MIDWAY : Living, a bit longer

The question may sound idiotic: what age is “good enough” to die at? Idiotic, because response will differ! All the same, one figure may be mentioned jokingly (even though the topic is utterly serious!): 75 years! Now, those having a robust health may kvetch: that’s too little; those having fragile health may bellyache: that’s too much! And the debate goes on ad infinitum.

A couple of years ago, I chanced upon a mind-boggling piece of news: the oldest person on earth dies at the age of 122! I had, then, greeted this incredible news with an impulsive oh-my-gosh! Instinctively, I had divided the enviable figure by two: 61 implied the life expectancy of a Nepali. I was kind of upset at our so brief a presence on earth.

I was upset not because I wished or wish to live 122 years. And, generally speaking, in a country like ours, no one should. No way! Actually, even the idea of living a very long life — 122 years or more — gives an average Nepali terrible goose bumps. And these bumps have good reasons to sprout: our damned medical facilities!

A person’s longevity does not depend on their wish. Hence, wishing to live long is, matter-of-factly speaking, just a hollow wish. However, one thing is so outrageously true: 61 years is a very short life span. Precisely, therefore, dividing 122 by two was a real torture, and 61 became nearly a hate-word. Or, a “hate figure”, if you prefer.

Sadly, the grass is not greener everywhere, either. Forget Afghanistan, for instance. It makes a sad reference to mention that this war-torn South Asian country’s people don’t live long enough to wage a war against an inhumanly low life expectancy, that’s hardly 45 years.

Obviously, humanity has greater wars to win before thinking of winning or losing bloody wars that kill humanity itself.

Wikipedia mentions: life expectancy ranges from 84.33 years in Macau to 31.99 years in Swaziland. Curiously, we seem to follow the middle path a la Buddha. Well, we live longer than the Afghans; the Afghans live longer than the Swazis. And the Macanese live the longest! The ideal would be, perhaps, in between 122 and 31: a little longer than 75? Final wish: Long live the people around the world!