Saturday, 27 September 2008

I'm going to live forever

Risk perception is an interesting thing.

We all (esp. when we are on the younger side of the dial) think that we are going to live forever.


Who of us woke up this morning with the memento mori thought in our mind?

Every day at least 3 people die in accidental deaths related to the suburban railways in Mumbai. Every day. Either in crossing the lines or in falling off the trains (see above pic for the crush hour local from Virar).

Who among the daily three will have thought that this was going to be their last day?

At the same time, lotteries thrive on the flip side of this. We all believe that bad things happen to other people - and good things happen to us.

When we first came to Mumbai 6 years ago the Playwin Lottery (just look at the name itself!) had a series of before-after advertisements: Morning - cycle / Evening - motorcycle! , Morning Public Phone / Evening Mobile!, the classic one was this: Morning - "Ramu" / Evening "Mr. Ramu" (visual of the new 'Mr. Ramu' in a snazzy suit, while before he was wearing a shabby shirt).

Forever young, I wanna be forever young (said a slightly disreputable and massively marketed musical poet). The risk perception of most of us bears this out. 'I am going to survive' is what we seem wired to say (which is also why HIV continues to linger even in 'advanced societies') and to hell with the bearers of bad news. Why be a spoil-sport?


  1. Woa -- did you take that picture? Quite the appropriate title.

  2. Sorry - wish I could have taken the shot - but got it the old-fashioned way - google image search....

    Have seen the scene with mine own eyes many a times though - and have also seen a few bodies with white cloths covering them laying on the railway platform waiting to be taken for the post-mortem...

    momento mori...