Life and Death

Okay, I have cheated. At least, I feel so. I watched the film, Life of Pi, when I should have read the book. But I am making amends now. I am reading the Life of Pi by Yann Martel among other books. Yes, I can be like that.

So, lets come to the point. I cam across this specific monologue that describes Death being envious of Life.

Here goes:

“The reason Death sticks so closely to Life isn’t biological necessity – its envy. Life is so beautiful that Death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But Life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud.” – Yaan Martel, The Life of Pi

If I had to describe the relation between Life and Death, I could not have said it better. It gives Life and Death a new perspective. The beauty of Life, to strive on, despite all the obstacle, to wiggle its way in when there’s none. Isn’t this true for Death as well? Death too is relentless in its pursuit of Life. It is always for chinks in Life’s armour, causing mischief here and there. I won’t say Life and Death are at loggerheads but they work in a tandem, parallely, as they must co-exist.

This little piece of paragraph instantly takes me back to the Tale of the Three Brothers in the Harry Potter Series.

To view Life as this beautiful phenomenon is something we all do. Can we view Death in the same light, i.e. as beautiful?

Life is beautiful, yes, and waking up each day to another morning when the sun is shining, albeit rushing to complete one’s daily drudgery, Life still is beautiful. It is full of hope, of uncertainty, of spontaneity, of frivolity, of deep sadness followed by happiness, thought-provoking and so much more. But Life comes with a promise of a new day tomorrow.

On the other hand, Death, very much part of Life, is final. It is the end yet the beginning of another. But we cannot see the another, the ‘beyond’. It is far removed from our current Life. It marks an end too difficult to handle. Who would want to not wake up the next day, not be able to see what the week holds or what they will miss out at the next gathering or their next party. Death is a tough call. No wonder we all hate Thanos.

And to avoid this tough call we do all sorts of things – we fervently wish and work towards better longevity, living in false confidence that we can beat Death. We do for a while too. Instead of accepting Life as is, we strive to make many many changes and delay Death. Death is inevitable.

To cause this delay and in our quest for immortality, we have grown greedy. We want one more day, another week, month and year. But I often wonder, what would I do? My answer (I really hope), is like that of the third brother.

And as to why this piece took me back to The Tale of Three Brothers, here’s my bit :

As the story goes, these three brothers met Death and were granted one wish each. The first one was power hungry and so he received the most powerful wand – the Elder wand. The second brother wanted to humiliate Death and so he got the resurrection stone. The third brother, the humblest of them all, did not trust Death, and therefore, he asked for the invisibility cloak as he did not want Death to follow him. Therefore, reluctantly, Death gave him his own invisibility cloak. As arrogance and greed for power died with the two elder brothers, Death had to search far and wide for the third brother. Only when he had lived his Life wholly, the third brother handed over his cloak of invisibility and embraced Death as an old friend.  

Simply put, I would prefer to embrace Death when it comes calling.

What is your take on Life and Death? Do share your thoughts in the comments.