Sunday, May 19, 2013

Death - The greatest leveller

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

It's been a couple of months since my last post, and there have been a few additions to our life over this period. Our Figo and my new Nokia Lumia 720 grab the headlines. With every new phone (with a different OS), the first challenge is in identifying the relevant apps. And, that's where WeChat came into my life.
WeChat - The new way to connect
In our busy day-to-day lives, we miss a lot of calls from friends and relatives. We haven't moved to the voice-mail era yet (surprisingly, with our ability to ape Western cultures for anything ranging from accent to toilet paper). And most of the times, the message goes across to the other person as feigning ignorance.
WeChat gives us an option to leave a voice message, and sometimes that can make a lot of difference to our relationships.

One of the other features in WeChat is to "drift bottle". We can send out a message and wait for someone to pick it up. And someone did pick up. So I repeated the exercise five times, and then added them all to a group chat.

 Skv: Hi Folks! I hope everyone's happy with their lives.

The first person who picked the bottle,
AMF: Hi Skv.
Skv: Hi. Thank you for responding to my message. Who are you?
AMF: (child laughs). I am Marie.
Skv: Hi Marie, I'm trying to add a few more people to this conversation. Give me a minute.

(KDC) Second Person: "Smells like Teen Spirit"
(AE) Third Person: "Life Doesn't end here"
(Wessel Johannes) Fourth Person: "How do you start over once you have betrayed a nation's trust?
(HL) Fifth Person: "And I thought my jokes were bad."
(Livestrong) Sixth Person: "It's not about the bike"

(What's with the stereo-typed status messages?)

Skv: So let's have a quick round of introductions. I am Sajeesh and enjoy reading and watching movies.
AMF: Wow, movies. They never let us see any.
HL: It's a funny world we live in. Speaking of which, do you know how I got these scars?
Skv: Eh.. thanks for interrupting. I love sports especially cricket and soccer.
AE: Yeah. So nice to sit back on your couch and support your favourite football team.
Wessel Johannes: ....Cricket, Or Rugby. That's more like it.
Skv: Hey. I started this chat. Will someone let me complete? Actually I'm done. Who wants to go next?.
KDC: "Come As you are, As you were, As I want you to be.. As a friend..."
Skv: The Rockstar is in the house. Can we stop the music and get to know about you? 
KDC: My name is Kurt Cobain..
Skv: ..And I'm Amitabh Bachan. Stop spooking me. This chat is only for people who are alive.
AMF: I'm Annelies Marie Frank
AE: .. Andres Escobar
Wessel Johannes: They know me as Hansie Cronje..

(the chills return)
Skv: Stop right here. It's getting a little out of control. (I can feel my heart beat like a tom-tom)
HL: Ah-ta-ta-ta! Let's not *blow* this out of proportion
KDC: It's better to burn out than fade away..
HL: Don't talk like one of them. You're not! Even if you'd like to be. To them, you're just a freak, like me! They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these... these civilized people, they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve.
Skv: And you are the joker, I guess.
HL: Very poor choice of words...I was Heath Ledger and I will remain as the Joker...

Skv: Hmm.. I seriously didn't figure that I could chat with anyone, at least not with dead people.
Livestrong: Well that makes two of us. I'm Lance Armstrong.
Skv: Yeah, the guy who started livestrong and then made his "arm strong" with dope. I should have realised when you said "It's not about the bike."
Livestrong: Eh.. Er.. Hm..
Skv: Let the rest of them talk.
AE: They called me the Gentleman of Football. And then put a bullet through my head. For scoring an own-goal. We Colombians are passionate about everything. Football, ma..
Skv: Stop. With my wide-spread audience, someone might scan my blog for a confession. I wouldn't even need to score an own-goal..
AMF: At least my story is out for the world to read and sympathise. I wanted to grow up and be a journalist. I wanted to live my life, see the world...
Skv: (wiping a tear on its way out) It's not in the number of years that you live, it's the impact that you make. "The diary of a young girl" has been an inspiring tale for a few generations now.
AMF: That was really kind of you. Thank you so much. The smiley helped.
HL: Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I'm an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It's fair.
Skv: Alright, where's the hunk from "10 things I hate about you?"
HL: Hey! Don't say shit like that to me. People can hear you

Skv: And what do the two tainted superstars in this crowd have to say? Hansie - We loved you, respected you for being one of the greatest South Africans. And "et tu Hansie?"
Wessel Johannes: I lost everything that I had worked towards, a glorious career, captaining my
 country and the respect of a nation. It was a mistake and it never let me get back to my life.
Skv: Hmm.. I understand. It wasn't your fault. We all have our moments where we sign up with the devil.
Livestrong: "Two things scare me. The first is getting hurt. But that's not nearly as scary as the second, which is losing."
Skv: So you cheated? You were the idol of many young men and women, including me.
Livestrong: I am sorry, The riskiest thing we can do is get greedy. And I got greedy at winning.
Skv: I guess it's part of being the rat race. When life becomes all about being the best, we forget our principles and do anything to stay at the top. But there's something that people can never take away from you...
AMF: Don't worry Lance, It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.
Skv: For a 15-year old, you are really awesome.
AMF: :)
Skv: I will still treasure my first livestrong band. It opened the avenues of hope, belief and strength. To never give up when life is against you. I can forgive you too.

(missing the music)
Skv: So does it still smell like teen spirit?
KDC: I must be one of those narcissists who only appreciate things when they're gone. I'm too sensitive. I need to be slightly numb in order to regain the enthusiasm I once had as a child.
Skv: Well, I was introduced to Nirvana only a few years back. But your story fascinated me. Why do you give it up when everything was going so well for you?
KDC: I have it good, very good, and I'm grateful, but since the age of seven, I've become hateful towards all humans in general. Only because it seems so easy for people to get along and have empathy. Only because I love and feel sorry for people too much I guess.
Skv: Yeah, that tends to happen. Fame is a vapour, and the higher we climb the fall gets deeper.

Skv: Before this conversation ends, I want to know everyone's take on death.
AE: Death makes us immortal because our contribution towards society remains forever. The Andrés Escobar Project was founded to help disadvantaged kids learn to play football rather than remain on the streets.
AMF: There was only one thing that I ever wanted from my life,"I wish to go on living even after my death." And that has come true.
Hansie Cronje: "I realized I made a big mistake and if I could have it over again, I would do it so much differently." In another life, another place, another person.
HL: (a line from Brokeback Mountain) "Bottom line is... we're around each other an'... this thing, it grabs hold of us again... at the wrong place... at the wrong time... and we're dead."
KDC: "If you die you're completely happy and your soul somewhere lives on. I'm not afraid of dying. Total peace after death, becoming someone else is the best hope I've got."
Livestrong: There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say: 'Enough is enough.'

Skv: Hmm. My take on it? Death is a great leveller. It keeps us alive even after we leave this world.

AMF leaves the chat
KDC leaves the chat

AE leaves the chat
Hansie Cronje leaves the chat
HL leaves the chat
Livestrong leaves the chat

This post is an entry to the Indiblogger "We chat with anyone" contest. Check here for more details.

P.S: I have used real-life quotations and don't intend to hurt the sentiments of anyone related to these characters.

1 comment:

  1. When life becomes all about being the best, we forget our principles and do anything to stay at the top. Very interesting.