THE END OF THE WORLD

Did you know that the world will end in 2020? I’ve read several articles; both scientific and religious, which proclaim the end of the world in 2020. The reasons are numerous. Some believe that humans will set it off. For example, several world leaders could fight with their wives at the same time and in a fit of fury, activate multiple nuclear weapons. Some researchers believe it could be a more scientific reason; like a large planet sized meteor heading on a collision course with earth. Religious fanatics believe it would be God himself who would press the “To Hell with it” button. After all, if he could create it, he could destroy it as well!

Maybe they’re right, Maybe they aren’t. But why bother? The world has already ended. Not once, but several times and will continue to end. Confused? Read on..

My world ended for the first time when I was four years old. My parents had to move abroad for work. They left me in a really nice boarding school in Kerala. I was too young to realize what was happening. They took me to school one morning, told me that they’d pick me up in the evening and when it was evening, there wasn’t anybody there. I distinctly remember waiting to be picked up along with the other kids after school. I waited till there wasn’t anyone left. I refused to move and when the warden finally told me that my Mom wasn’t coming for a while, i started crying. I think I cried continuously for a week. My emotional world as a child ended that day.
A four year old sees the world through the mother’s eyes and when your mother disappears abruptly, the world ends.

Vinu was my best friend in college. Born in an illustrious family, he was the only Son to a dad who adored him. Vinu was a great friend. Both of us loved to travel. We started with cycles, then graduated to bikes and finally his Dad’s SUV. I moved to Bangalore to do dentistry while Vinu shifted to Mangalore to study business. We always kept in touch.
Vinu’s world ended when he was 20. He went for a late night dinner with his friends, rode his bike fast (like he always did) and collided head-on with another bike. He died on the spot. It wasn’t just Vinu’s world that ended. My teenage world ended too. I just couldn’t believe that someone so young could just die one day. When you are 20, you feel immortal! Death was something that happened to old people! The world ended for Vinu’s Dad too. His world revolved around his Son and I don’t think he ever recovered.

My father’s world ended when he was 64. He was under treatment for multiple myeloma for 4 years. His end was abrupt. He woke up one morning and found his left leg paralyzed. The Myeloma had metastasized to his spinal cord. Very soon, the paralysis involved the right leg too. A month later, he passed away. I spent as much time as i could with him during his last days. To me, it was again a reminder of how our world could end anytime. Things we take for granted everyday was a nightmare for my dad. Consider this: if he wanted to go to the bathroom, he needed to be helped by two or three people from the bed to a potty. Because he was unstable and prone to losing balance, he couldn’t be left alone. This meant that he had to be held all the time. Some one had to then clean him up, dress him up again and then lift him up back onto the bed.
Because he was an independent person who loved to do everything himself, I could see that it really hurt him to be dependent on so many people. He never really said it; but I think his world had ended long before he breathed his last.

I do not know when the world will end. But I do know for sure that for every one of us, the end will come sooner or later. My preference is later, but unfortunately, I have very little control over that. What we do have control over, is to decide what to do before the end comes.

Most people who read this blog have already finished a large chunk of their allotted time. When it sinks in, that you don’t really have a lot of time left, you realize that there’s so much to do and so little time. We could either choose to waste our lives or we could choose to cherish every moment. We could become better human beings. We could do work that matters. We could leave a legacy.

We differ in our beliefs as to what happens after death. Some believe we could go straight up or down depending on how we’ve lived. You could be reborn as someone noble if you’ve lived properly or reborn as a cockroach if you’ve screwed around with people your whole life. Some believe you don’t go anywhere. You just lie there and rot and stink really bad till you are buried or burned.

We may have different beliefs, but what we all agree on is this: The end is certain. Sooner or later, every one of us must say goodbye to this life of ours. So, the only question worth asking is this:
What are you going to do between NOW and the END OF THE WORLD?

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