I have been reading Scott Adams` Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain! for a while now. It`s a deviation from what he does best, and maybe that`s why this collection of short articles from Scott Adams were a let down for me. Anyway, one article titled ‘Planning my funeral` caught my attention. I thought I should give it a shot as well…..just that instead of ‘planning` my funeral, I am ‘thinking` of it.
Why am I dying?
I have no reason to believe that I will die. In about 20 years, when I am closer to dying (I will be 55, then), I expect the Stem Cell Technology to have improved, with scope to extend the lifetime of an adult human being to 200+ years. That`s why we have lots of potted plants in our house – we don`t want to be running short on ‘Stems` when the need arises.
But then I think, Stem Cell technology or no Stem Cell Technology….why wouldn`t I die? I mean, they say God is dead. If God can be dead….why can`t Jammy be dead? But then again, when I think that Elvis isn`t dead….I wonder, why would Jammy be dead?
If I am not going to die due to natural causes (thanks to Stem Cell Technology & all those plants that I am growing at home), will I end up committing suicide? Hmm….let me think….maybe not. Primarily because I live my life with the help of Do-It-Yourself books and books on ‘How to commit suicide` are never available in libraries. Apparently, nobody ever returns them. Some of the other books that don`t get returned are ‘How to make a bomb,` ‘How to murder your mother-in-law` and ‘How to tame a lion in one hour`.
For the sake of moving this article forward, let us assume that Jammy dies. And when that happens, people who didn`t even know that Jammy lived…will be informed that Jammy has died. As one of my favourite humor writer GK Chesterton once said: “Journalism largely consists of saying ‘Lord Jones is Dead’ to people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive.
The big question is, how would the Television Channels and Newspapers and Weekly Magazines handle my death? I know I am not famous right now, but let us assume for the sake of this article that in 20 years time I am famous. Will I make it to the cover of the magazines? If yes, will they cover my coffin and then take a picture or will they move the lid across and show my drop-dead-gorgeous face? What about the Television Channel – will they run 30-minute slots titled “A day with Jammy inside his coffin” or maybe “Jammy`s funeral wardrobe – how to get dressed for that last journey”.
Me dying, how will it affect me
If I die today, I will hold many grudges when I roam around in my ghost form. I have never managed to get a statue of mine erected in the middle of a traffic junction. I have never managed to get a park or a bus stand or a wedding hall or a road named after me. I didn`t get a college auditorium named “Lord Jammy`s Auditorium”.
Another grudge I will nurse will be that of not finishing my autobiography. I shouldn`t have listened to Kushwant Singh and agreed that the best time to write an autobiography is after death. Coz, after death I might find out that there are no pens and no paper. Besides, how do you find publishers willing to publish your articles after you are dead….if finding them when you are alive is so difficult.
Me dying, how does it affect my family
There will be two parties most affected by my death – my daughter and the pet honeybee we have in our house. Honeybee will get over it in a week`s time and die in the next one month (yes, they live only for up to 40 days).
My daughter will miss me for sure. I will miss her too. But being the ghost, I will be able to tag along with her to her school ….and not leave the sight of her….something that I am unable to do now. So, this will work out as a huge advantage.
On the other hand, my wife Rekha will rush to the newspaper to give my obituary in newspaper. She will want to make it official as soon as possible, and to that affect will also apply for the death certificate. I also see her rushing to the cupboard in the bedroom and calculating the amount LIC owes her.
Coming back to the Obituary in the newspaper, she will stick to the smallest obituary ever because of the cost involved. This is how I see the conversation going:
Rekha: My husband died this morning, and I want a nice big obituary. How much will it cost?
Editor: Madam, our condolences.
Rekha: But can you match your condolence with a discount?
Editor: No madam. Our festival season is over. We can`t offer you a discount. But if you want, you can reduce the number of words so you have to pay less.
Rekha: How about “Jammy dies”?
Editor: I am sorry madam, but we have a minimum limit of ten words for Obituaries.
Rekha: Ohh, then let us make it: “Jammy dies. 2006 Suzuki Swift & 1998 Yamaha 135cc for sale.
Me dying, how does it affect my colleagues
For my colleagues at ibibo, it will be a very nice thing. My death, that is.
Here are some conversations I can see happen the day news of my death appears in the newspapers and Television channels:
Colleague 1: Gagan, so who is getting Jammy`s car parking slot?
Gagan: I donno. He just died this morning and his car is still parked in his slot….so lets talk about this in a few days.
Colleague 1: If I can get the keys from Rekha, and park his car out on the road…does that help you?
Gagan: It does. But isn`t it a little insensitive?
Colleague 1: We can tell Rekha that she might need the car for running around, and drop it at their home. Then it won`t be insensitive.
Gagan: Wow….if you can do that, the parking slot is yours.
Colleague 2: Good riddance. Isn`t he?
Colleague 3: Ohh yeah. But I wish it wasn`t so sudden.
Colleague 2: But I thought you hated him?
Colleague 3: That`s why I didn`t want it to be sudden. I wanted him to suffer for long and then die.
Colleague 4: Hi, Jammy is dead huh?
HR: Yeah. Too bad.
Colleague 4: Yeah. He isn`t coming back…is he?
HR: Obviously not.
Colleague 4: If you are so sure, can I sit at his desk. It has good vastu – he got promoted very often…didn`t he?
HR: He hasn`t even cleared his desk yet. All his papers are still there. Besides, he hasn`t even been buried yet.
Colleague 4: He isn`t going to get up again…is he? Also, now that he is dead…does anybody care about his social networking strategies?
HR: You got a point. Go ahead and shift.
Colleague 5: Hi Pratap!
Pratap: Hi. Heard the news?
Colleague 5: Yep. That`s why I have come to you for.
Pratap: Tell me.
Colleague 5: Can I use his Sony Viao?
Pratap: Come on man…he hasn`t even been dead 10 hours yet. And you want his laptop?
Colleague 5: Yeah. I know it`s a little insensitive, but if I didn`t somebody else would.
Pratap: Ok fine, here is the deal. If you can recover the laptop for me from his house, you get to have it.
Colleague 5: Done deal.