There are women and there are strong women. Both are one and the same because ” You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”

DAGNY is one of the strong women I know.

Dagny is a Nordic name meaning New Morning.

Dagny is one such Inspiration for me. She is a sensitive writer who can portray feelings brilliantly. She blogs at Serenely Rapt.

“Serenely Rapt is a journal. Each leaf of this journal holds a haloed moment glowing with the sheen of pearls.” And, in each leaf she shares a pearl of wisdom.

And when she is not blogging, she is a Freelance Corporate Trainer. More than anything else, she is a fabulous friend.





Fragile Life

Yesterday was one of those days; glowing, significant, pregnant with meaning.

I am beginning to realize that each day has a theme. As if everything that happens in the space of twenty- four hours has a definite purpose. The motive of those seemingly un-connected events is to lead you gently towards a specific realization- as if it were all divinely orchestrated to make a point. It certainly was one such a day yesterday.

The morning (real early, like six am) found me gabbing the gab with another early (morning) bird. During the chat I found she was driving and texting at the same time. I kind of lost it and ticked her off in no uncertain terms. I am not ashamed to admit that I used gory threats with her. I’m sure she must have felt like climbing a tall tree and pulling it up after her. I have been told that I frequently inspire people to do so.


She didn’t. Maybe she’d left her tall tree at home when she buzzed out, texting me nineteen to a dozen, which just goes to show you that you aren’t always as well prepared as you think you are.


Her (lame) argument was Oh- but- the- roads- were- deserted- and- it- was- a- signal- stop- AND- it- was- only- two- kilometers. Naturally, it didn’t wash with me.


A cousin of a close friend died a couple of years ago because he was dragging his bike from under the barriers at a level crossing. Everyone does it; he too must have done it many times.  He was talking to someone on the phone, completely engrossed in the conversation. He neither saw nor heard the train. He was so lost in the call that he didn’t even hear people’s shouts and warnings. In plain sight of over fifty people, that young twenty- four year old boy was cut in two.


Many years ago, a student of mine had an accident with her two- wheeler. She was showing off and was speeding. She didn’t get hurt but she went careening into a group of boys and one of them was badly injured. That boy hurt his head and it was found that his legs were paralysed for life. He was a twenty year old engineering student. The doctors told him he would never walk. My student was devastated. She was decent enough to go and meet his family. His mother said, “For a few seconds of your fun my son’s life is now ruined. His future is dark now. Who will even marry him? Will you?”


My student committed suicide a year later because she couldn’t live with the guilt.


This girl wasn’t even on mobile, yet this happened. There are too many such mishaps- all terrible, all avoidable. When we read them, we always wonder how people could be so blindly engrossed. We think these are things that happen to others because we are too clever to let such a thing happen to us. That boy who spoke on the phone before the train cleaved him in two, or the girl who though she was just having a bit of fun must have thought so too. Didn’t help them, did it?


It petrifies me to see people use the phone when they are on the road. I admit I am a coward. I am also sensible enough (sometimes, yeah!) to learn from the errors of others. More than my own, I worry for the life and limb of those who might fall victim to my carelessness. I can’t take the risk of hurting another person because I was crassly negligent.


Late in the evening, another friend called up to share some bad news. His cousin and I were close friends and colleagues in our first job. He called up to say that her husband had passed away suddenly. Forty- nine year old man, no illnesses, not even hypertension or irregular blood pressure. Nothing. He died of a cardiac arrest… with no previous history of heart trouble.


During the conversation he told me of another friend who lost her husband the year before. He succumbed to the big C- detected too late. Then of course, we talked about Johnny. Johnny who was so strong and healthy that I never so much as saw him get a cold in the six years that he was with me. Yet, in his late thirties, Johhny passed away.


There is nothing new about the things I am saying. You too must know of many people who were snatched away in their prime, suddenly and devastatingly, leaving regrets, broken hearts and precious memories behind.


Life is so very fragile. Do I treat it with the respect it deserves? Do I protect it the way a precious, delicate thing should be protected? Those who are a part of my life, do I tell them often enough how deeply they are cherished? There’s nothing wrong with planning for the long term but in my enthusiasm to see the forest (along with a rather pompous desire to be clever, lets be honest here), am I not missing the trees which make up the forest?


