Saturday, October 15, 2016

The 41st day ceremony.

The Backdrop.

The 41st day after death has a great significance. It's believed that the soul of the deceased lingers around the focal point of its existence, in its 'just finished life' for 41 days before it attains its new form in the next 'avatar'. The cycle of birth continues and that's the cosmic truth!

How the day turned out to be.

The day had begun at 5 because my sleep had vapourised for no rhyme or reason. Mini was already in the kitchen, initiating the day's work, to cater for the guests that were supposed to arrive shortly. I'd browsed through the mail, replied to a few and it was sunrise, soon after. 

We're ready by 7 and I'd spent some time at my parents' cremation spots and challenged mom thus, "Mom, can you show us that your soul is, actually, around here through something spectacular?" .........And, soon after, forgot about it too!

By a half past 7, Radhakrishnan and Vijayan - an ex-army man - had arrived and got their stuff started to recite the 'Ekaadasam skandham' of the Mahabhaagavatham, that covers Lord Krishna's end till he attains heaven. Both of them are blessed with a bassy yet, melodious voice and it was a treat to hear the verses being sung clearly and loudly.

Our close relations had arrived from Thiruvananthapuram, Kayankulam and Kidangoor along with a few guests - about thirty in all - from around here. Breakfast and lunch were provided by the efficient galley managed by Lekha, Rema and Mini. The bulk of them left soon after lunch as there was a programme at the PN Panicker Foundation at 1500 hrs. The rest left in a trickle just before and after tea!

Radhakrishnan and Vijayan had finished the recital by 5, carried out the finishing puja suffixed with the 'aarathi' and at the end of it , gave us a flower petal, each and a couple of them to me. We'd offered the petals to the deity while the second that I'd, was put into a page of the Mahabhaagavatham that was opened at random. Two things happened simultaneously, in the order of sequence that I'm gonna mention:-

     (a) Electricity had tripped in the vicinity during the incessant rains that were on.
     (b) A zero watt bulb that used to be switched on for my parents, to facilitate their movements during the dark 
            hours, simply fell off from the end of its lead wire and broke into many pieces with a minor explosion.

Now, was that my mom's answer to my query in the morning? I will never know! But I'd like to believe that mom was unambiguously showing me her presence around us!! And of course, that night light was no more required!!! 

(a) My mom's soul has flown away from our precincts. Did she enjoy every moment of her's that she'd spent with us during her lifetime? Did I live up to her expectations? I'd like to believe that the answers to both the questions are on the affirmative.

Or has she attained the universal soul?

Wherever you are mom, I'll miss you every waking moment of mine and feel sad that I couldn't spend more of my time with you.

(b) Radhakrishnan, had read out the first few verses, from the page of the Mahabhaagavatham, in which, I'd placed the petal. It highlighted Lord Krishna's antics in his childhood!

    .....And Radhakrishnan's interpretation, "Sir, Amma is pleased with the day's proceedings!" He, too, was looking for an endorsement to their day's efforts


1. My friend Manoj, an advocate, passed on this beautiful verse on the occasion, though it sounds post scripted for me and I quote,

      "If you have a mother
             do take thorough care of her.
        You will realise her value
             when you see the empty chair".  

2. 41 days(From the date of cremation, otherwise today's the 42nd day after my mom's passing away) have flown very fast and they've indeed been difficult. There's only one thing that's left when compared to what I'd done for dad.......... A handful of mud from my mom's resting place needs to be immersed in the waters of Rameswaram! I shall do that soon.            

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