It was a usual Saturday afternoon and I was preparing for my next test to be held on an odd Sunday, when a terrible thought crossed my mind. What if I had cancer? Just thinking of the insane idea sent shivers down my body. The more I tried to convince myself to give up on the bad idea and focus for the test preps, the more it came back to me. I spent about the next 30-40 mins looking up for symptoms and other random details about cancer on the internet. Even though I was quite positive that the probability of me having cancer is low, something in me kept me restless. It was much more intense than someone asking you what if you die tomorrow? or some other arbitrary question of that sort. For the first time in my life had I felt this feeling so hard and strong that my head was hurting real bad.
After being able to console myself in the next couple hours, I was back to normal but still had the remnants of the dreadful idea in my head. That is when I planned on making this list, “a wish-list”, for what is that I really want to do in with my life or more precisiely what would I do, if I knew that I had exact 30 days left in my life and no more.
After giving a lot of thought on what to put on the wishlist and what not, I realised that making a list of 30 things important to you can be really difficult. There’s a hefty confusion on what would you like to do vs what would you try. I found myself in the common dilemma on what popularly is known as Explore vs Exploit dilemma in the modern AI or in philosophy. More and more weird thought started striking my head: Should I program a POMDP and let it decide all the crap and fix my life? What if I make a programming error or the model I choose is not complex enough to model? What if the POMDP solver takes a million years to solve the POMDP because of the large number of states? (Why so geeky thoughts? I was preparing for my AI exam which I anyway flunked :-( ) I had started tunring restless again when the idea of forming a bag of things like you would do with a bag of words in a Machine Learning class hit me. This article is my continuous effort on adding my ideas or other suggested ideas to the bag of ideas and then finally come up with the top or the grand 30 that I would do. Since this makes filtering things really easy, I thought this might even help if I had more or less than 30 days left :-p
Being a soft hearted person, who gets annoyed or angry really fast (for some unknown reason), I would want my bag of things to do something for most people that have been a part of my life and influenced it in some way. Since, the inception of the cancer idea in my head, I no more feel shy to say sorry, because in the end we all will die anyway. What would I do with all my ego and pride then? So it’s okay to say sorry or do something good for the people you care about even if they annoyed you sometime in the past. My parents, (who are well aware of my short temper and I guess I inherit this from them), do understand that at times I get irritated on small things and do things I shouldn’t have, and so I would also want my special bag to contain a few things to express my love and gratitude for them.
Over the time, during 11th and 12th, I have realised I enjoy travelling to long destinations with my family or friends around. I would definitely want to plan for such a trip. The last 30 days I would have would be total carefree days of my life. I would even try a lot of things I am currently scared of. I fear heights, but had it been my last month, I would climb high peaks and mountains tops just for the thrill of it. My brother is one of the most valueable person in my life. He is about a year and a half elder to me. He doesn’t know how much of an inspiration he is to me. Unfortunately I have never found a way out to express how much he means to me. All the ways of gifting random stuff just seem too lame to be meaningful. I sometimes believe that there is just no good way to express your heart in the objects or words around you.
Since the description seems to be getting pretty long, I think I might stop and just list the bag. Since I couldn’t think of everything all at once, this is going to be a progressive list and I will keep adding things. I will eventually try to come up with the top 30 or a little less because a few things might span over a few days.
Now that I am having so much fun making this bag, I am a little saddened by the idea that I may not even know that of my last days and just pass away without completing these. Should be really sad. But atleast I now know what I want to try out, I will definitely attempt to complete some of these.
I would like my friends to visit my funeral in black suit and stand silently behind everyone. Everyone would then feel that I was a top secret agent and my team has come to my funeral. I don’t remember where I read this, but sounds like a really cool idea to me.