Saturday, June 16, 2007

The death of my grandfather last week wasn't the first in the family...but it was the one which had the biggest effect. I was in school this thursday, right after break, when I saw my brother coming in and he gave me the news. For a long time he had been bed-ridden, and he had breathed his last. I got the permission to return home.
My grandparents' place was filled with people...some of whom had rarely come while my grandfather was alive, but had all come now that he had gone. My grandmother, who had been crying incessantly, just looked at me and said, "Dadun nei". There was nothing I could say at that moment. The body had to be taken to the hearse, so I assisted my uncle, cousin and brother in doing so.
Although I have visited Keoratala Crematorium before during Kali Puja for the renowned Shashan Kali puja, it's a different thing when someone you have known has to be cremated. There was no respite though, for even after death you have to wait in a queue. Although I could be forgiven for deceiving myself, I could almost make out a smile on the corpse, as if to show release from the long torture of life.
The rituals before cremation are something I have never agreed with and will never condone. Even death is a profitable enterprise, and some priests earn their bread from these absurd rituals. My uncle performed them, but my father refused...he had never professed faith in any rituals and wasn't about to change his belief. It was hard holding back tears when the body was actually put inside the electric crematorium, because it was the last time I would be seeing my grandfather.
I returned from the crematorium, but life goes on. I went for tuition that very day, and life will be proceeding as normal. I will not consume any non-vegetarian food for the next 11 days, and I will exercise restraint on my part. My father's refused to shave his head and to wear unstitched garments, for neither he nor my grandfather ever believe in such things. One does not need to show one's sorrow to society...it's a state of the mind.

2 Comments:

Blogger trish said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:21 PM  
Blogger sanjukta said...

i think your words truly reciprocate your feelings......
i can understand what the emotions were when u wrote this article.
the thinker in you is well potrayed.....

5:09 PM  

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