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Morbid thoughts

My father-in-law died a few days ago. He was 87, had lived a long, fulfilling life and died after a short illness, short enough to not linger unduly in pain, long enough to let his family accept his imminent passing. As deaths go, probably one of the better ways to go about it. As if one could plan such a thing…..

Hindus cremate their dead. On a pyre of wood, they consecrate the ground and consign the body to the elements. As I stood there watching the flames rise higher and even higher, morbid thoughts arose in me. I could hear the crackling, I could imagine the flesh singeing, the fat popping, the deeper tissues……the science of anatomy was not my friend at that moment.

I wondered how barbaric Christians might find it, burning a person to ash. Especially those who have never seen  it. To burn up a loved one? How macabre! And then I thought of how Hindus might think of burial. Letting a loved one rot in the ground like so much garbage…..What of the Parsis who let vultures pick their loved ones’ bones clean? I wondered if there was a humane way to go about it, to dispose of your dead. I read that Christian burial rituals were a sign of their hope in the end of days when the dead would rise from their graves. Hindus cremate their dead because fire is the great purifier and whatever you consign to a sacred fire goes to the gods. Every culture came up with its own method of ensuring the dead person’s soul/core/aatman/whatever reached their cultural deity/ies.

All the while the pyre burned hotter and brighter and the crackling was no longer so loud…….

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About hbhatnagar

I need to fill this up with much better content than I had populated it with earlier. Why I write a blog maybe? I started blogging in 2009 or thereabouts. I was a newly turned atheist and wanted to converse with others of the same persuasion. We're not exactly a big population group in India! It didn't go very well and I sort of lost interest, posting a few things now and then. I got a lot more regular over the last few months and have been posting almost daily since February '15. There were many reasons why I gradually became more regular in posting, but one way or the other, here I am! So this blog has taken shape, being at different points in time my showcase, my comedy club, my art gallery, my book club, my therapist, my close friend, my innermost self....but always my little corner of the world. You are all welcome to visit and I hope you stay awhile! A few points about me because I don't want to lead anyone on(and trust me this does become an issue more often than I'd care to admit). I'm Indian, the brown-skinned variety; if race, ethnicity or skin colour is an issue, you don't have to get to know me any more than what you see on my blog. I'm 40, so if age is an issue, please be informed accordingly. I was a doctor, an ophthalmic surgeon for 10 years before I quit practice.

Discussion

16 thoughts on “Morbid thoughts

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss ..

    Like

    Posted by Julie@frogpondfarm | 24/12/2016, 1:57 AM
  2. Sorry to hear of your loss, Himanshu. Yes, every culture comes up with its own rituals to ease the pain of their loved ones passing. I hope it helped your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Mick Canning | 19/12/2016, 6:28 PM
  3. The scene is very terrible but your father in law will always be alive in your heart. I had faced a similar situation which is the reason My Theory is based on weird ideas. Please visit and read the new ultimate theory of human relativity exclusively on My Theory also give me some feedbacks as I am hungry for it.
    From your latest follower My Theory.
    Everyone has the same fate, May God bless you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by My Theory | 19/12/2016, 8:52 AM
  4. Gross anatomy sticks with you and pops up at the oddest times. I have freaky thoughts like that too from time to time.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Victo Dolore | 18/12/2016, 9:56 PM
  5. Well written article, Dr. Hb. At the end, with different culture, is how we want to pay respect to our loved ones.
    My condolence…

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Amy | 18/12/2016, 9:51 PM

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