It was an unusually busy day. There was a long queue to the registration desk and the form to be filled was pretty long. I was already very upset over how the day went for me and now this mismanaged system was further pissing me off. There were scribes at the registration desk and candidates had to dictate everything. How inappropriate and old fashioned it was. First, in this 21st century when we are so used to give feedback on touch screen tablets, who use such laggard method and secondly, what about the privacy? I had to divulge my details in front of dozens of people. For the umpteenth time, I asked a volunteer about the delay. Uninterested, he replied to me that the manager was on lunch break and so there was a delay in allocation of seats. I asked him if this allocation was based on first come first serve basis or reservations? He got annoyed and said, “This place is beyond all politics, the allocations are made purely on the basis of merit. Even if you are a rainmaker, you can’t make a deal with His Highness Shri Shri Shri Chitragupt ji”.
“I am sorry sir. I was just inquisitive. This is my first day after death.”
I looked at the young apprentice Yamdoot (Messengers of the God of Death) who brought me here. This was his first assignment and he was quite nervous about it but being a professional with an experience of surviving eleven appraisal cycles, I was able to give him a small pep talk mostly inspired by Shahrukh’s Chak De India. Anyway, I guess it worked and I could see him cracking some nice adult jokes with his seniors. Honestly, I was getting so bored, was already missing my mobile. At least I could have played few rounds of Candy Crush or swiped right some Tinder requests but what’s the use of all these things? I was told that this place runs on a different technology which is not compatible with the one on earth. I guess that is why all these spiritual Babas ask us not to get addicted to these worldly pleasures and leave our wealth with them to enjoy. While I was whining and murmuring, I felt a tickle on my shoulder.
“Hi”, the voice said.
I turned around but I could not see anyone.
I saw a tiny mosquito sitting on my shoulder.
“How are you able to speak? Am I really dead or is this one of those crazy dreams?”
“Ahhh… welcome to the other world. You have lost your privilege of being a human. Here, we all are just souls. No superiority. It’s a socialist state. By the way, do you recognize me? I was there with you when you took your last breath. In fact we left together. I reached an hour ago. You must have taken a detour.”
“Well, I am not sure what are you talking about. I died of an asthma attack.”
“Yeah, your post mortem reports would tell so but let me tell you bro you and I got killed by the same weapon.”
“Yeah, I was an ace flyer but I got distracted by a handsome hunk on the tree just outside your window. You pointed your mosquito spray nozzle directly at me and next moment I was dead.”
“But how the hell did I get killed?”
“You stupid human, it’s there in our religious texts that the repellent spray that human use on us gets us killed but most of them don’t even know that there is a very poisonous ingredient called DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) that can cause a plethora of ailments like breathing difficulty, respiratory problems, dizziness, stomach irritation, nausea, vomiting, skin infections, etc. This is your karma that bites you back and gives us solace for our short life.”
“What rubbish? Such small doses of repellents cannot kill me. Ok?”
“They can kill you son and there might have been other similar factors too.”
To make this weird conversation even spicier, entered an old gentleman.
“Hello peeps; my name is Doctor Mansukh. I hail from Surat. The last moments I could remember were when I was celebrating my victory over my grandson in Mortal Kombat XL. I guess I was over excited and got heart-attack and died. What’s your story?”
“We died together. He sprayed the mosquito repellent on me and we both died.”
“Yes I heard that”, said Mansukh Bhai.
“Sir, but it is not possible.”
“Let’s find out.”
“Are you a doctor”, I just could not believe my luck that when I needed treatment, every doctor was booked on the appointment app but now I am getting unsolicited advice on how could I have saved myself from dying.”
“Yes, I am but just because I am a doctor endorsing this, would you accept the facts that are public. Kids of your age are 24X7 online but they know absolutely nothing about being healthy and keeping ourselves safe from diseases. So my best friend, what was your profession?”
“Sir, I was a software engineer- a coder basically”
“If you are a coder, I bet you have spent most of your life confined in your home.”
“Yes sir, that’s true. I have always lived a confined life, away from traffic and factory pollution. I never smoked, not even passive smoking. Don’t know how I contracted asthma. I guess it was in my genes.”
“No dear, it was in your home. Let me enlighten you. The air inside your home can be up to 5 times more polluted than the air outside. There are toxic pollutants being emitted by your housing construction materials, your equipment and the chemical sprays you use in household especially formaldehyde which is a known carcinogenic. So you should actually thank god that you were spared the pain, efforts and money for cancer treatment.”
“Yes uncle, you are right and not only that, a single mosquito coil, so prevalent in households, releases the same amount of particulate mass as burning 75 to 137 cigarettes and emits the equivalent amount of formaldehyde (a known carcinogen) as 51 cigarettes.”, this mosquito girl definitely knew a lot.
“And I thought I could keep myself safe by staying inside. 90% of time I was working for home. I used to order food and groceries too through apps. The only time I used to go out was for project appraisals and Tinder dates.”
“Don’t mind son but what about your deodorant usage? I am just interested in knowing how these are better than body oils that we used?”
“Sir, bachelors live on deodorants. Whenever I felt too lazy to take a bath, I would spray half a bottle of sprays. They are confidence boosters especially on days when you want to impress a boss or a prospective girlfriend.”
“Son, you were indeed doing a great service to the nation by saving water but these aerosol sprays are so dangerous especially when used in closed bathrooms and bedrooms. Even your air fresheners are not safe. We never even realize how these miniscule doses of the harmful chemicals amount to huge health hazards. That is why we should always rely on natural, organic and least invasive products. I remember how we burned eucalyptus oil as mosquito repellent, deodorants I hardly remember I ever used but I guess roll on deodorants are much better and most importantly, a proper ventilation at home is the most important.”
“I never knew there are so many harmful pollutants inside my home and I thought staying at home could save me from another asthma attack. Now no one would even find my body until it rots and neighbours get the foul smell if they are not using a room freshener.” I was more upset after the conversation because this lack of awareness cost me a life, my own life.
“Don’t kill yourself again fretting over your death son. Enjoy this after life till you are born again. I will take your leave now. They have made final announcements for senior citizens, I have to go. Meet you inside.”
“But I thought there are no reservations.”
“Yeah, but elders and well informed are respected everywhere.”
“By the way, for the people still slogging it out on earth, here’s a chance to improve your indoor air quality- Asian Paints have come up with an innovative product. Royale Atmos is a first of its kind paint that not only looks beautiful, but also cleans the air making it purer than before. Its Activated Carbon technology reduces harmful pollutants from the air. Additionally, Royale Atmos also absorbs select household foul smells to make the air fresher. In fact, Royale Atmos is the first Asian Paints product to have a fragrance, instead of the normal chemical smell of paints.”
Yes guys, if you also don’t want to die a weird and lonely death, please acquaint yourself with the risks carried by everyday products and our immediate environment. So make a good start today- Visit this link and boast about your awareness like Mansukh uncle: https://www.asianpaints.com/atmos
Few links that I referred for info:
All the horrible cartoons above are created by me.
My personal preference to keep air clean: Getting a lot of Peace Lily plants for my desk.