Friday, August 27, 2010


The son was denied to perform the last rites of business tycoon and performed by one actor recently as foster son. I don’t want to go into emotions and drama of a particular case. The question keeps ringing in my head is why people want to be particular and fussy about care of their dead body. Is it a wish to continue your presence even after the death?
It may be so.
I don’t know whose wish was behind building the TajMahal, Emperor Shajahan or queen Noorjahan. Generally credit is given to the immortal love of Emperor. Other monuments are not so dedicated. Golkonda has so many tombs that many dead bodies buried in many tombs is known only to historians. Some tombs are left incomplete because their dead occupant died early. Come to the modern history and we have Rajghat dedicated to samadhis of Gandhis. From Mahatma to Rajiv with sole exception of Nehru. If the buz is to be believed, the minute details of funeral procession, and sketches of samadhis etc. are prepared during the life time of the ruler (yes ruler even if ruling in democratic way!).
Others also follow the suit. Many chatris, water fountains are littering Old Dehli as ruins. Dehli is capital but other small and big towns also have their share. Take Alibag for example which has a Chatri for Kanhoji Angre. Nobody seems to care about it any more.
Why rulers and generals ? Even saints of all religions continue to live from their tombs, graves, samadhis and such things.
No wonder then ordinary people want at list an epitaph over their grave. Even farmers want to be cremated in their farm and wife next to husband.
The architecture is most favourite discipline to memorise a dead. Others are also seen here and there. We have Nehru wanting his ashes spread over whole of India from a plane. Nothing less in grandeur! We have a Mahtama whose forgotten ashes are immersed several years after.
It may be OK for those who are left behind to decide on the scale of memorial. Utter nonsense for the dying person. As saint Ramdas swami has said it’s same if the body of a sanyasi is burnt, drowned or eaten by dogs and other animals. If one can not be that detached while living, one should not cling to dead body and keep moral, physical, financial burden to the successors. It should be best left to their choice.

Arvind khare

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