First an admission of guilt. I don’t follow politics. I find it difficult to keep up with the ever changing ideologies and loyalties of politicians. I also feel it is my right to not know them just as they don’t know me.

So a while ago when a senior politician died in a early morning car crash I didn’t know who he was. To avoid appearing totally ignorant, I decided to do a quick recce on the internet. I looked up the Wikipedia within an hour of this gentleman’s death and a quiver ran down my spine. His entire life history had been changed into past tense. Every ‘is’ painstakingly changed to a ‘was’ or ‘has been’. I was intrigued that for someone at the website’s office, it was just another day at work. That there are people in this world whose job description is to change present tense to past once the person is done and gone.

While a part of me admired the promptness with which the information was updated , I also felt almost horrified by the finality of it. Somehow it felt cold to be written off ( literally !) so quickly. You may call me a sentimental fool but when I die, and I am , by my own admission, an extraordinarily ordinary person, I would want the world ( at least My world !) to pause a little, experience some shock, even be rendered catatonic for a moment before getting on with the job of burying the dead!

But that’s just me and what I think. I’d love to hear what your opinion is.

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57 thoughts on “Wiki-geeks

  1. ritu Agrawal says:

    Even the thought of it sounds cruel but then it is a hard fact. isn’t it???
    The world keeps on going !

    1. Manju Gupta says:

      So you agree ritu. I thought you would

  2. neera says:

    It feels good to know that you matter. But once I am dead it won’t matter how much I matter. I would rather know now ……

  3. rohini sehgal says:

    beautifully depicted about how quickly life ends.But as quoted by someone we continue to live in the hope of becoming a long we live in the hearts of few people we will not die

  4. Manju Gupta says:

    You have a valid point Neera but I still think that the way people react to your death is the sum total of your life. And it wont matter to me but perhaps to the people I leave behind. Living in their memory as Rohini says

  5. mitra says:

    An interesting observation ….but only for those who are too much involved in this one life …
    My own understanding is .. we cannot answer this ..question .why we were born …but yes we have a whole life to understand ,live and choose how we will be remembered when we are gone ….
    Again when we will depart finally is as uncertain as the answer to the question why we were born . .
    So between these two uncertain variables ….all of us have freedom to live an extraordinarilyordinary life ….

    1. Manju Gupta says:

      Well said Mitra and I fully agree. i am certain only that there is life before death…. Not too sure whether the reverse is true

  6. Pranav Sardesai says:

    Well said Manju,
    Insensitivity is an uncouth trait, and unfortunately very common…but I feel worse is – behaving badly, unreasonably with the person while he/she is alive and then mourning her/him facetiously like you have had a huge loss ! A common observance these days. Society is degrading it’s values at the speed of light.

    1. Manju Gupta says:

      Thanks Pranav, my scrabble buddy of yesteryears, for visiting. I am seeking out people who at various junctures of my life have suggested that I not limit myself with my ‘ one-liners’and write something substantial i have finally done it although five years have passed since you first suggested a blog.
      And yes i agree that treating a person well while he is alive is important, but does that need to be said?

  7. aditya says:

    Once I am dead, what memories, thoughts , opinions etc people around me have about me are exiguous.( I won’t be there to notice it) It is much better to compliment one when alive rather than poring all the accolade on obituary . We should celebrate life not the death……………………………..
    My 2 paisa ………………

    1. Manju Gupta says:

      This is after a longish silence so ‘a penny for your thoughts’ .the debate is not whether we should treat the dead better than the living. Treating the living well is a given. No doubt there!

  8. aditya says:

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    Though we value none
    But the horizontal one.

    — W. H. Auden

    1. Manju Gupta says:

      Dr Aditya here’s a small nugget of info…..Auden became much more popular after he changed his stance from vertical to horizontal !

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