Long time ago, I promised that I will write a small booklet on Steve Jobs consisting of 9 small posts with my feeling for this great man. I wrote one but couldn’t continue after because of many other posts and schedules.
This morning the old post came to my mind when I received a message from one of juniors in research lab saying that, Sir Dr. Anjali Sardana is no more, Prof. Joshi asked me to share with you. All of a sudden memories went back to research lab and student life.
I know Anjali for last 7 years. She was M.Tech student and I used to take one of her labs, and then she joined PhD became my co-researcher. After She joined I graduated. A very talented girl, she also had a long row of awards and achievements , right from Google’s woman engineer to departmental awards. She visited Korea last year for a conference. She made a call to me and said only you can beat the Korean kimchi (it’s like Korean pickle and they die for it ). After PhD she joined IIT as Assistant professor, I was supposed to be her colleague, but instead of accepting offer I moved to ISI Kolkata and then to Samsung in Korea.
The news of her demise lead me to words of Steve Jobs, I was listening to him all weekend, I do it remind myself about my work. Monday when I heard about Anjali’s death it was obvious for me to think what is all life about. If you know Steve Jobs commencement talk you will understand what is relation between life and death and what is most important in life.
People come and go, every year million born and millions die , few of them are remembered. The more important is the idea of legacy, what did you left behind. What effort you made to make this world a better place. Who care in this world who born and who died. We cry for people who did real contribution we remember them and their contribution that will live long and that most valued and important thing in life.
Steve Job said and I totally agree with him, life is short and we cannot waste it living someone else life. This is a deep statement just don’t take as it is and start not listening to anyone. To listen to heart one first need to reach to a level where heart makes right decisions. At least burn yourself for one goal big enough to give you courage to follow your heart. If there is no goal in life and you don’t know a way to go, first try to sit along with people who have done it. read, listen and think about them. This will help you to figure out what is important in life for you and slowly start working towards it. Then comes the part of listening to heart, otherwise you will just mess up with life.
One day we all will leave this world, get ready for that and always remember this reality. Best among us are the ones who try to contribute and leave a good legacy that help world to be a better place. What matter most is our work after we leave this world. It’s time for you and me to decide what do we want to leave. Death definitely hurts and make us sad but it also give us a strong message to be ready for it and start acting as soon as possible.
I remember the time when I was preparing for PhD interview for IISc Bangalore. I got the news that my grandfather passed away. I attend the funeral and then prayed evening prayers and started for Bangalore, which almost 400 KM from my home. As I was leaving home all of my relatives asked me to stay back and leave it. I thought for a minute and then left home, my grandfather always said to me the I will great one day and will take care of him. I felt home to live up to his expectations and went for the interview, though I did my honest efforts. Though I couldn’t made it to IISc, that travel gave me a strength that I still see in myself. Four months later I travelled all across India for 26 days for PhD interviews and finally landed at IITR.
News of Anjali’s death refreshed all those memories and gave a call to me to be more active and productive to make the world a better place. Place my contributions so that whole world benefit from it. Give my best so that I may be forgiven. This is true spirit of Islam and concept of legacy in Islam. This all reminds me of a saying of prophet SAW encouraging normal people to leave a legacy, in minimum form, everyone of us can do that, if we are not exceptional.
Narrated by Abu Hurayrah RA, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When a man dies all his good deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity (sadaqah jaariyah), beneficial knowledge and a righteous son/daughter who will pray for him.” [Muslim]
With this I call all of you to think about your legacy, what do you want to leave in this world after and put your heart into it and work for it. It’s much easier to say than do it, but trust me continuous effort would bring enormous results and we will die satisfied.