A Life in Reverse George Constanza: "The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? DEATH! What's that, a bonus?!? I think the life cycle is all backwards." In the beginning there was just fire. Agni Mee`le. The opening words of Rig Veda ring in my ears as I lie there surrounded by flames like a salamander. The leaping tongues of flame caress my astral body imparting life to it. As I show signs of life, the flames recede from my body. I just lie there staring at the starry sky through my myopic eyes. The eerie darkness around me does not scare me. Slowly the dawn paints the tops of the massive trees in gold and the stars recede. I hear footsteps and turning around see a group of men advancing towards me. They surround me and look at me with joy. Four of them pick me up gently and transfer my fragile frame to a waiting van. The drive seems interminable and I feel relieved when it finally stops in front of a massive house. I am picked up from the van and taken in. I am struck by a huge portrait of myself swathed in garlands in the hall. On seeing me being taken in, someone removes all the garlands off my portrait. Someone brings an old lady, a few years younger to me, to my side and she holds my hands with tears in her eyes. I feel strongly drawn to her and give her a weak but reassuring smile. I see people all around me looking very solemn but as inscrutable as Mona Lisa’s smile. Days pass on and I feel much stronger now. I am able to get out of my bed and take a stroll around the garden. As I stretch myself in the lawn, the cook comes out bearing a tray containing a decanter, ice cubes and other paraphernalia. I make myself a drink and savour its heavenly flavour before sipping it. The old lady joins me and we spend the next hour or so discussing the people living with us. I can see that she is not very happy with the things going on in the house and I advise her to take things easy. I refuse to get involved in any controversy and my attitude irks the old lady. Years fly. I look strong enough for a man of sixty and as the chauffeur opens the door of my limousine, someone behind me remarks that I hardly look the kind of person who will be retiring that day. I feel happy to hear such compliments. I feel an assortment of feelings, this being my last day in office. I know I am the numero uno but that knowledge does not mitigate my apprehensions. The drive to the office is smooth and as my limousine pulls up at the vast portico, a liveried attendant rushes and opens the door for me. The last day in the office turns out to be smooth. Years fly. I find my office life becoming more and more interesting and challenging as I move from the position of numero uno to positions of responsibility. The assignments demand more acumen than when I was the Chief of the Company and the distractions grow larger than life. The thought that my lady in the house would be struggling with the kids at home does not act as a deterrent to my escapades though at times it does leave me with a feeling of guilt. I realize that the arrogance of youth is at its peak at around thirty. My insensitivity to others’ feelings truly amazes me but I let myself go. Years fly. The lady of the house returns to her parents to spend the rest of her life. I am out of my profession and looking forward to the best period of my life. Thanks to the enormous influence of my father, I find myself in the best college in town. My pranks, at times bordering on the insane, are tolerated by people with great difficulty being the son of a celebrity. The protective atmosphere does take the sheen out of the fun I am having and I envy the chaps with no background indulging in daredevilry. I find myself attracted to them and our motley group soon becomes the most feared one in the college. Years fly. I can not say I like very much my teacher with his prominent religious mark on his forehead and the grey tuft. I fear him a lot. He has a terrific back swing to his slap and the receiver is sure to hear the ringing tone in his head for at least a month thereafter. He wants us to learn our lessons exactly as he teaches them. Ho does not permit any parallel thinking nor does he like to be questioned. My parents are happy with my obedience which they attribute to the influence of my feared teacher. Years fly. I refuse to get out of my mother’s hip even when she is working. I treat her like my beast of burden. So does my father. It is truly amazing that she seems to enjoy it all. Even when I keep to myself, she pulls me to herself or takes me on her hips. And I keep thinking she considers me a nuisance but here she is enjoying every bit of it. I find myself more and more reliant on my mother for everything. I can’t even eat without her help. She bathes me, feeds me, dresses me up like a doll and puts me to sleep. I sleep and sleep until I lose track of time. My abode becomes smaller and smaller till it shrinks to the size of my mother’s womb. My limbs shrink too. I become tinier and tinier. I become a tiny ball of flesh now becoming a microscopic speck and find myself floating in a vast sea with millions of similar specks. I hear a big explosion, like the Big Bang, an unprecedented orgasmic upheaval and I lose all sense of time and space.