Sure, or it could be a sign you've been reading Indian newspapers, I thought. Stories about people who walk in on their own funerals are so common in India that temple priests surely build it into their eulogies: "We will now have a moment of silence to allow the recently deceased to enter the room and family members to gasp and fall over."
One report was about a young woman named Ganga Devi who ran off with a lover. After several days, she read her own name in the newspaper, not as a missing person, but as a murder victim. Her corpse had been found and positively identified by family members, it said. She had accidentally made the perfect escape.
But then she took another look at her new lover, a friend of her father's, and decided to call home, said news reports. He must have looked like a hideous, repulsively wrinkled member of the Rolling Stones, or, to put it another way, a member of the Rolling Stones. I can imagine the phone conversation she had with her brother. "Hi, this is Ganga. How are things at home?" "Fine, except for the fact that you're dead. Wait."
Another link led to a report about a young man who disappeared. His parents got the police to round up his six best friends, charge them with murder and put them on death row. Then the boy returned from a jaunt. Let this be a lesson to all males. CALL HOME. Had he returned later, it could have turned out badly. Mother: "You should have phoned. We had all those people killed." Boy: "Sorry, Amma, next time."
How do cops identify bodies? Police: "We found a corpse. It has two arms, two legs and one head." Parent: "So did my daughter!" (Collapses)
Parallel news stories often pop up. Earlier this week, one reader emailed me a report about guys making guns using 3D printers in the US. The next email was about scientists in China using 3D printers to make live human organs. I see a horizontally integrated business opportunity. People can blow bits off each other using the US invention and then grow new body parts using the Chinese one. But I'm not looking forward to standing in the doorway of the copying room hollering to colleagues: "Okay, who left 25 copies of their internal organs in the photocopier?"
By lunchtime, a reader had sent in another "dead person alive" story, this time from China. A street vendor in Zhejiang province was said to have died of harassment by officials. A huge protest was organized around his corpse. Three hours of angry shouting followed. And then the "dead man" threw off the sheet covering him and said: "It's so hot. I need a drink."
His workmates glared crossly at him for spoiling the scam. They should have smiled and said: "Hallelujah, he's risen from the dead!" Then it really would have seemed like an earthshaking Holy event, such as the coming of the Last Days or even the launch of a new iPhone.
(16.08.2013 - Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveller. Send ideas and comments via www.mjam.org)
--IANS (Posted on 16-08-2013)