|DOING AWAY WITH TRADITION WITHOUT RAISING AN EYEBROW AND BEING PRAISED FOR IT. NOW THAT'S TOUGH! POSSIBLE BUT TOUGH!||
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Dust to Dust
Sunday, October 30, 2005A funeral procession passed by on the streets below. A rather simplistic hearse, more of a hand-drawn cart than a hearse. The procession was the usual, singing of chants periodically drowned out by the loud monotone of the conch shell. Silk scarves adorned the hearse and the coffin cloaked in layers of scarves and some flowers. The coffin itself was a hurriedly hammered box covered in white and yellow cloth. Very simple. The usual home-made casket. Designer coffins aren't the norm here, something so common in the West. That's beside the point.
Sweet aroma of burning incense wafted through the air. A Tibetan cortege, definitely Tibetan. I've seen such processions a thousand times before but this one got me thinking.
"Why does the corpse lead the rest?"
Passersby stopped to look. Traffic halted for sometime to let the cortege through. Few fingers touched the forehead and the chest - a symbolic gesture of blessings. A part of the Cross which the Catholics do.
"Why does he get all the attention?" Even the most unlikely of people, the most unlikable get their share of attention on the way to the mound.
Why are we so obsessed with dead people? Dead singers. Dead poets. Dead rebels. Dead heroes. Dead him and her.
Much of the world's conflicts are related to dead people. Much of the world's beliefs revolve around the 'Other World'. One cannot take anything to the grave so they say.But I guess not!
I surmise that to Eternal Rest, one takes away some rest, leaving a little less rest for the living. To Eternal Sleep, one takes away some sleep, leaving a little less sleep for the living. To Eternal Peace, you take away some peace from the living, leaving behing a little less for the living.
When my turn comes, I hope I rock this joint!
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