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Life Is Ephemeral: Make It Worth It

Life Is Ephemeral: Make It Worth It

Renu Agal

The untimely demise of a friend in a hit and run case reminds us that we need to build a kinder, more humane world as life and death wait for none

By Manjula Shirodkar

A few days back I woke up to the very disturbing news of a friend’s tragic death in a road accident. I could not believe she had gone – the victim of a hit-and-run case. In her early 50s, Renu Agal had been battling for life for nearly a month but I had not been willing to give up. She had even come off the ventilator once but was put back on it… But in the end, death won.

A journalist with a stellar reputation – she had worked with the BBC, Penguin India and Juggernaut Books before joining The Print as its Hindi Editor. I had hoped against hope that Renu would pull through. After all, she was still young and strong. But destiny, Lord God Almighty or call it what you will, decided otherwise.

Any loss is painful but hers more so because Renu was so ‘alive’ in every moment that she lived. Ever helpful, non-partisan and polite to a fault, Renu with her twinkling eyes and lovely smile is being mourned by every person whose life she touched, and not only because she was a great colleague and a ‘valued resource’ at the organisations she served.

She was also a great fun-loving human being who lived her life to the fullest. And in her passing, this is the lesson she has left behind for all of us – those who knew her and those who may learn of her now.

That life is ephemeral. Live each day as is if its your last. There is so much to be done and so much one can offer – and not just in material terms. If you have knowledge – share it; if you have a skill – train someone; if you have experience – feel free to offer your life lessons; if you are in a position to hire someone who needs a job –hire them or if you know someone who is hiring – recommend them; if you’ve been through grief and pain and know someone who is suffering – offer them a hand and shoulder to cry on.

I could go on but this is not exactly unfamiliar stuff, is it? You’ve heard it all before, haven’t you? And yet, tell me, have you given a thought to the consequences of your actions? Have you looked beyond the moments of immediate gratification of having done your good deed for today and forgotten about it?

In all these instances and more, you are creating a lasting legacy of kindness, affection, humaneness and more. These are values that are needed – especially in our strife-torn, dog-eat-dog, I-want-to-be-the-first-always world of today.

All this may appear to be familiar gyan but if it was that freely available and everyone would be sharing with everyone else, and more importantly practicing it on a day-to-day basis, there wouldn’t be so much misery and unhappiness all around, would there?

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Can we make a difference right where we are? Can we start from our homes, with our friends, relatives and those who work with us, for us? Is it possible to just ‘be’ – without indulging in politics; without being mean and petty; can we be genuinely appreciative and never shy away from helping someone who needs it? Sounds utopian doesn’t it? But its enough – if you and I can resolve to even start.

It would be great and it would make a difference. It would make better humans out of us. Its not so tough to just let another grow or help someone grow alongside. They could fuel your growth too. You could learn some lessons by teaching some.

Life is two-way street till death intervenes. Till then remember, its not time that’s ticking away – its life. As we have learned with Renu’s passing. More power to your legacy, my friend.

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