The fact that death is inevitable is in itself enlightening. Why to hurt someone? Why speak bad words? Why to fear? Why to be proud about what we have and be sad about what we don’t have? Who are we, if not food for insects and germs of tomorrow? We live as if we are to be forever. And even if it is so, what’s the point?
I recall the day of our farewell day at college. I was amongst the few who were asked to speak about our stay at college. I introduced myself as ‘9550’ my college roll number, as that was what I thought I was – a number. An element in the arithmetic progression of our ancient college. Don’t know how many elements have already passed away. The incremental nature of the roll number tells very evidently that a student at the college is nothing more than ‘one more student’. I went on to say that, ‘From here I can see shining faces and glittering eyes of my batch mates. I don’t think we will be gathered like this ever again under one roof’. Realising that I was taking more time than I was allocated as the faculty had taken its precious time to come and bid us farewell, I cut short all that I wanted to say and presented a poem.
‘antim din jeevan ke yadi ye
Shithil padta mera shareer ho
dhamaniyon me ho maddham rakta prawaah
beete pal sab ik ik karke
mastishka patal par chha jaayei.N ....
(Now I was choking)
peer hriday ki reh jaaye
ke daud dhoop me beet gaye pal
priytam se khuchh na keh paaye’
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
-Rudyard Kipling's famous poem 'If'