Dying & Pardoning


Over the past days and weeks we’ve seen a couple of Celebrity Players on the World Stage throw in their hands, and their towels: Hand-Bag Fashion Designer Kate Spade, and gifted Chef, Writer and CNN Storyteller Anthony Bourdain committed suicide – for ‘confidential reasons’, and ‘parts unknown’. In our own neighbourhood, the Newspapers cry sad stories of students taking the extreme step, over failure to pass the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) or simply an Exam, in Life; or a Farmer rooting out his life being unable to shoot-up his crops; or a Business man poisoning himself and his family to escape the burden of debt – rather than the wealth he hoped to create.

Perhaps, we do not know much about many of them, until the stories break out, but they affect us in a profound way, don’t they? During the vicissitudes of our lives we encounter hills, and mountains of challenges – some, which we climb and conquer; others, we tunnel through; and yet others, we simply change course and move on. If we are unable to do any of these, in a brief bizarre moment of extreme decision-making we give a very hard look at ourselves and say, ‘goodbye’. Many say it’s a cowardly act; some say, it requires courage; the law once said it was a crime (maybe still so in may countries)- India has recently decriminalised the attempt to commit suicide.

Whatever, it’s now become perfectly all right to speak out about depression and poor inside chemistry, despite a seemingly normal handsome physical appearance. Actor Deepika Padukone did it, to wide acclaim. I think we must do this more often, as depression and dying – to get away from it all, happens in all walks of life, across the high and low, and the mighty. It spares none. Everywhere, there is a dearth of real rock solid conversation and earthy hand-holding connection. Anthony Bourdain spoke well, to all of us through his cooking and travels; Kate Spade did the same through her Hand Bags – I recall she created six types of hand bags she though every working women should have. I read a tweet about Chelsea Clinton – Bill & Hillary Clinton’s Daughter, still holding a Kate Spade Hand Bag, gifted to her, years ago. I read about former US President Barack Obama having cheap but delicious noodles and cold Hanoi beer with Anthony Bourdain in Vietnam, sitting on a low plastic stool ruminating about the ability of food to bring people together. After all that talking, there is still something that they could not get out in the open – which probably took their lives! Being a Creator and an Innovator in one’s field of work must be an awfully lonely job: beyond the flash lights, the fame and the money there is a quiet dark world, where the demons of the mind play havoc; against which we have no weapons. But there is hope: we should go back to the drawing-board and come out ways to get the conversations back in our lives; throw away the plastic, sit on the stone floor, drink plain spring water, and start again – from stone age.

Meanwhile, Reality Star Kim Kardashian West wings into the White House dressed in tip-to-toe black, with a mane of loose black hair, to bring the lights into the dark lives of prisoners serving huge sentences in jail; one of them being her grandma serving over twenty years in jail, with growing-white hair. A Donald Trump Presidential pardon gets her out, dancing; and he then goes overdrive into a pardoning spree, a far as even trying to punch the late Muhammad Ali, with a pardon, which has no meaning at this stage of the fight. Could this be the brick-work for things to come; culminating in a Self-Pardon for wrongs done? Time will tell.

Sticking on with the theme of pardon, while negotiating the stiff and dangerous curves of life should we not get-off the circuit, look from above and pardon ourselves? Why wait for a God to do it, at the very end? Should not we move on?

I leave you with the following quote of Anthony Bourdain, which lingers in my mind, “If, I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the Ocean, or simply across the River. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get off the couch, move”.

Well…move they did!

Have a great Week ahead.




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