Death – whether of an object, or of a relationship, a loved one, relative, an acquaintance or even of strangers – it surrounds us. Yet we try to hide from it, and avoid its presence as much as possible, often dismissing it as unpleasant and morbid.
What is it that scares us about the end of life? What meaning does death bring to living?
Ignored, death asserts anyway, attended to, it also speaks.
Held on the 18th of October, Gyaan Adab in association with TACT, hosted Parting With Words, न होना केवल शब्दों में – a show where poetry meets death.
These are English and Hindi poems from all over the world woven together in dramatic reading and they open a space for a dialogue about our hopes, fears, feelings and thoughts related to parting. They intend to make death part of our conversation and contemplation such that we recognize dying as the inevitable and significant companion of our living.
Performed by Aanand Chabukswar, Rupali Bhave & Aarti Tiwari, the performance settled into a pleasing rhythm that touched the hearts of all in attendance with soulful presentations of the poems, and had many wipe a stray tear from the corner of their eyes. As they pendulated from soft-spoken words to lines of poetry spoken in chorus, the audience experienced many rises and falls, as with the nature of death itself.
The concluding sentiment was that death is not something to fear, but to embrace, and all of our patrons were left with much food for thought.
After all, as Lucretius says, “your death is the order of things: it belongs to the life of the world”.