Life Forever Unto Death

by Ranjani Ravi from Seattle

Photo Courtesy: Raphael Perez

As I was driving on the state highway there was an accident, and the police cars were buzzing along with the monotonous blaring of the ambulance. The ambulance in my mind always comes like a charging bull, and the sight of it, makes me panic. vacation-1429444-300x229 Life Forever Unto DeathAs I was observing all the Hula Baloo, my mind drifted off to one such accident in the future, unfortunately, I was the victim. I am hit head on by an oncoming truck and I die on the spot! Tragic, Isn’t it? “Please say yes!”

So, the next scene which comes to my mind is my funeral. I know that’s not the choicest of episode to visualize, but a cynical part of me has always chided and asked me, “Do you think anyone will ever cry, when you die?” Sometimes, my mind would snicker and say, can you count or name at least a handful of people who would moan your demise?

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Do funny people taste funny? Photo Courtesy : Rachna Ramesh

Hence, I was glad I could attend my own memorial service just to have a quick glimpse at the roster (hoping no one was giving proxy!).

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My happy family 🙂

So, the next few minutes were a revelation to me. The sights I saw… (Assuming, I was happily married with a couple of kids). I see my husband standing stone cold. He looked so bereaved and devastated. “You were a good wife,” my spirit tells me. My heart went out to my him, as I saw him stand impassive and emotionless. Curious that I was even as a ghost, my eyes drifted off to some of my “friends of convenience” the Hi-Bye pedigree, all decked in Prada with shades (Devil wears Prada, made sense today!). It made me doubt their ‘shades of gray’, on a cloudy, gloomy day other than abetting them to mask their expressions. The girl in pink was feigning a dismal look, while slyly eyeing my vulnerable husband. I wished I could gouge her eyes out.  To get that infuriating scene out of my mind, I shifted my gaze to my boss. I was glad she found the time to make it to my funeral. I am sure she must be muttering a curse or two for not giving her a heads up and for not adding it to her calendar.

I realized everyone out there were in deplorable state. So, I told the cynical me, “See you were wrong, everyone is profusely sad; they loved me dearly.” The cynical me chuckled, “Silly lassie, look carefully, use my mindoculars (Hi-tech device to read future and real-time feelings)- read their thoughts. I used the mindoculars

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on my boss. She was crying carefully, lest her makeup would start running down. She was thinking, “Oh Dear Lord, where will I find another one like her on whose desk I can pile on all the reports.” I felt sad for her. After 11 years of mindless loyalty one becomes a victim of “Stuck-holm Syndrome”. You start liking your tormentor! Can’t help it!

I threw away the mindoculars and rolled my eyes towards my parents and kids, their eyes were dry. I guess their lacridimal glands aka tear glands had no more left to shed. They looked so miserable, that I welled up too! (And you wondered if ghosts could cry!) If any of you have observed at any funeral, all the not-so-important people weep the most. They beat their chest and lament like there is no tomorrow. I still remember at my granny’s funeral, her helper nurse who was assigned to my granny just a few hours before her death cried so hard and loud… I started to wonder if she was someone much closer and granny had hidden it from us all these years!!

I urged the skeptical me to immediately stop the mindoculars, I wailed, “I don’t want to read others’ thoughts! It will drive my soul crazy”. I was relieved that I did not have siblings at that point as I would not have to see them brawl over ancestral property. Anyways, at the end of the day People did well up!

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Memory Hoarding Diary

But when I look at death with unprejudiced eyes, all I see is, reverberation of the age-old adage, the cycle of life and death is constantly spinning. It’s just that we do not remember our co-passengers in the journey of our existence and we constantly get a second chance to build on our Karma card. Great people have left splendid impressions on the sands of time. But all we accomplish today, besides encroaching upon land, water and other natural resources, we use up even ‘cloud space’ to have backup of our social history, photographs and so-called lifetime memories (of Exs Y’s and Z’s) who   do not even matter.

Hence, instead of hoarding every inch of the universe, let’s try not Taking—leave alone Giving! So that, when we breathe our last, we would know for a fact that the Heavens would well up and pour down, washing away all the farce tears shed by our very own fellow mortals!


  1. Love how you attach humor to everything and bring out a great message! Its amazing to see what you do and I am glad that I get the opportunity to collaborate with you!

    Mdm Ranjani
    Your story is almost true to life.
    What you have narrated from a ghost’s point of view seems uncannily authentic. I guess your ability to visualize what you narrated comes from some deeper inner knowledge of the Vedic Scriptures… including the Bhagavad Gita. If so, it explains why you could write what you did. However, if at all it was written without reference to or prior knowledge of the Scriptures, it can only mean that in some previous life as a HUMAN BEING, you did acquire such knowledge which had remained dormant, and is now re-manifesting.
    So, if my above comments make sense both to you yourself and to all those who have complimented you, may I humbly suggest that — if you are not already doing it — to read the “Bhagavad Gita AS IT IS” to which you’ll be surprised how easily you can relate to its principal speaker Krsna— akin to us relating to your story.
    (NB: My emphasis is on the “AS IT IS” version of the Gita available in any ISKCON TEMPLE or ISKCON Books outlets. All other versions paint personal interpretations of their respective authors and so, deviating from Krsna’s own intentions, the book’s potency is compromised and their readers cannot become true devotees, for they are misled by the authors. On the other hand, ISKCON’S Founding Saint, Srila Prabhupada-Ji’s AS IT IS version has taken the whole world by storm due to its uncompromising purity.)

    Your humble servant Senan.

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