MICHAEL HENCHARD'S WILL
"That Elizabeth-Jane Farfrae be not told of my death, or made to grieve on account of me. "& that I be not bury'd in consecrated ground. "& that no sexton be asked to toll the bell. "& that nobody is wished to see my dead body. "& that no murners walk behind me at my funeral. "& that no flours be planted on my grave, "& that no man remember me. "To this I put my name.
How do you feel when you read this? Sad? Perhaps yes, but for a moment think of your dying day – what if even you are as miserable and bitter as this man? I am sure you feel much more things now, Petrified, Scared, Choking? I guess all of it. I am afraid truly – I really want to live peacefully and die complete. Break free from the jinx my friends, please shake yourself back to reality, life isn’t only about struggling is all I want to say. Stop for a moment and just think what are you doing? Struggling for what? Survival? I am sure each one of us reading this blog are fortunate enough to be able to get ourselves a decent meal each day. Then what is it that we are dying for? What is it that refrains us from being free and liberated? Why is it that our chest does not swell with fresh air? Why is it that we gape for life? Why is it that we feel incomplete? I don’t believe in God, and there are many who belong to the same league, but then if someone else does not decide for us, why is it that we cant decide for ourselves? Are we so weak on our knees? We make success stories in many a places, but we are a big failure in our life. We have been defeated by ourselves. Including me. Why is it that we love the people who don’t love us back? Why is it that we hope against hopes every time? Why is it that we are exactly where we don’t want to be? Why is it that we are doing just what we hate to do? Why is it that we know all these facts and philosophies and also that time is passing away, but still go on with where life is taking us. Why cant we drive our own car? For once God dammit!! Haven’t we had enough of it? Stop philosophizing people. Wake up to life. Shake yourself people. This is the time – this is the only time. Before you will know, it will be all over. You have failed in love several times, maybe the next time it wont be the same again. Maybe you wont make the same mistakes. Take time. Smile at a stranger. Be friendly to the security guard you conveniently ignore while taking the lift to your home / office everyday. You may be surprised that he may actually know your name! Take time and feed a street dog with a packet of glucose biscuits. Take a moment and touch a baby’s skin who is sitting across the table. Go ahead and tell someone that they look great. I do all this and trust me this is the only life I have. But still somewhere I am incomplete, I feel something is missing and I am honestly trying to get that missing piece of my puzzle of life. I am struggling terribly – I desperately want to start living – but how much ever I read things like “happiness is like a butterfly, if you chase it, it will run away from you, instead just sit peacefully and it will come and rest on your shoulders” – things like this may be true, but only for people who are enlightened enough to sit peacefully in anticipation long enough for the butterfly to actually come! As for me, I am a normal human being, I want to feel, I want to touch, I want to love, I want to be loved in short, I desire. And my desires are not completely conventional – for I already have all conventional privileges, I am born with heightened emotions – my senses are a little too strong – that’s the reason I am miserable but honestly I am fighting, not fighting for survival – but I am fighting to live a life which completes me. I know there is nothing like perfect. But is it incorrect to hope for a near satisfactory or a near perfect life? I guess 'No', or shall I say, I hope No. I have heard and seen a lot of failures, now I am tired. Does someone have good things to share? Something that you do to make yourself happy? Tell me! I want to know. Let us be each others inspiration for planting our own garden instead of waiting for someone to give us roses.
PS. The will was that of Michael Henchard, a character from the novel, “The mayor of Casterbridge”, an magnificently written book by the great novelist Thomas Hardy.