Monday, December 31, 2007

DECEMBER 31, 2007

So here we are–technically and non-technically the last day of the year 2007. It is around 7:00 A.M. in the morning. Yesterday was frightening, a neighbour-Meenakshi Aunt's mother died. She was eighty years old and had been living as an invalid for the past five years.

I was about seven years old when my grandfather died and nine years old when my grandmother died. I do not recollect much about the incidents except that there was hectic activity in the household; relatives from various parts of the country had come and I met lots of cousins whom I had never met before.

The two women Meenakshi Aunt and her mother lived alone and their relatives were in Chennai. I returned home at about 10:20 A.M. after finishing my night shift. At 10:45 A.M. I got a call from Aunt, she asked me to come immediately to her house. I rushed to her house, Aunty's mother was lying on a mat, I knelt down and felt for her pulse and heartbeat-no response. She had died in her sleep, suffering for so long living like a vegetable, she had passed into the other world. I gave her a few drops of Ganga water, the water trickled into her throat.

Then it was time to find a priest who would conduct the cremation services. I took an auto and travelled across the town to find a priest, unfortunately all the priests had gone to Chennai to attend a "yagna." Finally I received a call from Aunt saying that her brother had arranged for a priest and I need not worry. Then we went to the funeral ground where the mortician(vettiyan) made a list of items needed.

The priest reached at 2:30 P.M. Eventually all rituals were completed and the cremation was completed at 5:15 P.M. No one cried as everyone knew how much pain the old lady had endured. They just prayed that her soul rest in peace.

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