Thursday, April 16, 2015

..And then they became a part of statistics.

Have you ever realized that you are going to be a part of the same death statistics, one day or other? Have you ever realized that future humans will be taking you as part of statistics and represent you in a chart diagram in a presentation for deaths caused by a disease? How do you feel about ending up as a pixel in that chart?

He is roaming around in the forest and it is not a forest anymore. It is now covered with snow which looked like ash. It has been a long time since he saw the sun and now he is starving. It has been a week since he ate meat and all of his companions had died now. And then, unable to pace forward due to exhaustion, he fell down on his knees and slowly went down to sleep. He was lying down there for time immaterial before he closed his eyes for the last. And then, he became a part of the statistics – the thousands of victims of Toba volcano catastrophe which nearly destroyed many homo sapiens like him.

She was sleeping outside her small hut when she heard the mild thud sound. She got scared that it might be the wrath of god or arrival of huge army. Any enemy army on its way is sure of ransacking their village and even ending all of their lives. And, soon she saw the sky becoming black with clouds. She started crying to the clouds and prayed to the angry gods that she wanted to remain alive till her infant daughter grows up to live on her own. And then, she began to flee her village due north. And as she fled with infant in her hand, she felt dizzy and fainted. She did not wake up. And then, she became a part of statistics – of “some” 1 lakh people died in Minoan Eruption.

He was standing at the first row of the battalion, flanked by elephants on either side at the end. He turned back and saw the humongous army behind him. It was an ocean of men, all with their swords and spears shining in the sunlight. But the Army of his enemies are equally formidable. He was called to this battle, when he was playing with his young son and daughter in his farm. He is not sure whether he will return back alive to his family. He is not sure whether he will live yet another day. But, he has to do this. He cannot live like a coward, while the enemies plunder his village and make their daring king to fall in his knees. With increased fervor, he grabbed the spear in his hand and aimed at the person directly opposite to him. The call to the war pinched his ear lobes and he started to sprint towards the invading Macedonian army. He would have just ran a few metres, when a arrow pierced his chest. Clutching his chest, he twitched in pain and was pushed forward by the succeeding members of his army. He fell forwards to the ground and his neck was snapped by the strong legs of some of his brethren. And, then he became a part of statistics – of the 90000 soldiers of Darius Army killed by the invading Macedonian army.

The kid was playing along with others. He is soon to join a school and learn the arts of fighting and living from masters. But, since he is of age five, he can now play gleefully along with his tiny friends. And, while they were running, they heard a huge explosion that ricocheted their ears and soon, hot streams were flowing towards them. They were playing below the mountains and now, the hot reddish flood is pacing fast in their direction. He has remembered his mother talking about anger of gods, but he is seeing it now directly. He stood riveted, while the hot lava from Mount Vesuvius burnt his legs and while he languished in pain for a few seconds as it ate him up. And then, he became a part of statistics – of the thirty three thousand people who died in Pompeii when Mount Vesuvius turned into volcano.

She was getting ready for the marriage with the son of a court minister. The marriage arrangements were grand and is said to have been arranged by the king himself. Her fiancĂ© himself is a warrior and since this is not time of war, she is confident that she will atleast enjoy her married life. As the marriage date was nearing, there were talks of plunder and pillage and rapes by cruel men in the North west areas. The armies of men from some desert region, said to be very cruel, killing the men and forcing themselves on the women. And, the day before their marriage, there was sudden cry from the castle and battle ranks assembled themselves before the town’s fortress wall. The war started and in a few hours, she heard about the death of her fiancĂ© and her own brother. While she was crying outside her home along with female members of her family, men came in black horses and ushered them all to assemble in the centre of a nearby ground. As she walked in the crowd, she saw mounds of heads on one side and on the other side, men of her kingdom being taken in line to be beheaded by the invading men. Soon, she heard wails of cry and many of her friends were being forcefully taken into nearby houses by the invading enemies. Suddenly, one of the men grabbed her and took her by force. Whatever happened then was a terrible trauma for her, as she was thrown down into the corner of room. She realized that she was bleeding and slowly nausea overtook her consciousness. She did not wake up. And then, she became a part of statistics – of the 80 million people killed in Indian subcontinent by the invading Islamic conquerors.

