I like the way people in Madras deal with the loss of a loved one. As against the common norm of burying oneself in sorrow and gloom, they believe in giving the departed soul a grand send off.
The first time I landed here in ’99, I was pretty aghast on seeing the scenes – of drum rolls, dancing, dappaankoothu and the merry amidst a couple of grieving inconsolable members of the family. On one such occasion, I went up and asked one of them this obvious query that was lingering in my mind for time¬†immemorial, “Why celebrate death??“. And that’s when someone said that this was their way of showing gratitude for the departed soul – by celebrating their life and appreciating their time spent amidst family & friends.
And this sounded more like the memorial services of the west where they make sure, you celebrate the life, that was. Awesome, isn’t it?
PS: Last post from Madras & India. Next stop: Lisbon, Portugal.