If your death leaves a mark ….. then so did your life
I don’t know whether this title is appropriate. In fact, I am sure it is not. But I shall let it stay because it is the exact contrapositive of what I want to say.
This post is about what I felt about the death of an honest person I never knew. More importantly, it is about what his death reveals. What it reveals about the world we live in.
Most of us are basically good people; at least I would like to believe that. And many of us are God fearing as well. Unfortunately, many of us are afraid of other things too. We are afraid of change. We are afraid of knowledge. We are afraid to open our eyes. We are afraid of discomfort. We are even afraid to admit the discomfort faced by others. And we remain happily comatose in our cocoons.
The person whose death I am talking about was called Vikrant Mathur. I never knew him. All I know, from a dependable source, is that he was an honest and committed workaholic. He believed that his work could awaken us, break the cocoons we so carefully and painstakingly build from the day we begin to kill our conscience. He was a war journalist. None of his intended viewers remember the stories he covered because his report carried the stench of death and destruction. We are comfortable the way we are, so we cover our nostrils … spray some deodorant and continue to exist. Vikrant Mathur could not have cared less about his life. But, unlike the members of his intended audience, he does care about his life not meaning anything.
His death was not just the death of a single journalist. It is another incident telling us that journalism is dead, as it has been for more than a decade now. The career only provides an illusion of doing something good. Hallucinations of its own glory. Many of us are God fearing people, simple people who like to stay comfortable. All I ask of us is to live with our eyes open.
If our life doesn’t leave a mark, neither will our death. We would have been born, breathed the air made foul by our own breath, and died with our selfish desires rendered meaningless. Nobody will remember. Or even care to remember.
Stop rejoicing the false comfort that was born in our ignorance and bred by our lust. Improve just one person as long as you live: yourself. That in itself is a daunting task when attempted with utmost honesty. Stop trying to awaken society — how audacious you must be to believe that you actually have the power to do that! Just wake up yourself!