Yesterday left me that question.

“The older you get, the more fragile you understand life to be. I think that’s a good motivation to get out of bed joyfully each day” – Julia Roberts.



  1. Ah Dagny! Your post made me think a lot! Yes, I am also confounded when I see people being really crazy on the streets — rash drivers, those talking over cellphones and sometimes creating accidents that pull in the innocents. Every single day, the newspaper is filled with such news. And then there are those like you pointed out — who go in there prime, suddenly! It makes me value my exercise more because I want to be around to raise my kids. Health I can try and better. Accidents are not under my control at all. Practicing gratitude is a great pointer. I am doing a lot more of that as well. Your last question is tricky! Yes, sometimes our paranoia can make us overly cautious. Maybe, we miss out on some thrilling fun or games, I don’t know! But, for me the larger picture matters more.
    Rachna recently posted…Love, Actually!My Profile

    • Rachna, A few years back I had a neighbor whose teenaged son thought he was the cat’s whiskers when he got a bike to flash. You know those nouveau riche idiots, don’t you? He thought it very cool to go from 80 to 0 in 10 seconds flat and draw up a flurry of a dust storm when he arrived home. One day I caught hold of his mother and told her that I would bury her son in her own garden if it ever turns out that one of my kids got even a scratch because of his showing off which as a parent, she wasn’t able to control.

      She hated me from that day on, but her son slowed down.

      Go ahead, don’t feel shy. Pat my back. 😀 😀

      The larger picture matters to me too. Every bit of that picture, with the tiniest of details in high relief, matters to me deeply. What else is life?

      I love your comments always but did so even more today. 🙂

  2. […] Enough of that already. I think it’s time you read what I wrote for her, here: Inspirations- Fragile Life […]

  3. That was quite some post, highlighting an issue which is very close to my heart. People who know me know how much I hate drivers using their mobile phones when driving. It probably causes more accidents than is being reported right now and all of us need to be sensitized to that fact sooner rather than later.
    Jairam Mohan recently posted…The death of DuhshasanaMy Profile

  4. Felt bad and thought a lot once I finished reading. I heard of young ppl dying of stress/ cardiac arrest. The very fact stresses me. Hence I some times dont think of future at all and take a day at a time but wat can we do , being social animals its tough to THINK JUST WAT U WANT 🙁
    And about those train accidents and recklessness on roads I can only say One has to learn valuing life

    • Afshan: That was the point of the post. To learn to value life, to value the days and moments that make up that life… to cherish those who are on the journey with you and to show them that they are cherished.

      Thank you for reading. 🙂
      Dagny recently posted…Fragile LifeMy Profile

  5. An simple act that I’m sure by now would have killed enough and more people. Carelessness. People think they are smart enough and can avoid an accident, without realizing that it’s just a matter of a few minutes, which can make or break their future. I would like to add about those who do not use the seat belt. I have my Dad with me today after 11 years only because he was wearing a seat belt that day. His car had had a head on collision with a DTC bus, but he escaped with just 2 days out of his memory and a few broken ribs which ache till date. Beautiful message it is. Life is fragile. Handle it carefully and responsibly.

    • Rekha,

      You nailed it. Carelessness, over- confidence and a large helping of a kind of arrogance which makes one believe in one’s (false) infallibility. Seat belts and helmets are protective devices that one must always use. In the days when I used a two wheeler, I never went without my full face helmet. In my city I was considered a freak, but I used my helmet all the time anyhow. I don’t know why people take a risk with their lives- and the lives of others.

      Thank you for reading 🙂
      Dagny recently posted…Fragile LifeMy Profile

  6. I live in an eternal fear sometimes, during some phases of my life where I constantly fear about death – not mine, but of my loved ones. I try so much not to think of it, but the fear holds on to me like those spiders clinging on their webs. I tell myself not to think about it, but, more often than not, I fail and I fail miserably.

