Thursday, May 30, 2002

A date with death

If it's not going with me when I say my final farewell to the world, what's the big deal with wealth creation?
Gautam Chikermane
THE NURSE walks in. Pricks my vein with efficient ease. Pain. But I don’t have the energy to protest. Slowly, life starts flowing from the bottle, drop by drop, into my veins. As I stare at the white ceiling above, with no distractions other than the thought of a near-death experience barely an hour ago, I wonder what the whole business of life is about. That’s when I notice him, hovering immensely near the ceiling. Mighty, majestic, mysterious. "Who are you?" I ask. "The God of Death," he answers simply. As clinically detached from his answer as the doctor seemed from his patient when he introduced himself. The blood that has begun to course my veins again is suddenly turning cold. "What do you want?" I mutter, almost knowing–and dreading–the answer. "I’ve come to take you," the voice rumbles. Chilled by the certainty in his voice, I mumble: "But I’m not ready yet... is there any way I can get some more time...?" "Yes..." followed by a pregnant silence. What’s the ‘but’? I wonder. What is he not telling me? I am frantic, and in that fleeting moment, I wonder if I’d sell my soul to the devil if that was the price for staying on. And, then, "Answer these two questions."
* What do you leave behind when you die?
* What do you carry with you after death?
This couldn’t be happening, but it is. He couldn’t be there, but he certainly is. With no way out, and apparently nothing to lose, I decide to give it a go.
Opinion in Outlook Money

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