I read the following rhymes about fifty years ago.
Thus may I live unseen, unknown,
Thus unlamented let me die,
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.
I just glossed over then; it didn’t etch any trace on my mind. Was it due to somewhat youthful arrogance? Didn’t bother to know even what does it mean. But I had a bad habit of scribbling something or other – good or bad -- since my school days. A worse practice not being accustomed to going through them again. And the worst of all is not preserving it. I piled up note book after note book and never cared for their safe up keeping. While moving from one place to another of necessity or whatever they are simply dumped with the rubbish and tossed away. And I moved on to newer places with renewed zeal to write about life and the world as usual.
Now in my old age when I see death looms only winks away I bemoan not reading them at all. I yearn to see the thoughts of my younger days. But they are gone forever. What a pity.
Yet another mistake committed by me is to publish an autobiographical book ‘Grim Tale of a Hypochondriac Heart’ by Notion Press recently. I get a handsome pension; I don’t need any more money. Whatever extra money I have, I give away to the needy I’m acquainted with. My bank balance is maintained at the barest minimum. Still, I tend to bother about the number of copies sold.
Now, five decades later, reading those lines by Alexander Pope, composed at the tender age of only twelve, I feel a great burden is shaken off my shoulder. It’s what Buddhism taught me to let go of everything and find real freedom, but I didn’t pay any heed then. And remained in bondage. Alexander Pope freed me from the slavery. Gone is gone. Everything is impermanent. Thus may I live unseen, unknown. Thus unlamented let me die. No remorse.
I express heartfelt gratitude to Alexander Pope for liberating me from the suffering and helping rediscover myself before death.