    I know death is inevitable. But, when it occurs because of accidents that could have been avoided, it makes me cringe more.
    Pooja Abhay recently posted…Platinum Day Of Love: The day we cut an onion together!My Profile

    • I can completely relate to what you are saying Pooja. Our own death or injury doesn’t scare us but that of our loved ones. For they are the ones who give meaning and color to our lives.

      I’d like to say- don’t worry, everything will be well. Instead I will say- Pray, be careful and stop worrying. Your loved ones will be safe.

      Thanks for reading. 🙂
      Dagny recently posted…Fragile LifeMy Profile

  7. The subject you chose could have made the tone of this piece sound morbid and depressing, but the sunshine of your prose made it optimistic and grateful instead.
    Great post, Dagny. Thanks, Janaki, for hosting!
    Rickie recently posted…The First Diwali – The Untold Backstory Of What Transpired When Lord Rama Returned HomeMy Profile

  8. Dagny makes me think each time I read her. Amazing depth of words and thoughts.
    Thanks for having her Janaki.
    AlkaGurha recently posted…Gurgaon TimesMy Profile

  9. So I read this again. Last Saturday we met with an accident. No one was on the phone, my husband was driving. A truck carrying hooch rammed into our almost stationary car. Thankfully, we were safe. The car was damaged. We were too shocked to ask for damages from the truck driver who was drunk and a bootlegger. The traffic cop wanted us to press charges as he wanted his share. The auto guy who dropped us home, charged thrice the amount knowing that we were scared and shocked. It seemed as if vultures descended to extract flesh.
    Life is fragile indeed. I wish the young understand this. No, I don’t want them to be scared. I want them to value life, as Dagny says.
    Alka recently posted…Gurgaon TimesMy Profile

    • Oh dear! That’s a lucky escape! I am so glad that you are safe. As you said, all we want is for youngsters to understand how precious life is. I see too many treat it casually and be ready to throw it away at a moment’s notice.

      Perhaps the fault is ours….
      Dagny recently posted…Fragile LifeMy Profile

  10. Very inspiring…what we do, may hurt someone beyond repair ! It may be our conscious or unconscious way of going about it.We must cherish each & every moment.

    Thank you,both Dagny & Janaki !
    vasudha recently posted…KolamMy Profile

  11. I often wonder how people cope with the loss of a loved one. It must be devastating. We can and should be careful, for life is precious. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

    I watched a beautiful video recently, which kind of sums up this post just as beautifully as you have written it. 🙂

    Destiny’s child recently posted…Thanks for the compliment!My Profile

    • I too shudder at the thought of losing a loved one. Imagine being the cause of such a pain for another person! I don’t think I could live with the guilt.

      Thank you for reading this. Glad you could connect. 🙂
      Dagny recently posted…Fragile LifeMy Profile

  12. Dagny- you are really inspiring – really happy to read your post and i love the firmness of thoughts in those simplistic words !!!

    Here now following your blog – a member now 🙂

    Thanks a lot Janaki 🙂
    Elvira recently posted…First Look – Its my Life book CoverMy Profile

  13. “Memoirs of A Homemaker” has been included in the Sites To See for this week. Be assured that I hope this helps to point many new visitors in your direction.

    Jerry E. Beuterbaugh recently posted…Sites To SeeMy Profile

  14. Having a lost in an accident, a dear friend who had yet to live his lfe, I can deeply identify with what you have written Dagny. It’s devastating in so many dimensions. Having said bbye to a cheerful & laughing person on a Thursday evening and to hear that he is no more the next evening, gave me a lesson on life (and death) that I will never forget. Yes, life indeed is fragile and completely unpredictable. Forget talking about if tomorrow never comes, there is no guarantee for the very next moment. We only have this moment and that is all the guarantee we are given.
    Prathima Rao recently posted…ZestMy Profile

    • Pratibha,

      Just a few minutes ago I received word that a dear friend is no more. She battled with the Big C and finally conquered it a year ago. She kept talking of visiting India soon. Today I find that she is no more. She just passed away in her sleep.

      As you said, you can’t be sure even of the next moment.

      I am sorry for your loss. To see a young one pass away is far more painful than anything else. May God give you the strength to bear the loss.

      I think we are both hurting tonight. Hugs…
      Dagny recently posted…ShaliniMy Profile

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