Show Me the Money
There is a famous Tamil movie song of yesteryears where the heroine makes fun of the hero by asking him to have a bath, at least once a year on Diwali day. That song resonates with me when I start writing a blogpost again after such a long gap. After procrastinating for ages on putting pen to paper (figuratively) I have finally put my ass to the grass to write the mandatory birthday post which is a ritual I have followed religiously for the past ten years on my blog. I usually sound upbeat on such birthday blog posts reflecting on how far I have come and what I had achieved reaching that point in my life. For a change let me control my enthusiasm for saying “all is well, all is well” in a faux cheerful tone and give my dear readers a faithful summary of what the past year has brought in my life.
The one thing life has taught me over the past year is that according to all official statistics on the average life expectancy of the average Indian male, I am nearly there at the end, according to the government. I have no great hope of beating the stats and being an outlier who outlives the rest of my peer group till I am a senile fool whose death is celebrated with road-rokos and bandhs. For survival in itself is not an achievement, there are many men who have lived the lives you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy somehow clinging to life. That’s not for me. If it’s my time to go, I am ready and that’s the spirit of this post and my life over the past year.
Somehow, I have become convinced that I am going to die soon, well within the statistic determined by the government and that impending demise has freed my mind from a lot of self-inflicted misery. Let me take just one example, I have completely stopped exercising or running after fitness because if my time, my leftover time on this earth is limited would I prefer to use the time doing things I love or would I use it running on a treadmill staring at a blank wall opposite? Doesn’t justify the use of my limited time if I have to gain fitness or the admiration of my peers on how fit or handsome I look. Handsome or ugly I am going to die and as long as I don’t weigh so much that the pallbearers suggest a crane to lift me, I should hope I don’t waste any more time on earth in exercising. That’s one thing my impending death has freed me from- the pressure to look good.
The second is my acquaintance circle. During the past one year or so, I have started weeding out my circle of acquaintances and friends to those who would turn up for my funeral on hearing the news. If I believe that so and so will not take the time to attend my funeral I gently disengage with the person and ghost him or her by disappearing from their contacts list. My standard question for friend requests nowadays is “hi will you attend my funeral? RSVP first for me to accept your friend request”. Now this has led to certain interesting conversations like the following. New friend request no.1 “hello, thanks for accepting my friend request. I would definitely like to attend your event. When is it scheduled for?” And that gave me pause and so I take my time in replying “thank you for the prompt acceptance. I would soon be creating a Facebook events page with the date, time and link for booking tickets to the event and will send you timely reminders for the event. Please make sure that you book tickets at the earliest as we are running some special offers for the early bird bookings” and I closed his chat window.
And there was the new friend request no.2 who texted me back to the standard query of “hi will you attend my funeral? Rsvp first for me to accept your friend request” with the following intelligent reply “hi I heard you are organizing an event. I am an event manager and mc with wide experience in such events, would you like me to send you a quote for the event?” and I texted her back “madam, the event is still in the conceptual stage. Once we confirm the dates and the venue I will inform you. I also need samples of your previous work in organizing such events. And as your Facebook friend I hope you can offer me some discount over your usual quote considering its going to be the last event I attend”.
Now all these queries about the undoubted commercial potential of my upcoming funeral has kindled the entrepreneurial instincts buried deep inside me that I have decided to make it a pay-per-view event for those of my enemies who are prepared to spend money to make sure that I am indeed dead and also plan to ink a deal with Netflix for live streaming the entire episode to reach my worldwide audience of ill-wishers. I also have plans to set up kiosks with my autographed photos and certified death certificate copies available outside the venue if anyone’s interested. A few merchandizing stalls are still available and you can contact me directly for the best positioned ones from where you can sell t-shirts and hats with my pictures on them. And if you advance book for the premium this-week-only tickets, I can guarantee you premium casket-side tickets where you can be just cursing distance away from me on the important day. RSVP me if you are interested in more such awesome once-in-my-lifetime deals.