In the end…

I am currently reading the book ‘Career of Evil’ (Coromoran Strike 3 ) and there was this scene where Strike is contemplating about death. It is actually a scene where in some folks celebrate the death of a fellow friend in a way they deem fit for him. They drink, they sing a song which talks about their school days etc. Here in my place, when someone dies, they take a procession with song, dance etc…to the crematorium. I used to wonder why this big fan fare? But now, I think its not about the death, its more about celebrating a life that was well lived.

It did not make me melancholic or anything, but reminded me of a poem I love and have mentioned the same quite a few times in this blog. It’s written by Kamala Das. Here it is again, for all the new readers.

When I die
Do not throw the meat and bones away
But pile them up
And let them tell
By their smell
What life was worth
On this earth
What love was worth

It might seem very dark, but for some reason this has been my favorite poem since college. Something about the way the death wish is conveyed in a very crude , cruel and yet very honest way made me remember these lines for all these years. I got to read another one of hers recently, which is totally on the other side of the previous one. I like this one too. I guess based on my mood, I might select one or the other to recite 🙂

I cannot fold
my wayward limbs to crawl into
coffins of religions.
I shall die, I know,
but only when I tire of love;
tire of life and laughter.
Then fling me into a pit
six feet by two,
do not bother to leave
any epitaph for me.

Right now, my mood is leaning towards the second one.

This got me thinking. In our religion, we cremate the bodies. I wish mine to be done in a electric crematorium and done within a few seconds. I don’t care where my ashes go. Can human ashes be good fertilizers ? Apart from how my body transforms, as a soul, how do I want to be known when I leave this world in search of a better place? Do I want to be known at all? I wouldn’t be honest if I said ‘No’. I do want to be known. I do want to be remembered. But not because I did something good, not because I did something effective…simply put, not because of something I did, but because of who I was. All I wish for is a single smile when my soul flies, acknowledging a soul who loved and was loved and wishing me good luck on my next journey.

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