Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Next ‘Talkin’?

Yasmin Ahmad, Asri Rabbani and Din Beramboi. Three big names in Malaysia, known for their sheer outstanding charisma in media and entertainment industry, were recently called to meet their All Merciful Creator. Moving on is always tough at first especially to close friends and relatives, but that is parts and parcels of life. No doubt life goes on although some lives stop living while their deeds continue to fill up memorable fond spots in the hearts of others. Yes, life goes on, yet never the same as before.

As the clock continues ticking, surely all living souls will reach their destined ending. In fact the counts on possibilities are just whether we loose them or they loose us first? The idea of going first maybe feared by some who prefer to remain last. Continuous scientific guess and quest to unveil life’s secret and divine intervention simply rationalize The Almighty’s brilliant concept of not knowing when or who goes first? If natural causes don’t come as expected, accidents still happen. Either way one always got a reason to precede life at the next stage.

Those who think about it might have explored the frontier of abundant possibilities on ‘how’ will I go? A pinch of reality is not going to change destiny, so what do we do with it? Some retro rockers might purge responses saying, “live and let die” but the extent of human nature commonly wanting the best all the way through life may slant one’s conscience towards making the best of what’s left instead of letting it be. Hey look who’s talkin? Everyone is gonna be part of this talk, sooner or later, celebrities and commoners alike.

It took decades after the demise of P.Ramlee before he was bestowed with the honor that made his name became Tan Sri P.Ramlee. For Malaysians who knew and loved him and his work, the fact stands still at no one can match his exceptional gift of talent. Same goes to Sudirman Haji Arshad. All these Malaysian legendary celebrities and a lot more unsung heroes have completed their cycle in nature’s course of life and death as they’ve completed their acts according to The Ultimate Master Planner’s scripts.

Perhaps in the case of celebrities, chances are higher that a lot more people knew them when they were alive whereas commoners might not have as many. Thus, when it comes to death of celebrities, the whole nation were shaken with news of such demise. Sympathizers from amongst family members, friends, and fans including news and media workers flood the cemetery compound. Unlike during commoners’ funerals, they might only have their next of kin, immediate relatives, neighbors and local religious people attending their funerals.

What matters to the ones who died is far different than those who have to continue living; both quantitative and qualitatively. To the dead, conceivably the number of attendance during their funerals make better sense with bigger amount of prayers instead of just weeping tears whereas to the living ones, it calms their hearts to see so many sharing grief of such loss or maybe some are even seeing it as potential for more donations to be collected in anticipation of life challenges onwards.

A huge number of weepers are not yet equivalent to a single sincere prayer. This is where quality of life, death and life after death should matter to all of us physically, mentally and spiritually. If life is seen as exclusively for the sake of living, those who believe in life after death should see living as a mean to prepare for the next life. Materialistically speaking, financial stability during life is important in order to salvage rightful heirs from suffering life difficulties or even worse haunted by debts upon facing a death.

Artistes and celebrities are still humans. No matter how legendary their lives were lived, accountability and responsibility of being human still applies. All their works of art can become priceless legacies but it would be better if those legacies also carry rightful meaning instead of pure sinful teaching. Fame and wealth can be used for goodness as much as it can be used for depravity. It’s a choice for the owners and those who inherit it. Being dead, how can we assure that what we left behind will be used with decency by our heirs? Being a dead celebrity, similar question applies.

It doesn’t matter who you are, it’s what you do that defines you. In defining what you do, the spectrum covers what you have done to yourself and to others. One of the ancient Egyptian beliefs upon death is there will be two post death questions to every soul before they are allowed to enter paradise. First question is whether you found joy in life and second is whether you found joy for others in your life? With 95% of earth population having faith in religion, life after death is undoubtedly a common concern.

What others do after we die is totally an individual prerogative. As our souls living in another stage after worldly death, the rationale that others can still contribute their prayers for us while we can no longer do it ourselves calls for preparatory effort before we die. For celebrities and those gifted with artistic talents, an additional advantage comes with such talents in relation to put in order memorable work that can appeal for sincere prayers once they’re gone. In a way, it is quite similar to the work of public relations towards positive branding image. Difference is, we don’t know exactly when we need it.

For Muslims in Malaysia, Nusantara and some other parts of this world, a funeral is complete only when the final sermon (talkin) is delivered upon graving the demise. The content of such ‘talkin’ is more intended for those in attendance at the funeral. talkin is a call for action to the living souls to prepare for their turn to be called by The Almighty. It is clearly meant for those who can still listen to it to make necessary amends in lively actions should the preparation to face death is still insufficient. Hence, are we going to wait until our customized ‘talkin’ being read to others or should we do something now as we do not know when will it be our turn. All in all it is obvious that action speaks louder than words.

By: Towil

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