Monday, May 9, 2011


Part 37

When they arrived at the room where the body of her father was kept they saw people making arrangements to shift the body to other place in the hospital. Rashmi was standing near the mortal remains of her father. Veena sobbing held her hand gripping it strongly passing on her feelings to her. Other girls stood quietly. There was nothing to talk at that juncture and they preferred to convey their condolences mutely. After some silence Rashmi looked to other girls and politely accepted their condolences. It was a very sad ambiance. In turn the other girls touched Rashmi and passed on the commiseration.

Rashmi asked them, are they going to come to her house, not very far from that place, she said to Veena. The girls were at loss to decide whether they should go there or not. Ibna wanting to be familiar with more about Hindu ways showed interest in that and suggested that they should make a cursory visit since they have come this far, it shall be a good gesture and showed her desire that they should go and buy some flowers or a wreathe to be put on him as a gesture of honor to the deceased. The girls liked the idea and since for all of them it was a very different experience they looked very excited at the suggestion.

Now they were moving out to find out where they can get flowers or the wreathe. Soon they found a small shop where they could get flowers. A small wreathe frame of cane was available and Ibna suggested that let us buy this on behalf of the office. Ibna told the floweriest to decorate it quickly and the wreathe was ready in no time. The three girls purchesed flowers and the flowered wreathe; called Rashmi on phone and told her that they prefer to be at her house, what she wants to do, if she wants to come along with them or prefers to come along with the body. It may take some time for the ambulance or hearse to reach the hospital. Rashmi tells them that she shall ask her brother and intimate and presently they saw Rashmi coming out of the hospital; signing them that her brother has advised her to go with her friends and be with her mother, she need not be at the hospital any more.

Rashmi’s residence was not very far, they reached the place in a few minutes. It was a small house surrounded by a pretty garden. That area had all the small bungalows. On entering the house the girls decided to meet her mother and give their condolences. Rashmi’s mother was very quiet and showed no sign of panic as if she knew that her husband was not going to return, situation had made her so mature that she appeared as if she was not much bothered about the death. There in one central place in the big room, probably living room, a small photo of the father was kept on a table surrounded by some flowers and girls kept their flowers and the wreathe at the floor near the photo. Mother was sitting in room next to that living room, when the girls sat near her they did not say anything however their silence was more eloquent. Mother knew Veena and Jyoti well but had never seen Ibna; she enquired about her and showed some surprise that a foreign girl has come to her house. The girls felt a lot of relief when Rashmi’s mother preferred to talk on matters other than the death of her husband. There was no usual crying around in that house. She told Veena and other girls that that death was not unexpected. She talked more about the pain in which father was suffering and even admitted that she was actually asking the almighty to finally relieve him of the pain by taking him to him. She said morosely that when she heard of the death instead of remorse she felt a unique sense of peace and then she thanked the god. Her this admission was most unexpected but it showed the practical way of her thinking. Veena was learning out of this unique experience as she had never had an occasion to go through such an experience.

They saw more people, closer relations of the family, had began to gather around, on that Jyoti murmured to the other girls that it is good that they leave the place, she said, she was getting late and would prefer to go. Other girl save Ibna agreed and told Ibna that in Hindus women normally do not wait on the bereavement. Even though Ibna wanted to wait and see what goes on she finally accepted that suggestion and they moved out mutely signing to Rashmi and her mother an adieu. It was already late.

This Story continues in the next posting.

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