April 7th, Thursday E.O.D. was my deadline for posting on Blogger’s World and it made me not just anxious but also curious. Curious about deadlines. Odd, useless questions such as: why deadlines are called deadlines, when did the term first find its way into our vocabulary, why deadlines have this deadly streak, began to raise their bald and spotty heads.
Since morning, I had been plagued by the need to meet the deadline. Having missed two already, this might be my last chance to redeem myself in the eyes of the admins and the members of Blogger’s World, I thought for the umpteenth time this afternoon; even right before slipping into my siesta. But the siesta was marred with terrible and dark dreams of the forum moderators running after me, practicing their shoe-hurling skills with the passion and aggression of those possessed.
So you see, until this evening, I had no idea what I would be writing about, until inspiration struck, and I decided to torment my tormentor. I decided to unearth the truth about deadlines. Truth be told, the truth was as boring as I had expected it to be – and you can read it here.
When I didn’t find anything inspiring in the history of deadlines, I tried deadline quotes, and found most of them to be as lifeless as the term itself. Here are two samples.
A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it’s better than no inspiration at all. – Rita Mae Brown
I would never finish a painting if I didn’t have a deadline. – Peter Doig
While I agree with both the quotes, they didn’t help me warm up toward deadlines. So I turned inward, and decided to take the line apart.
A deadline is a dead line. A line that has no life of its own, and so it sucks the life out of our lives. In other words, a deadline is a sickly looking vampire that feeds upon our happiness and leaves us listless and weak. A deadline is also the line that is drawn at that point in the space of time (!) after which we are contextually dead. And it’s this knowledge that makes us run hard – so that we are able to catapult ourselves across it while there still is time! We don’t care whether we hurt ourselves in the process, or become ill; because if we don’t, we end up dead.
Anandhotep, who has been dead for a while, believes that deadlines are for weak-spirited mortals such as yours truly, because we can’t see that these lines are figments of our imagination – we believe that they are real, and the mirage holds us captive until we die, and this post proves it.