I have this ideal day in my head. When I have no worries, I am free, my work is going great and my personal life is thriving. I am sipping chai – reading a book, there is music in the background. My boy aka Vikas Agarwal is cooking lunch (all on his own – without shouting out for me to help with masalas or anything) – and I am resting on the couch soaked in the aromas of good food and life.
I have been waiting for this day last six years – don’t get me wrong, I love my work and life. I have worked very hard – avoiding regular choices everywhere – to arrive here. But now I am always forever under some kind of worry – it would be as random as the “tweet copy had to go live” to of course bigger existential crisis things like “why am I not writing more” or “What will I do about my new found lockdown weight”.
Never a day without an anxiety.
I woke up to the news of Chadwick Boseman’s death today. It hit me so bad. This man was diagnosed with Stage 3 Colon cancer before he embarked on his Black Panther series. To imagine that he gave his – in fact one of world’s – best works with fear of death looming on his head, shook me.
Black Panther is literally one of my best movies from the Avenger series – the message is so contemporary and delivered with such precision. The idea of a united yet diverse world is so elusive to us right now – and the movie + Chadwick’s character embodied it beautifully.
All of last night I had been thinking – why is it that one thing will always prey on my mind. One random shit from my life that will keep me from sleeping properly, being completely present in every moment – WHY.
And then I read about how Chadwick finished all those movies in between his cancer treatment – no one knew what he was going through. His illness was not in public forum. He did all those action sequences and brought the character to life – without missing a beat.
I got up from my couch, picked my diary and started working. I reminded myself – this is what I wanted to do. This is always something I hoped my life would be. A place to make a difference – to commit myself to an idea much, much greater than me.
I cannot complain. I cannot crib. I cannot let go of this opportunity. This platform that so many have offered me.
My father and I have this constant fight – ever since I was a child – the definition of purpose. To me purpose is when you can touch lives outside the realm of your inner circle – even if it is one person. He on the other hand thinks a mother cooking a meal for his kid also serves purpose in her life. But I don’t believe that – I believe doing what is expected of you is like fulfilling a very basic minimum the universe ordained, purpose should be when you do something not expected. You go out of your way to deliver it.
Chadwick did that – he fought his illness, delivered a character not just on screen – even in real life. How he spoke about diversity and black race as a culture offscreen – has been phenomenal. His interpretation of the movie has always been such an inspiring take to go back to.
That’s what I want to be. Larger than what my life should have been – to represent something. Bigger than money, success, family.
RIP Black Panther – in your own words “”In my culture, death is not the end. It’s more of a stepping-off point“
Thank you for leaving a legacy for us to live with. As you said – there will never be a Black Panther again without the letter ‘2’ on it 🙂 You did it.