The woman was being taken in a march to the stake. The fodder was heaped and it was constructed such that she can be seated in it and burnt. She was surrounded by men and women and all of them were cursing her for the plague that killed one of their son or daughter or parent or spouse. She wanted to say that she had nothing to do with this and it was the clergyman who declared her as witch to satisfy his revenge. That clergyman was eyeing her ever since she stepped out first on the streets. And when he tried to touch her, she had warned him not to. The day before this day, he entered her home and tried to force him on her, but she kicked him out and burnt his face. And here, this day, he had declared her a witch and she is being walked to the stake to be burnt alive. She is a witch who was responsible for the suffering of common people, either be disease or fire or war. And to come out of the disaster, she has to be sacrificed. And as she was seated in the stake, the people surrounded and burnt it. The fire was touching her skin and she could feel the heat. The surrounding crowd looked jubilant and there appeared some relief in the faces of the common men and women, as they believed burning her will solve the entire problem. The clergymen who accused her as witch was seen laughing at her as the fire slowly engulfed her. She felt it burn her skin; she let out cries of pain as the fire started covering her. She was twitching, she was turning, she was trying to run away, she wanted the pain to end, she was short of breath, she cried, she shouted. And then, blackness started to surround. She felt a lightness in her heart and she went to sleep forever. And then, she became a part of statistics - adding one to the 1,20,000  women killed during the witch trials that took place in Europe and America for six centuries.

The hunter was panting. He just now missed the bullet that grazed his head. He saw his own dwelling, which was thousands of steps away from where he stood, shining in the moonlight. He has to somehow stop the invading British army. The Britishers had gun with them and they shot people like how they used to hunt animals. He turned back and raised his spear. Aiming at the horse few steps away from him, he launched the spear. But, as he saw the spear raising from his hand, a bullet hit his chest. For a moment, he thought that he was unable to throttle his spear and it had pushed him back. But a shot of pain ran through his heart and he fell down clutching it. The bullet has ripped his heart and it has stopped beating now. He gasped for breath and slowly closed his eyes. And then, he became a part of statistics - adding one to the millions of Native Americans killed during the massacre of Indians that took place for 3 centuries in the North America.

The old man was struggling to do his daily chores. He had been working as a robe maker for the past forty years and was tired of his back-breaking work which nearly broke his back. For the past few days, it was raining heavily and the nearby river seems to be entering the village. Just as he settled for his food, he heard a knock outside his door and people seemed to be running here and there. He got up and went outside. His neighbors were running towards one end of the road and when he turned to see the other end, the river water was flowing towards him. The flood level was rising every second. For a lapse of moment, he thought of running in the opposite direction, but he went back to his food. Just as he let the hot food enter his throat, the flood water pushed his home along with him and the food in his throat. He slowly swallowed it and opened his mouth to breath. Water gushed into his nose and mouth and he struggled for his breath. He was unable to hold anything and he slowly closed his eyes, letting the weakness takeover his body. And then, he became a part of statistics, one of 7 million men who died in 1332-33 China floods.

She was sleeping in her bed. Her body was aching and she could not even breathe properly. There were rashes over her body and she was struggling to even keep herself awake. Her husband and son told that she is affected with a black disease and it must be the work of devil. They did not give any food, nor did anyone touch her. She longed for a hug from her daughter, but she hesitated to venture near her due to fear of the devil pouncing on her. She slowly lost her consciousness. And then, she became a part of statistics, one of millions of people who died due to plague in the North Africa and Europe put together, from 14th century to 18th century.

I would have written in a single line that so many hundreds and thousands of men and women died in wars, plagues, cholera, small pox, chicken pox, AIDS, volcano explosions, earthquakes, floods, invasions, persecutions, stampedes, accidents, etc etc etc. There are a million ways to die and there are billion people who will die. The crux of this article is to remind its reader that everyone will become a part of the Death statistics. And the above mentioned stories are a stark reminder of how each one of the number in the statistic had a life, wanted to live it and yet became one of the statistics. Each life has a long story which will take the lifetime to tell, yet I shortened it to a paragraph, so that you don’t end up wasting your whole lifetime to read this messy article.

One can never know how her/his death might be. Even if it is a pre-planned suicide or an execution, events can even convert them into otherwise. Yet, we live and we think as though we are going to be here forever, by this birth and by the afterlife. The proponents of the afterlife theories are so easy about death because they live in a fantasy that they can still continue to witness the worldly events even after death, in the form of soul. Thinking of an afterlife, do we forget to contemplate that how are we going to live this life?

Each and every day, someone who was formed from a zygote similar to you and me, is becoming a part of the death statistics in one or another part of the world. Someone who inhaled and exhaled, like you and me, is unable to inhale and exhale right now. Someone who eats food, like you and me, is unable to open their eyes now. Someone who wants to play with his kids or with her parents, like you and me, is unable to move. Someone who wants to live yet another day, like you and me, is unable to live today, because they all have became a part of the statistics – the death statistics.

When I was in school, the concept of death seemed too alien to me. All I knew about death was my relatives would cry and the dead person will remain sleeping. The death statistics on the news channels did not appall me. But after I realized the power of death and after I came on terms with myself that there can be no after life, any death statistic makes me cry inside.

