Wednesday, July 29, 2009


My grandma passed away recently. I was not close to her for other reasons. In order to pay her last respect, I did attend the funeral. I was disturbed and disgusted at few things that I observed. Its not in terms of customs and practices, these things are man-made and can always be relaxed. What I was petrified about was the basic human behavior.

I m back human bashing again, but I cant help it. People mourn, grieve or experience sorrow depending on how close they were to the person who has passed away. Those most affected by the loss observe mourning and are expected to observe a quiet and respectful behavior. Even when one does not relate to the dead person, the least expected is a sober behavior.

But not all display a sober behavior. The gathering to mourn someones loss is viewed a get-together. Its appalling; but catching up with long seen relatives and friends, introducing children and bragging about what they are studying, their foreign trips and exchanging business cards!!! And yeah, how did I forget the gaudy attire and the jewellery? The gathering was a forum to display wealth.

Considering Hinduism, death is not final end but the next stage of journey for the indestructible soul. I am sure this doesn't mean one has to celebrate!!

Is it that people go through such deep hardships in life that most of us are so insensitive and that we are so merged in our life that given any opportunity, we flaunt selfishly? The constant proliferation and access to struggles faced by man has made each one of us numb? Our minds are saturated by handling problems, struggling through out that consciously or unconsciously, we tend to handle things 'easily'? A person is dead, the least one can do is pay the person respect and observe silence. Was this the way to pay homage to a lost soul?

It was dismaying and shameful to observe such scenes. People behaving indifferently...I was a mute spectator and felt sad that I could do nothing about it.


  1. well i do understand when someone close to the deceased cries of sorrow...but honestly there are some people who cry and yell too much, worse some ladies end up gossiping and b****ing about others when they are actually there to offer their respects. Sad but cant really do anything about it.

    Accept my condolences! may ur granny's soul RIP!!!

  2. Our heartfelt condolences on the passing away of your grandmother.

    In addition to what you said, there are some other inconsiderate behaviors also. For example: Funeral is the only time you should not expect an invitation to attend. However, some people do not go to funeral to pay respect to the departed soul because they were not “invited” to come the funeral. Disgusting.

  3. well.. call it bad fortune or normal life, I have been to some funerals lately.. and what I observed is that only those who are close to the deceased look sorry.. and those who are there just to attend as a formality behave very ordinarily...

    human tendency may be!

  4. May your grandmother rest in peace!

  5. My condolences on the demise of your grandmother.

    You are absolutely right that some guests do not behave properly. They think it is a social get-together. At the same time, everyone (except close relatives) need not be somber. Hindus believe in rebirth. Therefore, death is not a great calamity. It represents the destruction of the body and the release of the soul so that it can be united with the supreme God. In a strange way, it is a happy occasion.

    In Tamil Brahmin families, immediately after returning from the crematorium, the lunch/dinner will include payasam. They observe 12 days of mourning. The 13th day function is called “subasweeharam”. The lunch will be many courses including payasam, 2 different kinds of sweets, vada, appalam, sambar, rasam, etc.

  6. Gayathri,

    Oh yeah wailing is a big no-no. But there are others who are extremes...all smiles.. that's sad.


    Absurd that few people expect an invitation for a funeral. No one gets invited for it. Appalling!!




    Human tendency absolutely. Humans have become numb and they have lost it!!


    You are right. Its not appropriate to expect everyone who attend the funeral to be weeping or wailing. Behave dignified. That's the least.

    I belong to the community of Tam-Brahms. We don't even shed tears and women don't accompany the hearse for the final journey. Different practices, its all fine but all smiles and decked up as if attending a marriage is dismaying.

  7. All,

    Thank you for your condolences.

  8. very sorry to hear about your grandmother but also thats true people act funny when it comes to funeral .

  9. Hi Shilpa,

    Thank you. True, people act funny.

  10. death brings the family closer and once they do come closer, they start thinking of life..

    May you GM rest in peace..

  11. first time on your blog and i am hooked to it. i ditto your views on the current issue.
    i also strongly feel about the display of mourning.
    people are more concerned at showing their faces to the family members of the grieving is more a question of letting the whole world know that you attended the mourning rituals. how many of them or for that matter how many of us visit the family after wards. How many bother to find out how they are coping with the loss in the family

  12. Hi Anju,

    Welcome to B Log. Thank you for your excellent comments.

    Attendance to a mourning is just for the heck of it, for most people and its sad. That's how it is....

    Keep coming :-)


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