Rider
Gone

If ever there was one word which evoked a legion of emotions, it is Death, Spoken reverentially , fearfully,  hysterically all at the same time . Though there are testimonies to people ‘laughing in the face of death’ , death itself has never corroborated the story.

Death is believed to be permanent, the final frontier through which we ultimately ‘Pass Over’ to the ‘other Side’.  Heroic exploits have been recorded in history of people coming back from the brink of death but never death itself. The only journey where we see them ‘depart’ at the departure but never go to the arrivals to welcome them back, and receive no postcards to indicate whether they made it alright , furthering the intrigue.

So it is settled, there is no running away from the whole thing, might as well accept it. Cultures all over the world vary in how they deal with death, they even dress differently for the occasion, most western cultures prefer black, while Asian countries like India dress in white. In  some, mourning is a more private affair, where the family of the bereaved   stoically acknowledge the condolence offered. It is in stark contrast to how it is in a southern Indian state where they dance around and generally create a ruckus all the way to the cemetery.

Cultures may also be diametrically opposite in how they mourn and even set certain parameters. Some are expected to be loud and expressive , silent or stoic mourning perceived as a lack of intimacy with the bereaved. In the western Indian state of Rajasthan there are people who have perfected the art of mourning, professional mourners (moirologists) known as ‘Rudaali’ are compensated to lament or perform an eulogy. This system would have effectively dealt with and/or given some respite to family members who mourn silently. There even existed the heinous practice of forcing people- read ‘women’-to join the dead to prove their ardor.

Recordings/Narratives of the actual death itself differs in many spiritual and ancient texts. Some attaining ‘Nirvana’ , others die heroically and yet others ascend to heaven directly. Either ways there is an end. Personification of death  ranges from a Demi-God on a buffalo to pop culture reference of the Grim Reaper wielding a scythe. Religion and the idea of ‘God’ and ‘Heaven’ too maybe defense mechanisms which have been put up to deal with death. Cultures bury, cremate, some lay out the dead for the vultures, each in their own way easing the journey towards the eternal ever after.

This knowledge of the grand ‘The End’ has not stopped people from taking others lives or ending their own unnaturally. Death might very well be having the last laugh, when the murderer and the victim end up on the ‘other side’ on the same dinner table.

Furthermore,even though many theories on Ghosts and Paranormal  activities are put forward as clues towards solving the mystery of death and beyond, they are dismissed by the mainstream as figments of overactive imagination. Ghosts are not received with a smile which is certainly not how you would acknowledge a  dear one; the makeover on the ‘other side’ is nothing to die for in my opinion. (Please feel free to laugh at this point).

Death is thus, universally acknowledged to be the only code that has been never cracked , once or if cracked, the  aura of awe, intrigue and mystery surrounding it will disappear leaving it as ordinary as any, might be the very reason why no one till date has come back from the ‘other side’ , providing clues might just be cheating or they are having too good a time over there to even give a ……..!

Photo Courtesy: Manoj S K (FB)

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