Where you an incredibly good singer? A creative dancer? An outstanding athlete? But finally does it all matter? YES, to a certain degree. But to classify significance of a life via his/her achievements seem a little unfair. You could've been nothing to the world to some 2 billions people. But there might have been a kid and a lady who depended on you. A handful of people who genuinely cared for you. 'Significance' hence is purely a comparative term. In fact 'death' is often a measure of how important your life was to the world. The whole world mourns at the loss of someone significant. The same does not hold for Paramu . The truth is, most of us lead a very insignificant life on this planet. A life that makes no difference to the world. And there are few things one can do about it. Talent is most cases are in born . You can't be a great musician over night. Nor can you get the hand eye co-ordination required to flick a fast bowler for a six. The Verve did get it spot on when they tagged life as a 'bittersweet symphony'.A wave of ups and downs. And one that can terminate any moment. I just read in the newspaper as to how this girl had been talking via a cell phone in the balcony and fell down . She sometimes would've had the potential to script the world. But its all over before she could do anything about it. On the contrary, I still remember the night, after Dhwani 2010, when i literally slept off sitting on the stairs of the bogey, on my way back from tvm in the train . Had my pal been a second late in waking me up who knows what might have been.
Life , as Forrest Gump's mom used to put it, is like a box of chocolates. You never know what flavour you are gonna get. And the surprising thing about these chocolates are it melts like ice cream. SO you've got to enjoy it before it melts.Coming back to Paramu's case there isn't much he could've done in his life. He could have quit his passion for 'bidi's. His parents probably were peasants themselves. He continued what they had started. A typical life. His children did go to schools but eventually they quit owing to lack of money/interest. His son drives an auto and two daughters are house wives. What if one rich person in the neighbourhood had taken a small interest in Paramu? Offered him small amounts of money. Instilled in him the need for education. Given the belief that 'richness' in nothing beyond him. Showed no caste/religion distinction. ALL small things. And it might not have made a difference in Paramu's life. But it would've, if only slightly, bettered the lives of his children and the chain gets replenished slowly and who knows, in 3 generations time the conditions of that family would've been drastically different. Its like an avalanche. A small stone is good enough to start sequence. Only this time its for the good.
One often always tends to forget these small deeds. Look at the big picture they say! But for a picture to be perfect the pixels should be! And more the pixels the better. The truth is we've got such a short life and a lot depends on Fate. We might not become an Ambani or a John lennon . And to the world you might be an insignificant being. but one smile earned, one meal served can all be lead to 'many lives made better'. I wonder if thats what these scientists call ' Butterfly effect'. I never was good with science anyway. All i know is its Vishu and theres no better time to start off! Do something good perhaps. something 'seemingly' insignificant...