Monday, November 9, 2015

A doubt has crept in.

A fortnight back, a classmate of mine and a close friend had lost his mother. She was in her late 80s, had age related problems and was staying with one of her daughters at Lonavala when the end had come about. She has seven children, all doing well for themselves. The intrigue was as follows:-

   * my friend never made it to Lonavala for partaking in his mom's last rites and connected
   * he'd instead taken off for a week's holiday in the north east to be with his friends, instead.
   * he's quite active on our class' What'sApp' group sending us snaps of them having a nice time out
      there and forwarding us jokes and other matter as though nothing was amiss.

I found it to be rather strange with the background that I come from. I could, however, understand the following:-

    - usually one buys air tickets on low fare well in advance and cancellation entails loss of money.
      And economics plays a very important part in our lives while taking decisions.
    - all the arrangements one has made go for a bunt and to redo them is one hell of a bother.
    - a postponement would have been in order except for the fact that all the arrangements would
      have to be redone. But that was nothing compared to the enormous personal loss to him.

I haven't had the courage to ask my friend about his actions but will ask him once I get the right opportunity. I know that I sound gossipy over a serious personal issue of another - and that, too, whom I term as my close friend - but there in lies my doubt. To my mind it's every individual's duty to do the last rites of his parents and thereby, go through the related ceremony consequent to it. It's as per the customs and traditions passed on to us by our parents and grandparents and it can't be taken lightly because it's yet another reason for 'one's coming into this life'.

But there's an opposite viewpoint which says that one must be good to one's parents during their life time and the 'tamasha' after death is all a show and only to impress others because it doesn't indicate true love! I tend to find merit in this argument but cannot endorse it in the true sense. My friend, perhaps, loved his mom and was only going about things in a practical way. For him, the sight of his dead mom wasn't conceivable as he'd like to remember her as she was during the pleasant times!......

RIP aunty! Thanks for the way you'd looked after me as a kid. I can never forget the lovely sweetmeats that you used to make during occasions. My prayers and tears!


About ten years ago, another friend of mine had done something similar when he refused to do the last rites of his mother eventually forcing one of his younger brothers to go through the entire ceremony. His argument was that all the 'after death activities' that people indulge in were meaningless and usually meant for the others. He was then practising meditation under a 'guru' and all discussions on the subject were in vain. I remember my being very angry with him for his opinion and didn't speak to him for a while, till I realised that I was being mulish.

But all the same........the doubt still persists!


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