I lost my father at the midst of my Degree Part I exam. He was a diabetic patient and due to some injury on his feet he had to be admitted at JJM Nursing home, Dibrugarh. It was in the month of October,1999. We had passed the worst days of our lives in those period when our parents became almost the permanent residents of that nursing home. After passing almost 6 months in the nursing home, we came back to our pavilion with the least hope of getting back him. Those days were the last days of his life..so every time people were surrounding him to see him for the last time. My mother was busy to do all the activities for which she could get relief of his health. The whole atmosphere became quite busy on serving him…some came to have a meal with him for the last time…some came to talk with him for the last time…some came to know the exact situation of his health so that they could get prepared for his funeral.
I was absent at that time since my Part I exam was going on. Though I was away from my home, I kept my ear alert of hearing the worst of my life. Finally the day had arrived…my father passed away. I had just finished my major papers…pass course papers were still on the way. My mother asked me to come home…I went home finally preparing myself to face my father’s dead body. But unfortunately, before my arrival, his funeral was over. Since we have no brothers, my cousin brother did the job and my mother was speechless on taking the decision whether they should wait for me or not. Whatever it was, on being absent at the funeral, I simply had a silent deep grief for it.
Since I was absent at that time, I did not know what was happened there. After spending 3 days at home, I again came back to Guwahati to complete my rest of the papers of my exam. I missed my pass course papers…so I had to appear the rest of my papers otherwise I would be declared as disqualified for the exam. I attended the papers and again came back to home. On those days, my mother told me everything, what was actually happened, how he repeatedly asked about me at the last stages..how some of our relatives used to take their meals at the mornings so that if my father would pass away on that day they would not have to worry for their fasting. Besides some people became strict on my mother on following the rituals at her husband’s death. My uncle (father’s brother in law) took her forcefully to the dead body and forcefully erased her SINDUR from her forehead by her husband’s foot finger. According to them, these are the rituals we should follow strictly ignoring her mental condition. Well, we people were prepared for the good things of our father. So we did not protest anything though some people from the crowd could not go behind on protesting such a pathetic situation. We the whole family strictly followed all the rituals afterwards…we don’t have any complaint against any one.
But after few years, when the same people faced the same situation, we noticed that the rituals are a bit relaxed to them considering their mental situation. According to the Hindu mythology, rituals are same for all the Hindu people. Is it written there to be flexible for some people or to be followed strictly particular for some people?? This really strikes me as the most big question in my mind…..infact the bigger and more tough than my research works.
But I thank those people who applied those sort of things on us….because until and unless you face the situation you will not get the strength to face it. I often tell my husband that I had passed away the worst days of my life…so I will never let them again to enter my life. Whatever be the situation, I am confident enough to face them properly.