This incident moved me to tears .
A young girl lost her father. The burial was a emotional and solemn affair. A modest tomb with a marble tomb stone was erected. On the 13th day, in line with Indian tradition the family left for the cemetery to pay their respects to the departed.
The child had collected a bunch of flowers from the bed of roses lovingly cultivated by her departed Dad. She arranged them in a bouquet to lay it on the tomb of her beloved father. She was clutching it close to her heart and fighting back tears, she was determined to show her Dad that she was a brave girl, just the way he wanted her to be .
They arrived at the cemetery, trudged through the dirt and grime to arrive at the final resting place. A horrible shock awaited them, there was a tomb but that tomb was not that of the child’s father. Frantic search took place to locate the tomb but the tomb had disappeared. The cemetery staff were summoned, who in turn searched but all to no avail. Heated argument ensued and the police had to be called in.
Upon enquiry it came to light that due to lack of space and out of greed the caretakers bulldoze tombs to make way for new ones. The mortal remains are dug out and thrown away caring a hoot for the sacredness and sentiments attached to the “FINAL RESTING PLACE”.
We often hear the saying – ‘However wealthy , however intelligent , however influential a man is , he finally ends up in a hole measuring 6ft by 3ft – THAT’S LIFE’ , the sad fact is that even that luxury is denied in today’s world .
I live in a metropolis , a sprawling concrete jungle that like many cities in India has infrastructure that is ageing and crumbling .
To put it in one sentence – Our cities are ‘Future Imperfect’ .
‘Outdated’ is a word that’s writ large on every infrastructure that provides basic amenities that a common man needs to survive .The bludgeoning population makes matters worse .
City life is miserable to most , high pollution , lack of sanitation , contaminated drinking water , adulterated foodstuff , bad roads , inhospitable hospitals , and the endless list of inconveniences makes life frustrating .
Life, for sure , is not a bed of roses, citizens find that there are more thorns than flowers making their lives miserable. We have to ask ourselves in right earnest , ‘are we going to be at PEACE after death’?
Many of us don’t live in peace, many don’t die in peace, to make matters worse, many don’t even have the privilege to ‘Rest in Peace’ because of the unholy happenings at the cemeteries.
The shrinking space, high reality value and high mortality has put paid to the one final luxury of a ‘Final Resting Place’.
The sorry plight of the Soul is when it bids adieu to the Body there is no guarantee that the ‘Mortal Remains’ may remain intact under the tombstone . The Soul fears that – Memories might be erased, memorials might be defaced and ‘Remains’ might be ravaged because human values are as ‘Dead as a Corpse’ .
People continue to flock to cities from rural India in search of job and better living conditions , only to realise that a ‘City is no Home to the Living’ nor can it be a ‘Home to the Dead’.
Cemeteries are chock-a-block, Poltergeist hasn’t instilled the dread of the demon in the minds of our denizens . In their greed for money, the Politicians , Authorities and land sharks have joined hands to encroach burial grounds without fear or remorse.
The lumpen touts at cemeteries have a dead conscience. Mortal remains and memorials mean nothing to them. The Resting place of one person becomes the Resting place of another in a matter of moments , the memorial of one person can become the memorial of another because these unscrupulous ‘body traders’ have no qualms in desecrating graves to find space for another dead .
“Greed, severe lack of space and utter disregard for the ‘Departed’ are ‘Grave’ issues that confront Cities of India”.
GOI under MODI has taken a slew of measures like Smart cities, Swach Bharat, Shouchalay etc, one other area that needs immediate attention is the issue of ‘Burial Ground‘ .
Stringent laws are needed to stop encroachment. Sufficient land bank should be created to accommodate every departed soul. Adequate funds should be made available for upkeep and maintenance of cemeteries.
The Government’s has to ensure that the ‘Dead Rest In Peace’ forever.
Picture Credit: Telangana Today