On hearing the news that her granny passed away, Thara packed her clothes with tears rolling down her cheeks, she started with her father to her uncle’s house for her Granny’s funeral.
She couldn’t imagine her Grandma with flowers, laid down numb without any movement.She has reached the place. She saw her entire family there being sad losing the senior member of the family. The family tree lost its head, what would the branches do without the trunk, without the essence of the root? The whole family is loose.
She headed towards the entrance of the hall where her Grandma’s body had been placed from the car parking. She saw a heap of garlands and roses near the door.
“All these are for my Grandma’s last ultimate respect?” she shouted and ran into the house.
She got shocked and took a step back with a heavy heart and tears rolling down her cheeks seeing her Grandma inside the icebox with garlands and flowers rolled with red costly saree having vibudhi in her forehead.
“She looks different! Why is she this way? What happened to her” she asked with a heavy heart.
“She got aged! She is 83 and it’s a good death for her! She passed away this morning itself and its evening now!” said her aunt.
“She lost her life in sleep and it’s a good death! Not everyone will be blessed to die this way!” said her other Grandpa.
Whatever people get consoled, the huge family lost their mother.
The rituals went on with a Shivan song along with the family’s tears.It’s 3 AM. One by one started to sleep in faint by crying all day.
Thara had a dream in that short sleep as her granny saying “Thara! Don’t cry! I don’t have hip pain now dear! I’m happy with your Grandpa and my other son who died long back here! They are with me! Don’t cry dear!” Thara woke up immediately and came near her Grandma’s body and sat near to it. She laid down her head on the icebox seeing her Grandma’s face. She casually took her head up and saw her face on the mirror which is placed straight to her, from which the main entrance is visible. She noticed that the light is still switched on at the outside and her face looked so ugly and bulged up by crying. She adjusted her hair bowing down and then checked her face again in the mirror. To her shock, he saw someone standing at the entrance with a brown saree and green blouse.“Grandma!” she shouted.“What happened Thara” asked her aunt.“Grandma is standing there! Brown saree and and.. Green blouse” said Thara.
Padma rushed hearing Thara’s noise, “She didn’t see her before, she came late,” said Padma to Thara’s aunt.“The person who came with the ambulance! That Doctor! He checked her and said that he passed away around 4” said Thara’s aunt Gomathy with fear.
“Its 4:10 now and I had heard people saying that souls would travel the places they had visited while they were alive and come back to see their body after 24 hours sharp to get back into them and so the body gets decayed soon,” said Gomathy.“So she passed away yesterday by this time and her soul had come here to visit her body and your powerful eyes had seen that,” said Gomathy.
The night passed somehow with horror struck. The next day everyone got to know the news and everyone was confused.
As time passed, the procession of death garland preparation started. The people out there asked to switch off the icebox at 12:30 PM so that the frozen body would be melted perfectly in an hour for the last respect to begin by 2 PM. Thara had wheezing crying for so long. Padma took her out to the car parking and gave her juice to drink. She started to cry more by seeing the garland outside, “Are they going to carry Grandma on that?” she cried, not able to swallow even her saliva. Padma asked her to have some sleep. She laid down on her Granny’s bed and closed her eyes so tight that she could barely breathe. She felt someone making herself comfortable on their lap, touching her chest and caressing her and she could breathe now. She opened her eyes and noticed nothing. She felt her Granny’s touch. She said her mom about that and her mom told her to be quiet, but somehow the matter came out and everyone started to tease her not to create imaginary scenes.
Time went on, they removed the icebox. Everyone started to cry out loud near her Grandma as they could touch and feel her for the last time. She was half frozen. Ten people together lifted her and took her to the car parking for final rituals. Thara noted that red silk saree was just covered like a bed sheet and she noticed her wearing brown saree and green blouse underneath the covered red saree and got shocked. “Let not everyone trust me! Granny, it’s you and you are with me” she started to murmur to herself. The rituals went on. The procession of death started and her Granny was taken to the cemetery.
While everyone is crying, Thara started to say “She is with us! She is with me! She is never gone and she will never go! She is still living with us! Maybe we all can’t see sometimes” like a mad she spoke alone.
One of her aunts shouted at her “I lost my mom don’t create scenes to get attention”.
“I don’t need attention,” said Thara.
Suddenly they all heard a huge voice, “I was visible to my granddaughter last night! It’s me Yasodha” shouted one of her aunt with Yasodha’s soul inside her with a weird voice and then she got fainted.
The whole family was confused with horror stuck where Yasosha’s five sons entered with her final ash pot.
(To be continued…)