Writing a column against a deadline is difficult week after week. It makes you weak; unlike other activities that make you stronger, because, while it may strengthen anticipation in the reader, it only triggers apprehension in the writer, which as doctors will know acts as a stress cluster rather than a stress buster. What will I write about? Can I find a topic that is not Taboo? that does not hurt someone’s sentiments?
That’s a tough ask because almost everything and everyone is Taboo now a days… or hurts a sentiment that band – aid can’t heal, even it is wash proof. Nor can laughter. It requires lots of ‘’paperwork’’. Paperwork in Courts, sorry Quotes. This is a characteristic of a natural democracy that is learning to be undemocratic. A democracy in letter (plenty of them) but not in spirit – that is because in some areas it is banned (Spirit) and in others it is prohibitively expensive to imbibe? Where there is spirit, the truth manifests?
Can I find a topic that does not do either of the above and still keep it alive? That is the dilemma everyone who writes faces these days… And the other of course is finding a reader that goes beyond WhatsApp to open a link received on it or actually does make (not find) the time to read. But by then, his glasses are so tinted, that it would require a law to enforce plain glasses as supplied by the manufacturer. Only columnists understand the word deadline – maybe those who have to file their income tax returns too. And those whose time is up to marry. Mainly because of the first part of the word. If you don’t, you are dead or will soon be. Deadwood. I got the spelling right, it’s not Dawood.
But deadline has altogether another meaning when you are in the firing line as some were last week. It’s the same feeling the barrel of a gun has when its trigger is pulled, the Whoosh, the burn and then the numbness. Of course, there is the five course EQ menu for dealing with the aftermath – denial, anger, bargains, depression and finally acceptance of the fact, that denial, anger, bargains, and depression of the trigger is what caused the tragedy that we must now accept. Mistakes happen, but the dead don’t come alive. There is no second take. So, no escape there… But a column can, even when we write about the dead. In fact, it is only then that it comes alive. Is it the dead that keep us alive? is that why we find the news channels and the news portals full of the dead?
Is that why the obituary page is the most read page on any medium? What feelings do we generate within when we read those announcements? Of sadness? hardly; of bewilderment? maybe (especially if young by our standards); of curiosity? Certainly, of hope? surely – we missed out, didn’t we? no fear of losing out (FOMO) on what awaits us in the beyond there. Otherwise, it’s our constant companion!
It’s all about expectations – of yourself, of those who have reserved space for you in their publication and those who have done the same in their calendars and their mind… never mind.
The only topic that I could find this week that is assuredly not taboo is death. Even its opposite, Birth is taboo, because it has a lot to do with how many births and who is giving birth. Death on the other hand, symbolizes peace and should be given the Nobel peace prize. It aids population control and climate change and all that is good, except when it comes about at the end of a gun or a knife or a blunt object preferred by Agatha Christies characters! And then we are surprised, anguished and appropriately numbed for a while. Speaking of which, in a surprise visit, James Bond came in from Russia with love (and omicron) to put in a word about setting up a factory that manufactures rifles that cannot be trifled with! It’s a new variant…that’s the dominant word of today’s vocabulary.
There are many variants of death that are emerging and require genome spacing – they are becoming too frequent. This headline is for real: Boy, mother behead sister, click selfie with head in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad and this one: Sri Lanka man lynched in Pak: Autopsy tells tale of brutality. But amid this gore, the peeled eyeballs are aplenty. Its why I said, the dead keep us alive with their instruments of death even.
Let me be honest as I don’t know any other way. I’ve overcome this week’s difficulty with difficulty and its time to give myself some self-love. Not a selfie, but true genuine appreciation. And I bet you won’t grudge me that.
Stay alive until next week. Don’t worry ill find something to write about other than Death before the Dead lie; Deadline! Sorry, I don’t know how I get these important spellings wrong.
Deadlines are for the living. Always. The Dead only lie. They tell no tales unless you investigate!
This Article is written in the lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental.
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