I went to a funeral last weekend. I didn’t know the person who died very well, but was, kind of, obliged to go. I was expecting to get a little disturbed, as I usually do at funerals. I got disturbed, all right, but for all the wrong reasons.
When I reached there, I felt like I was inside Page 3. Remember that funeral scene in the movie? It very much felt like that. There were silk sarees and designer clothes and matching necklaces and bangles galore. The food was much relished, and the cook was much complimented. There was a lot of catching up happening. There was talk of everything – from tours and jobs to family and jewellery and Facebooking! Sadly, there was not even a single word mentioned by anyone about the man who died, not a single tear in anyone’s eyes.
I am the kind of person who believes in moving on, in not wallowing in your pain, but getting up and dusting yourself off and walking ahead. But, still, this stunned me. It felt…. cold. Chilling. When I returned, I didn’t feel like I had returned from a funeral.
That reminded me of a funeral in our very own home at Ahmedabad in 2008 – my grandfather’s. I was pissed by some attitudes back then. I was angry at people choosing to discuss family issues right then and there. I was angry at people enquiring about the number of rooms in my would-be husband’s house ( I was just about to get married then), the number of members in his family, the marital status of each and so on and so forth. I can never forget the words of comfort that the better half provided me then, which made me feel that he was there with me throughout – though he was in Bangalore at the time.
What happened to the good old days when people met together to say their prayers for the deceased? What happened to that compassion, that warmth? I understand times have changed, but shouldn’t we at least be remembering the person who passed away – part of your life for quite a while – for 2 days? Or am I missing out on something? Is it just me?