Chen­nai man’s self-obit piece takes so­cial me­dia by storm; many sa­lute his zest for liv­ing

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CHEN­NAI: Fol­low­ing a per­son’s pass­ing, close friends or fam­ily usu­ally write and pub­lish an obituary chron­i­cling the re­cently-de­ceased’s life. How­ever, one 71-year-old Chen­nai man de­cided to flip the equa­tion and write his own obituary, which is cur­rently do­ing the rounds on so­cial me­dia for it’s light-hearted hu­mour and deep mes­sage.

On Oc­to­ber 16, just one day be­fore his 72nd birth­day, Ejji K Umama­hesh passed away fol­low­ing a high-risk heart surgery. The next day, news­pa­pers and Face­book car­ried his self-penned obituary.

Call­ing him­self a “re­cy­cled teenager, rat-race-run­ner (retd.), whole time house­hus­band and home­maker, com­pul­sive party host, theatre & movie ac­tor, Umama­hesh told friends, ene­mies, and those in-be­tween thanks for shar­ing his ex­cit­ing life. “My party is over, and I hope there is no hang­over for those I left be­hind. Time is run­ning out for ev­ery­body. Live well, en­joy your life, and con­tinue the party,” he wrote.

In a Face­book post, posted by his fam­ily fol­low­ing his death, Umama­hesh vowed to do­nate his or­gans and his body for re­search and ed­u­ca­tional pur­poses. A fan of all things ve­hic­u­lar, Umama­hesh took to word­ing this sen­ti­ment as fol­lows, “I re­gret to in­form you that my vin­tage ve­hi­cle that was be­ing re­stored, in spite of the best me­chan­ics in In­dia with mas­tery over their craft, mod­ern tools and ex­per­tise at their com­mand, did all they could to re­vive it, but un­for­tu­nately did not suc­ceed. The en­gine gas­ket blew, the en­gine hous­ing cracked, the pis­tons seized, and the old jalopy is now ready to be scrapped. Luck­ily a few parts that have sur­vived de­struc­tion will be do­nated to other sim­i­lar vin­tage ve­hi­cle own­ers who can put them to good use in their own ma­chine.”

With both the Face­book post and the obituary clip­ping in a news­pa­per go­ing vi­ral, so­cial me­dia users were impressed by the former Madras Play­ers ac­tors’ zest for life. “I have trav­elled far and wide, met many, but never have I met some­one like you nor I think I will ever. You turned a deaf ear to what oth­ers said or thought and lived a col­or­ful life on your own terms. It was a plea­sure know­ing you,” said Face­book user Srid­har Lak­sh­manan. A col­lec­tor of vin­tage cars, a former toi­let clean­ing su­per­vi­sor at Safire Theatre, and a mem­ber of the Ro­tary Club of Madras and Free Ma­sons Club, Umama­hesh’s life motto, as posted on his so­cial me­dia, con­tin­ues to be “Live! Don’t Ex­ist!” even in his death.

Ejji K Umama­hesh

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