Saturday, March 1, 2014


Pic.: Vincent D'Souza

Probably, many of you must’ve heard about Randy Pausch and his very, very inspiring book – ‘The Last Lecture’. But, I hadn’t... till this morning, when I had been to the school founded by my dear student-and-friend, Pratap. Like me, Pratap, too, is a voracious reader and has built a rich library in his school. It was there, he placed in my hand a copy of ‘The Last Lecture’ and asked, “Sir, have you read this book?”

Before I could answer, I had already borrowed the book!

I am asking you, now, the same question: “Have you read this book?”

If not, please do!

So, for those who were like me – ignorant about a man called Randy Pausch - I am writing this Post...

Randy Pausch was a Professor of Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon University. He was married to Jai and had three little children – all between the age one and five. In September 2006, Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer... and, in August 2007, he was given the dreaded terminal-verdict:  ‘Three to six months of good health left’. He lost the battle on July 25, 2008!

What makes Randy Pausch a legend that he is now - and what makes people like you and me read about him - is how he chose to approach those last few months... In fact, that one decision of his to deliver – what has now become his legacy – the lecture called ‘The Last Lecture’... at Carnegie Mellon on September 18, 2007.  This lecture became a widely popular YouTube video, which spiraled into several media appearances and, finally, culminated into one of the New York Times best-selling inspirational-books!

Yes, I know, Pausch is not the only cancer victim or cancer survivor to inspire mankind. There were others... Young Terry Fox who ran his last ‘Marathon of Hope and died enroute...There was Lance Armstrong who won the grueling cycling championship, Tour de France even after battling against testicular cancer (leave alone the Drugs controversy)  ... There was our own little Gitanjali who had left behind - under her death bed -  her simple, soul-stirring poems... Yes, there are many, many more inspiring heroes... Still, when you read his book or listen to the video, you realize what a legacy he has left behind in his, in deed, ‘last lecture’...

‘Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams’! This was the title of Pausch’s last lecture. He had got it in a flash and he had kept his own three little children in mind and along with them others... you, me and millions!

I do not wish to write about it anymore... Please read as I did, almost one flat go!

Honestly, I badly needed someone like Randy Pausch to come and give me a hard shake, today!

Thank-you Pratap.

Video courtesy: YouTube

1 comment:

Tanish Kanal said...

Randy's book and lecture have healing power in them. Your post has done a great service. Thanks - Tanish