Friday, 13 July 2012

A Man Who Died.

A man died yesterday. Or today. I vaguely remember how it was. He was a relative of mine.I went to his room after his body was taken away to the burning ghat. They say he was a learned man. He had his business with the metaphysical rebellions that often occur in one's head when the deep and powerful questions of intellectual frustration begins to knock the unvisited corners of one's mind....shakes the belief systems which one had nurtured for a lifetime...protecting them carefully from the logical explanations and brutal tests of pragmatism...there was a table in his room...two books...One Orwell..the other one...maybe an Arthur Miller. a personal diary..with a few sketches...a few notes on how his health has been deteriorating gradually...on how he was coming to terms with the inevitable. What had struck me then was...wait... why isn't what had struck me then  not clear to me anymore?... I think I'm losing coherence of words..thoughts...but that is how my mind is working. What do I care if other people blame me for talking in Beckettian convolutions.....however, some fragmented pieces of thought that had struck me then is coming to me.It is something like... a few days ago,even yesterday, all the ideas and concepts written down in those books were on his mind. Today, those ideas are still there in the books,but, the man is no more and the mind, non-existent...Yes! this is what I was thinking as I was standing in his room. The transformation of a soul, of a body that was a holder of feeling, emotions and sexual urges into absolute nothingness, was something which I was not being able to digest even after several attempts. As I stood at the feet of his dead body, I wondered where have all the thoughts gone that had once juggled with Galbraith's prescription of an affluent society and the tales of a nihilist as penned down by Turgenev? The thoughts can't be dead, right?  All the great men have talked about the immortality of thoughts. But why wasn't there any signs of life in the mind that had once given birth to all the thoughts? Has the mind been captivated, incarcerated by death too? That can't be possible. Tagore said he was greater than death. At least that he said, was his ultimate and greatest realization before death.Maybe, the man who died had this realization before his death. But...there is also a chance that nothing of that sort had occurred to him. I'm in no position to judge. All these thoughts...a desparate attempt to reach a conclusion has led me to a terrible the questions which are tearing me apart, the realizations that hadn't quite dawned upon me but has come back...revived itself...has no answer. Or maybe....the man has not died. Maybe, all of it-was just a dream. Results of a deep sleep. As is Death which is also a sleep  but,where, the one who sees the dream never gets a chance to share it as his sleep and his dreams are for another world, another dimension and another space and time, which is still incomprehensible to us, mortals.


  1. Reminds me of Camus. :)

    Death, and all that it entails shall remain incomprehensible to us till the ultimate second. But by then we won't be able to share our knowledge of it. Death, and thus life, is that greatest mystery, which all our philosophies strive towards understanding. But then, to understand life and death we need something greater (is it the reason why there's a god in our minds, if not elsewhere?) while philosophies are merely the outcome of our minds, which is a part of life itself.

    And yes, a beautifully woven prose.

  2. Well written. I love the ending. :)
    And just to share with you, any discussion on death always reminds me of this story by Nirmal Verma, where he says that the way we react when someone dies is not merely due to the fact that we'll not see him again but perhaps also because with his death a part of ourselves is lost forever. It's so true, I feel, that every person I know gives me a different existence and when any of them die, it is as if a a part of me has died as well!