Wednesday, July 23

Die smart for smooth burial

No doubt it was not a routine burial owing to two reasons: First, it was a stuffy and hot evening, and secondly, the guy was a big fellow. Last week, a young man in his late 20s breathed his last after a protracted illness, primarily caused by a road accident resulting in head injury. As asserted by the family that he could have survived if the electricity transformer would have been replaced on-time though 16-hour loadshedding had bothered him already, but not to the brink. Nevertheless, ultimately it is deemed and pronounced by the attendees to be preordained by the Allah Almighty, and everybody, including the dearest ones find refuge under this guise; so stop blaming the players or the criminals who caused the death; and in this cases it was the Wapda, if not the ‘saintly’ government of the ‘most God-fearing’ politicians, off to spend the last ten days of Ramadan in Saudi Arabia. The burial ordeal started when the aggrieved family was advised by someone – on such occasions they are in plenty always – that the charpoy (body carrying cart) could be carried to the graveyard without much hassle since there were quite a few young lads, who were friends of the deceased too. This one-kilometre distance from home to the graveyard was covered with unimaginable difficulty since after a few steps every carrier would start feeling the weight on his back, and the fasting (roza) was an easy pretext for not carrying their friend to his last worldly destination. The pace of the funeral procession got slowed with every few steps. The advisors and the initial ambitious carriers were found missing. However, ‘others’ were able to take their friend to the Janzgah. Over half-an-hour wait was to add more trouble to the already exhausted bodies and parched throats since the cleric of a specific brand was to arrive from the other corner. One could very well imagine the poor family members who had been virtually shattered not only emotionally, rather physically too. And when his majesty the Mullah arrived, everyone heaved a sigh of relief. But to their dismay, he started his usual mantra of life in this world, of sinners and the pious, and preparation for the world hereafter. Who could tell the maestro to stop! He was more interested in proving his prowess of knowledge and oratory in a congested janzagah. When loud breathing first, and suppressed whispering started latter, he realised that his message was certainly falling on deaf ears, but he heard the suffering in silence. He was quick to start long brief to the funeral prayer, which was otherwise of longer duration too. One could very well visualise that the deceased father was a rich man, and so were various ceremonies, not only extravagant in nature, rather demanded more professionalism as well. Rarely has been a poor man’s funeral handled so professionally. It is the quickest always! Also, it was an occasion where people volunteer to carry the body to a distant graveyard, but only in loud voices mostly. The journey was to re-start after the prayer but now only oldies were advisors for taking the charpoy quickly, while the previous batch had either gone silent or hid somewhere. It was pretty difficult to carry the big body through narrow lanes, crossing graves on the way, and ultimately reaching the dark nook of the cemetery, which had been illuminated through different sources of light, including mobile torches. The last step was to down the body in the grave. These are the occasions when one would hear voices of those even, who have never been consulted ever or their advices have been slammed back into their faces with abuses. Double the measures were taken to land the body in the ground, rather he was virtually squeezed in the pit because of the size. Where were the advisors when the grave was dug up? BEWARE of your size, and advisors, before you die!

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