At what age did you realize you were not immortal? How did you react to that discovery?
I have learned man is ephemeral at the tender age of twelve. I watched my father take his last breath. I came to the sad conclusion I’d never see him again.
Bit by bit I grew up knowing , every living thing comes to this world for a certain number of days, months or years that it varies from plants, to humans, to animals and so on. It was a constant worry for me that my mom like my dad will leave us some day, when it happened I was far away from home, no one saw my tears and did not understand how painful it was for me to lose my mom too.
This I told myself is the cycle of life : we are born, grow up slowly, reach adulthood, get old our organs go through the process of deterioration, the clock of life tells us the journey is over and we must leave. The cycle is complete.
I always knew legendary status is not for me. I will never be remembered like Hitler, thank God for that. He was so brutal,who would like to be remembered as he is reminisced about today.
But Tagore is a legend who has claimed the status of immortality by his life’s work. He was the youngest of his siblings but his name so far has not disappeared from our hearts, as long as we “The Bengalis” are alive Tagore’s name will be alive.
William Wordsworth’s poetry will always warm our hearts and we will say how great he was.
Who can forget Longfellow’s poem : “Tell me not in mournful numbers , life is but an empty dream.”
Yet another poet and Philosopher is worthy of mention in the long line of legends is Iqbal: The following is one of his many poems we love and repeat:
Two planets meeting face to face ,
One to the other cried ‘How sweet
If endlessly we might embrace,
And here forever stay! how sweet
If Heaven a little might relent,
And leave our light in one light blent!’
But through that longing to dissolve
In one,the parting summons sounded.
Immutably the stars revolve,
By changeless orbits each is bounded;
Eternal union is a dream,
And severance the world’s law supreme.
I’ve always known I am not immortal. It wasn’t a surprise for me. I did not have any reaction!