There is a great philosophical debate about death and its motivators. Some say it is only related to the malfunctioning of human organs due to internal or external factors, and some suggest it to be related with the exclusion of personality from a built-environment. The human mind is still not able to understand this very basic phenomenon in its core, and yet everyone has to face it without any formal preparation in mind. However, what is out of our perception about death is not even imaginable, like the fourth dimension of this universe, but what we should think about is the lasting impacts of death on societies and cultures. This is where we stand, gaze, and explore.
I once visited a man named Shahab Ali Khan at his death bed. I got into his room and asked about how he is feeling. He replied smiling, “By the grace of God, I am alright”. Watching my curiosity and sadness, he voiced, “They say that my liver has stopped functioning due to a tumor in it. Doctors have told me that I am not going to last for more than three or four days. I feel some pain at the center of my body, but my senses are working fine. I am breathing, thinking, and feeling things around me as I felt before, so you can say I am doing well.” I was shocked. The life Shahab built around him, his family, his property, relationships, interests, activities, all of them were going to vanish and die for him within some hours and he was still smiling, reflecting his being as doing well. His family members and some friends were standing by his bed side, emotionally watching him leave this world. At once, he asked his crying granddaughter to bring his new turban and coat for him. She ran and came back with it. “Help me to wear it, if you can” asked Shahab. I, along with his son did so and he kept smiling and praying for us. “Alright my dears, good bye… pray for me in this journey”, said Shahab and closed his eyes. At that time, a question came to my mind: Is he going somewhere? If not, then why he is doing all this? Most importantly, why he kept smiling on his death bed? Why he wore a new dress before dying? Although, Shahab was a religious man and I always knew him as a gentle, honest, and pious man. But why he did what he did? How did he knew he was about to die at that exact time?
His family was sobbing and crying on his funeral. I met with her old wife and told him that Shahab was an honest human being and I will always remember him as one of the best people I have met in my life. I sympathized on her loss, and asked her to have patience and courage. Crying, she uttered, “I accept what is being done. I accept this from my open heart, and see it as Divine justice we all deserve.” That women lost her husband, her children almost became orphans, and she was accepting it all happily with a justification of Divine justice? I wasn’t able to understand that philosophy of self-denial and sacrifice not even at this point of time, when I have become excessively rational in almost every aspect of my life. However, now I see it as an essential part of life for every human being on this planet. I believe there are some facets which we can never understand in our limited life, but even questioning them opens a whole new horror for us.
I am still not able to understand this event, and thought it’s good to share it all with you people. I leave you all to decide and summarize this whole thing at your end.