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      Volume 11 |Issue 31| August 03, 2012 |


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Leave the living alone


Marital separation (sounds so much more cruel as divorce or talak) is divinity's least liked legitimate and rightful human action. That's religion. Why it should matter to others is the 'oldest' question. But it is wholly understandable and should be perfectly acceptable that the 'two' (individuals when wedlock disintegrates) may not have even a working relationship, devoid of emotions. And the couple, crafted out of love or by parleying between consenting families, decide to part their ways.

There will be the sobs and deep sighs, or the loud lamentation or a silence of pride maintained by the diverging souls, but no one would ever suffer more than their children. They weep in silence, knowing not whether they had been an excuse in the union or a factor in the breakup. If deceit be the cause of the nuptial rancour, the cheated partner, known to the world as dumped, who on that happiest day now lost was sworn to a lifelong bondage with the cliché 'till death do us apart', picks up the pieces to build life anew if only to avenge, even if subconsciously, the humiliation and the pain.

Often enough, there is a whole lot of unfair media and public interest in the couple's acrimony, especially if they are known personalities and more so if there is a hint of any extra-marital romance. Digging the dirt is not always only in search of gold.

The separated couple who have parented children and could not once-upon-a-time stay out of each other's sight switch to parallel tracks by choice or abhorrence so as to never again cross each other's path. The children, particularly if grown up or when they mature, take to the side of the one they judge as most affected by the annulment of vows. Children are almost never wrong in the disposal of such judgements.

It is only the death of one partner that often melts the disintegrated hearts and moulds the diverging lines. There is a sudden urge to say goodbye, just that one more time, even if it be after a decade of uneasy calm. Meaningless public curiosity in the drama stands in the way of allowing the living companion to say a fond private farewell. Even if all is not forgotten, a lot is forgiven. The press keeps on hounding; they have a story to file.

Customarily the body of the celebrated icon lies in (silent) state at the Shaheed Minar. Thousands pass by placing flowers moistened by their tears, and yet the living companion of the yesteryears cannot meet the other even in death for fear of prying by the interested public, and so the media. If only the living could shower all the flowers of the world's gardens at the feet of the departed.

The gun salute accorded to the freedom fighter cannot break the silence in the milieu of the living person's bosom. A moan of death let out miles away is heard by no one above the din of the fans who have thronged the coffin in their hundreds. In fact, they were passionate fans of each other, once upon a time; it is difficult not to reflect so in the midst of a thousand thoughts.

The freezer at the mortuary is cold. The living feels it to the bones. The dead lying still discerns naught, or so we know. It was there, in the quiet of the deep night, away from the hounding press and the public, the living parent wanted to bid warm wishes and the fondest prayers, hoping it may perhaps awaken the other parent of their children from this untimely slumber. They did not respect their right to privacy. The separated couple can only whisper a prayer for each other, in life and in death.

If a celebrity has passed away, and the public has an issue to talk about, the whole nation becomes judgemental from home and abroad. The social networks are jammed with where the burial should take place, who should be present, how could death strike, why better care was not taken, why the sick was not paid a visit; whereas these are distinctly private matters for the family to settle, and they need the time and the space.

Howsoever and whatsoever emotion can be expressed by the others at the death of a renowned person, not all the accumulated sadness expressed by the world's population can measure up to the grief nursed in each of the soul of the mother, the father, the children, the wife, the husband, and the siblings. And yet we dare to offer our expertise on where and why, who and which, how and when. As if we are ever again going to heave sighs at the very thought of what the family has lost.

Let us, starting with the media, respect the privacy of individuals, however famous, in life and in death.



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