Its been a long day yesterday. As I boarded my morning train to office, my cousin sister called me. She was crying and the only thing I could hear was come quickly and Papa. Her papa, my uncle and husband of my Mausi passed away this morning.
By the time I reached there, he had already passed away. My cousin is one of his two daughter. The elder daughter is married while the younger one is studying.
My uncle always joked that his last rites would be performed by his daughters and his younger daughter would agree quite seriously. In Hinduism, the last rites are performed by the son or a male member of the family. People really have strong opinion about something based on religious belief but my aunt was adamant.
Finally my cousin did perform last rites on her father as we all watched. I don’t know much about religion but I guess no where has written that the last rites cannot be performed by a woman. I felt proud about her.
Unfortunately after dad’s death, I have attended many funerals, some close and some not so close. In every funeral, the rites performed depends on the people present and the extent of the knowledge they have. The procedure changes as per the situation and people. According to scriptures the last rites are important because that determines the after-life of the dead and the next life.
I am not into the debate of life after death nor I am debating about the meaning of the rites but the way I look at it, the dead has already passed over. The people left behind have to bear more pain and no rites can bring peace from the loss of their loved ones. The rites, the scriptures do little to calm a pained heart and yet everybody insist that the scriptures have to go well putting doubts in the hearts of the loved ones of the dead.
The basic human nature does not change in any situation. People are ready to take advantage of any situation no matter what extent they can fall to. I witnessed people blowing their own horn and organizing the funeral as if it was some kind of mega event. The attitude sickens me when I see people behaving in such obnoxious manner. But then as I said its human nature.
And still, in all these mayhem, one thing that stood out was that my uncle had donated his eyes. He had pledged his eyes way back in 1988. The strange thing was that he had searched for the card just two week back and kept it in a safe place. Did he have some kind of premonition? Maybe he did!
May he rest in peace!!