“3 people died in a road accident, somewhere, as a lorry and a car clashed“- And then we change the news channel to some other music channel and we forget the three people. That is it. That is the value of a life. A life that you want to cherish and live for every second; a life that you want to extend for many years, though you repent just outside to die soon; a life that you can never get it back – the three lives had been ripped away from the bodies lying there in the car and you just think of it for a second and want to overcome it.

How humane we become, when we do not care for a human being dying in some other part of world and talk about it when it occurs near our home? And we cry only when it occurs in our home.

How humane we become, when we argue with statistics over an accident, an earthquake, a war, a riot, a stampede, a flood and an epidemic?

Have you ever realized that the death statistics is not just numbers, but each and every life, which has epics to tell, which had possibility of living longer, which is snatched away from the life because of the ideas of some other person?

Have you ever realized that you are going to be a part of the same death statistics, one day or other? Have you ever realized that future humans will be taking you as part of statistics and represent you in a chart diagram in a presentation for deaths caused by a disease?How do you feel about ending up as a pixel in that chart?

Have you ever thought that there were so many men and women, boys and girls, before you were born, who had enjoyed their life, who were angry, who had sorrow, who ran, who leapt, who crawled, who rolled, who fell, who arose and who died – becoming a part of statistics?

Have you ever thought how much they loved their life and wanted to live forever – yet fell to an invading army, to a spreading epidemic, to a religious riot, to a small brawl in a street, to old age?

Have you ever thought how your future son and daughter will tell your whole life as a two line story to his kid?

All your whole life, your whole struggle for education, your endless nights of studying, your endless days of working, your endless pursuit of earning money – all these ends up as a small 4 cm x 5cm Obituary in the nineteenth page of a paper! Have you ever thought about it?

There are times when I used to argue about the seriousness of a riot by the number of people dead in it. There were times when I said that the people who were killed started the violence and hence their death is justified. Though it is a valid ground for an argument that 'the perpetrator of violence and people who protect those perpetrators have to face the brunt'
 , yet these are human lives and lives that had desires, ideas and emotions. But in those same days, I would think of the each person in that statistic, how he/she had the desires the same as me? How she/he had the emotions the same as me? Yet they ended up as one of the statistics, which I use to prove that this riot is better than that riot. These are the times when I think of myself and my place in the universe and feel so small and so outlandish. So many billions and billions of human beings thought that it is their world and they ended up as one of the statistics.

 Yearly 2 million people die due to Diabetes is one of a statistic. Have you ever imagined what will happen if you get diabetes? You might have the essential money to counter it, but imagine about the two million people who die, a majority part of it being poor men who could not afford the medicine to fight the diabetes. Aren’t their lives a part lower than you? Maybe, you are pushing away the time until you become a part of the statistics, yet, what created a void that sucked them so faster than you? Do you get relief for not being a part of statistics right now, but you are anyways going to be a part of death statistics, not this year or next, but in a hundred years from now, you are obviously going to be a part of that statistic.

It can be any day, you might hear that I have died and I will be motionless lying on the floor of my home, having successfully turned myself into a pixel into some death statistics chart of the near future. I can never ascertain what kind of a chart presentation it might be. Rather, I might not be a part of statistics at all. Think about the people who did not even make into the statistics, who did not even get someone to think about them.

Whenever I see such statistics, I think of myself as one of that number and go through a fantasizing session putting myself as mentioned in the above paragraph and extrapolate how the person who had ended up as number in the statistics would feel if he was alive now and had chance to witness his death too. What will happen to my goals and ambition? What will happen to my ideas that I wanted to implement in the world? Can’t I just live one more day, one more month, one more year, one more century, one more millennia, one more billion year, one more trillion year? Can’t I just experience everything and nothing? Why should a sperm and ovum fuse? Why should a zygote form and why should it end up as me? Why should I develop a nervous system and why should I develop ability to think? Why should I think about death and about death statistics? Why should I write this and why should you read this? The answer is simple – there is no purpose. (For a more deeper analysis on how there is no purpose, you can refer my other note “The Density of Destiny”) We never had a purpose. We were not born to be a part of death statistics. We are not born to die. We take birth by an accident and we die by an accident too. Even the so called natural death, falls under an accident – an accidental miss of proper diagnosis, an accidental swap of medication or an accidental will to die. I did not bring the other kind of statistics that encompass the living mortals here, as everyone living still have the chance to not to be a part of the death statistic. Do I need to include the billions of other organisms that gets killed every second? That every cell functioning in this world meets its end, they very moment, that I type this sentence. It will take an aeons to desribe the life of each and every living thing and how they had vanished without a trace. But, I had restricted this to just human beings and to only a particular event of their lifetime.

The next time, you see the TV, hear the radio, read the newspaper, read in Wikipedia or retweet a fact about so many number of people died, neither you need to pray for them, nor you need to try to go to another channel, but just think, how they became a part of statistics and how you might also end up as one of the statistics – the Death statistics.

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