Dr. Abhishek Dutta

The Life of a Dying Mind

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Teaser for "Life of a Dying Mind"

News of a certain death in near future is always a breaking news for any human mind. Ironically, the human mind that can contemplate the vastness of the universe and peek into the sub-atomic world has failed to prepare itself for the news of imminent self-destruction.

What thoughts would flood a dying mind? Interestingly, slow and quick death invite different train of thoughts. In the case of a slow death, like an incurable cancer, the mind has more time to reflect and therefore the thoughts are more “poetic”. Whereas, in the case of a quick death, like in a plane crash, the mind has little time for “poetry” and can do nothing but helplessly watch the events as they unfold — just like an action movie.

You realize the helplessness of your doctors when they recommend  “palliative” care for you. Stop! Don’t reach for a dictionary. I will tell you what “palliative” care means. It is a nice word discovered by doctors to say, “Sorry mate, I cannot cure your fatal ailment. What I can do is make your death slightly less painful”. You family members automatically turn into an inexperienced salesman selling false sense of hope to you. A dying poet is born.

“My hope no longer rises with the Sun,
and what remains is stolen by the setting Sun.

A rebellion has begun.
Are those my own cells heading this rebellion?
My own breath fuelling this rebellion?
Helpless Me.
How shall I fight my own? The end will always be mine.
My rebel fellows inform me of their victory at each front with an intense pain,
and this keeps our bond alive.

A race to abandon me has also begun,
Hair never bade good-bye,
Hunger behaved as if it were never a part of me,
Soul, my confidant, has promised to be the last to leave.

Explorer Legs have lost their strength.
The mirror has lost its beauty.
Eyes are no more the window to my soul.
Falling leaves — traffic sign to my destination.
Plentiful spare time — my fallen kingdom’s inflated currency.

Joy is always in short supply,
but a black market for joy quickly sprouts,
when dead Prophets predict eventual extinction of life from Earth,
when poets describe the beauty of Death as being so intense and captivating,
that everybody falls for on the first date,
and nobody returns.”

Quick death has no time for poetry and therefore it gets down to business on the first and always the last visit. It lets you experience your last moment in full 3D and high-definition but without much sound — sound barely makes sense during that short window of time. You end with this movie — a movie based on true events and non-fictitious characters.

You tightly hold the arms rest of your seat as the plane rocks you like a toy. With a sudden loss of altitude, you feel your heart hit your rib cage and an intense gasp of fellow passengers confirm that you are not dreaming. Your heart suddenly starts to pump faster — the awed brain forgot to dispatch distress signal. Poor heart does not know that even highly oxygenated blood combined with adrenaline rush is not enough to escape this trap. The plane plummets further and your seat belt holds you safe in your last few moments. Bang!

Both types of death have the same destination but slow death chooses a more poetic journey to the end — a longer route on a slower train. Which type of Death do you wish for?

{Author’s Note: After reading the novel “The Death of Ivan Ilyich” (Leo Tolstoy – 1886), my mind was flooded with thoughts and then came the idea for this blog post. Unfortunately, I have never had a near-death experience. Fortunately, I also do not have the experience of death. Therefore, for me, what can be more difficult to grasp than “Death”?, thought I and wrote this post.}

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Written by abhishekdutta

February 1, 2013 at 4:40 pm

One Response

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  1. once again , an excellent write up guddu!

    ashish dutta

    February 2, 2013 at 3:03 am


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