Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wish you a long life, friend.

“Think now
History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors
And issues, deceives with whispering ambitions,
Guides us by vanities.“
(TS Elliot, Gerontion)

We happen to know a doctor – a successful and proficient eye surgeon − who is petrified by the thought of growing old. She quizzed Ujwal and me closely about our attitude. Our casual shrugs seemed to puzzle her. Frankly though, immortality is a non-starter with me. Living forever would bore me to death which would refuse to oblige as is its wont. While reading Robert Ludlum’s posthumously published thriller, The Sigma Protocol (Orion, 2001), presumably based on the myths and mysteries surrounding the Bilderberg Group, I came across a mention of the Galápagos tortoises that reputedly lives for two hundred years. This triggered off my recall of the end of Aldous Huxley’s After Many a Summer. where a band of immortality seekers comes face to face in a dungeon beneath a British stately home with the man-ape whose lifespan has been artificially elongated. Good grief! For once, I disagree whole-heartedly with this Woody Allen utterance: “I don't want to achieve immortality through my work... I want to achieve it through not dying.”