Death. A casual whisper, a jibe, a threat, an insult...all in a light vein.
How easily one utters the word without sparing a thought for the actual magnitude of the event.
And how suddenly it strikes without warning one stray morning...
Those who used to jeer at an abrupt ending, or any sort of ending, did so half heartedly. An ending is unpleasant.Because it's morning and the usual chaos continues unabated.
Death.This man introduced Mr.Eliot to me.Mr.Eliot, the banker and the poet.He also spoke of Sriman Shakti Chattopadhyay's spirit-ual habits.With equal ease he could speak of quarks and quirks, cliches and clerks, physics and IAS perks.
This man is dead.
Most people who knew him in his last days would say the genius of the man killed him.His lungs failed to work but he would chew his cigar with the same concentration and work on electromagnetic fields.His friends came to see him on weekends.His family was scattered -alienated by his terrible terrible behaviour.
He was brilliant.Brilliant in the old style sense of the word.Not the new fangled concept of superficial sheen but possessing a profound knowledge of all things.He had a few favourites-Wodehouse,Shakespeare, T.S.Eliot,Lewis Carroll and Einstein.Oh yes, and the Bible.He would quote lines from these often and quiz me.However, I was supposed to be doing physics and maths.He gave up on the Scientific Ahona soon enough.He called me a dhyaronsh,not in a derogatory manner but in a resigned and affectionate way.It was a pleasure to have been an erstwhile veggie I must say.
This man is dead.
He died of drink and nicotine.He grappled with demons.Existential demons.Also the system.This mediocre and corrupt system exhausted him.He was often wont to say Something is rotten in the State Of Denmark and also The tiger in the tiger pit/Is not more irritable than I.
Which is true but then again not.
Dear Arka Jethu, you cannot be dead.But you are.I know you are snorting and passing snide comments wherever you are and thinking that so many people you heartily disliked turned up to see you turn into ashes at Keoratala.And also how, with a terribly snide and subtle touch, the cynic is bid adieu with great solemnity at Keoratala.
Goodbye Jethu.Sorry for doodling and scribbling when you tried to make me understand the intricacies of the universe.
You didn't understand death either.You just said it wasn't an equation.
Nor dread nor hope attend
A dying animal;
A man awaits his end
Dreading and hoping all;
Many times he died,
Many times rose again.
A great man in his pride
Confronting murderous men
Casts derision upon
Supersession of breath;
He knows death to the bone
Man has created death.
(Yeats, yet another of his favourites)