Dinish Gupta’s Letters: An Extract
In the meantime, read an extract from one particularly poignant letter below, and see them all on display here until 29 August.
My dear Chotodata,
Received your sweet note this afternoon, none from Bowdi.
I am not grieved in the least to die.
I do agree that life is sweet but sometimes death is sweeter. Do you not think so?
I want to sleep, deep sleep, sleep that soothes
the heart from the endless miseries and misfortunes
of this world. Death is my friend, my greatest benefactor. Death will release me from this bondage, death will make me free. May liberty is in death, my life-eternal is in death.
When I die, I want no tears. If any one
loves me and is really sorry for me, let him not cry aloud. My soul shall not be satisfied with tears, with salty water of helpless beings.
Perhaps this is my last letter.
My Pranam of best love to you all
Pete Le May, the exhibition’s curator, offers an interpretation of the letter…
“This remarkably poetic and philosophical letter shows 19-year-old Dinesh confronting his mortality without fear. He sees his death as a path to freedom. The final line of ‘my soul shall not be satisfied with tears, with salty water of helpless beings’ shows that he wants people to be active and follow his path, rather than be helpless and submissive. He thinks the date of his execution is close. In fact, he was executed two weeks after writing this letter. ‘Pranam’ is a respectful greeting which he uses to sign off to his family.”