Last Item On The List

‘Mom, is the camera rolling? Yeah? Alright, I’ll take it from here. Please don’t disturb me for an hour, ok?’

She closes the door and I look at the camera and grin.

‘Hey, all my wonderful earthling friends… This is your boy Columbus coming live from…well, my bedroom. I’d like to thank all of you guys who have walked with me throughout my last journey on our beautiful little planet.

I’m glad things have happened the way they have. I have lived well, alright relatively well, for someone in my situation. The last twenty months of my life has been one heck of a roller coaster ride. It was exactly twenty months ago that the doctors declared that my disease had come back and with a vengeance. I have gone through a gamut of emotions right from that moment. I was angry, bitter, sad, frustrated, and even filled with indignity.

I spent the days cooped up in this very room not bothering about anything and just letting myself go. I wouldn’t look at the faces of my family members and I didn’t answer my friends’ calls. I guess I was just hastening my departure. Somewhere along the way I felt another emotion bubbling inside me – I felt stupid.

I realized that I have been given the biggest cheat card I could ever get. I could eat whatever I wanted, I could drink whatever I wanted, and I could live however I wanted. That’s when I decided to create a bucket list. I pinned a blank A4 paper on my bedside table and started writing down things I wanted to accomplish before, well, I kicked the metaphorical bucket.

One of the first things I wanted to do was to create a YouTube channel dedicated to PJs and hey presto! This channel was born. I’m sure most of you, my three million plus followers, have groaned at my PJs. Some might have even cursed me, but I know some of you would have grinned. Guys, I made some total strangers smile. That’s a win.

I started this YouTube channel as a part of my bucket list. I never expected this channel to become my bucket list. Someone in the comment section had mentioned that I could video my bucket list activities and upload them to this channel. I thought ‘what the heck!’ and did so. I never expected that so many people would subscribe to my channel just to see me knocking off things from my bucket list. Guess voyeurism is an international epidemic!

Ha, kidding!

I’m happy to have you guys along my journey. I’m sure I have entertained you trying to ride a horse and puking all the way down during my skydiving fiasco. Thanks to my quasi-celebrity status, I have been able to complete quite few items of my bucket list and the reason is you guys. I think most of you guys would have learnt a little bit about my culture and my people through my videos. We are not that different, you know? We all eat with our mouths and shit from… well I guess you get it.

Coming to the task at hand, I have only one more incomplete task on my list. I don’t have much time on my hands. This might just be my last ever video, but hey, there will still be one hundred and forty seven videos of me spouting bad jokes on my channel. Small pleasures, eh?

Today, I want to talk about love. What is love? Some say it’s the most beautiful feeling one could experience, some say it’s just chemical reaction in a person’s body, some say that love is God, and some moan that love is pure evil. I mean if you use love as a pivot to balance your happiness, sadness, success, failure etc., then love is God. I once heard someone say that love is beautiful and crippling at the same time. There are a lot of poets who have filled pages and lot of singers who have sung about this magical feeling called love.

There is merit to each and every hypothesis about love. Let me add my two cents. To me, love is nothing but acceptance. You love someone when you accept them inspite of their shortcomings. I’m talking about a Universal love. Something one should feel for every animate and inanimate part of this tiny little ball floating in the space.

Carl Sagan once quoted that we are so filled with our own delusions that we do not realise that we are on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. I agree one hundred percent. We are just temporal beings, each alive for only a negligible fraction when the overall timeline of the universe is considered. Why waste this precious little dollop of time by fighting over some other piece of this mote of dust?

Acceptance is the key to make life a little more happier. I mean, life is very simple only if we allow it to be. But we don’t spare a second’s worth of mindspace before polluting the heck out of this one planet in the known universe where we can be alive for more than two minutes without a spacesuit. We think our job is done once we throw the leftover food into the green bin marked ‘Degradable waste.’ Why not give it to those who are starving? Why not give the useless stuff we have stockpiled to those who actually need them?

My friend once said that unfortunately this is the era of selfies and selfishness. I don’t completely agree with him. There is still hope. I have this unyielding hope that one day we will all accept everyone else. I mean, without hope we would have followed the dinosaurs into extinction. Some say that we are already on the way, but I say hold on to that amazing thing called hope.

Coming to the last task on my bucket list – I wish to declare my love to that special someone who has been my friend through thick and thin. I don’t know if she is aware of my feelings for her. She certainly hasn’t given any indications that she knows. If she does, then I get the message. If she doesn’t, then she is an even bigger idiot than I am. I said love is all about acceptance. So, if you are seeing this, I have one simple question for you. Will you accept me with all your heart for the tiny remainder of my life? I love you and I have loved you for a long time now. Will you call me with an answer? Don’t make me wait for too long…’

I feel a sudden pain stabbing through my system. I realize it’s time to go. I grunt and drag myself towards the bed and draw a tick mark against the last item on my list. My eyes begin to dim and I have this loud pounding in my head. I land heavily on the bed and prop myself with my arms. I want to close my eyes and take a long nap. I remove my hands and collapse on the sheets. The last thing I hear is my mobile phone ringing.

Written for Day 4 of the Festival of Words by Write Tribe. #WriteBravely

Read my previous entries from below

  1. To my newborn
  2. Roadtrip
  3. Cheeseburgery Love




  1. Ended on a very emotional and touching note. An emotional appeal including a whole lot of issues and ending so poignantly. You have a really good turn of phrase Varad. Well done.


  2. Oh darn it, I wanted him to take that call! Your narration is wonderfully engaging. Despite the rather heavy topic I loved how you managed to keep the tone light rather than oppressive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for that insightful comment. It was a very difficult story to write while trying to balance the pathos and the lighter tone.


  3. Interesting to be able to create a YouTube channel for our bucket list, of plain simple record them and store them for the future.
    Fun narrative Varad. As usual enjoyed your tongue in cheek humour.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like this story and could visualise it as I read it. Liked the way it closed especially. I would feel highly accomplished if I were in the protagonist´s place. He lives on through his YouTube videos and confessed his love. At least, he got it off his chest and can now RIP. Now, if only he lived longer to take the phone call. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Priya. I sure love to experiment with the topics I choose and I’m pretty sure you know a thing or two about it 🙂


  5. Loved the jovial way in which the narration is made, but my smile froze in the end! Oh so sad, but at least he could finish off his bucket list! Good piece of writing, Varad!

    Liked by 1 person

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