What will you carry to your grave?



A new year and decade has suddenly dawned on us and we have all dived headlong into its days without hesitation. Standing on the diving board at the very end of the bygone year, we have all set ambitious targets as well. Grand plans made during the dying hours of the yesteryear…..

Let me share with you a story passed on by my colleague and friend Mansoor Ali Samnani. This tiny tale motivated me to take a relook at my goals and helped me to shuffle them around in the priority racks of my soul.

There was once a rich old man who was on his deathbed. While he was in the throes of giving up his soul to the afterworld, he pulled his beloved son close to his cracked mouth and whispered-“In my cupboard, you will find a pair of old socks. They are quite faded and threadbare. But I have loved them nevertheless. Make sure that you put them on my corpse before lowering me into my grave.” Having said these words, he passed away.. drifting into a future where he had only his past to keep him company.

The grieving son quickly located the pair of socks and took it to the room where his father’s body was being washed for the last time. He relayed the last request and requested his relatives to put the socks on his father’s life less feet. They outrageously declined and said that it was impossible to do so and all that he could wear was his white shroud. The son was enraged. They were stopping him from following his father’s last request. He stormed to the Imam and repeated his demand. The Imam was even more adamant on his refusal to relent. The son kicked up a storm and used all his persuasive skills to have the socks put on. But all the respected elders in the family unanimously decreed that the socks must not be worn.

Finally the mortal remains of the old man was buried and after tearful prayers, the bereaved son threw a few handsful of earth on his grave and returned.. to the rest of his life.

A few days later, while rummaging through his cupboard, the son finds an envelope addressed to him….in his father’s handwriting. With shaking hands he opens the letter. It had only a few lines written on it.

My dearest son. In my lifetime I have made a fortune. But they did not allow me to take along even an old tattered pair of socks. I had to leave everything behind. So ……

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Let us all ensure that we spend our valuable time in this new year on creating things that we can actually carry with us to our graves…. A few quenched throats, filled stomachs, unburdened backs….. and a handful of tears that we have wiped off and a bouquet of smiles that we have donated.

Have a Worthy 2011

3 Comments

Filed under Till sunset and beyond

3 responses to “What will you carry to your grave?

  1. Shaju Unni

    Wish you a very happy new year 2011.
    The post was really awesome. It was something which every individual should think of. You need to be happy now….or never you would be able to.

  2. neha

    I love the story …….lots of things can be learnt from this…..Thanks..

  3. gafoor mash

    what a message sangeeth thanks to remind me about life and what to do in 2011

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