July 20, 2012

Afterlife as a Begger

It was the funeral ceremony of a grandmother who had died fifteen days ago. Though the body had been cremated the same night she had died, according to the scriptures of Hinduism, it was required that the person who died should be remembered fifteen days after her death through a gathering where everyone would pray for her. She was part of a rich family in Bangladesh, and her children were also rich, inviting almost the whole village in their house for the lunch. Everyone gathered together with the beggars that were found in the village, to eat and share their pray so that her afterlife would be as great as her life.


Among the regular visitors walked in a woman who wore a white-colored saree that covered her face, displaying only her wrinkled skin. It was still morning time, 10 o'clock in the bright sunny morning day as the house was getting prepared for the afternoon. She walked into the house and asked for food.

"Sit in the side," said a maid. "I will call the owner."

She walked into the house and called out the owner's wife, who's mother-in-law had died. She came out, peeked into the beggar and having seen her sit on a side, he asked a maid to get food for her. She examined the beggar's movements, knowing that she was not the common beggar from the village and no one had seen her here before. She received the plate with food in it, and walked up to her and handed her the food.

"Eat," she told the beggar. "If you need anything else, just let me know."

"No," said the beggar. "This is a lot to eat."


The owner's wife left and her children came up, with the neighbors around them. One of them, a boy saw that her cloths were worn out and needed repair or replacement and thus asked her if she needed any old clothing from the house. She looked up from the plate of food and still not showing her eyes, she told them that they had brand new cloths in a chest.

"I liked those," said the beggar. "Why should I wear old clothing at all when I have new cloths?"

A little surprised, another boy told her that those were not her.

"Those are mine," she answered to the boy who often did not intercept what was going on around him. "I used to wear them all my life. The red saree, the jewelry in the chest, those are what I should wear, and not those old cloths."


The boys did not understand her much, thinking that her mental state was not much of a great one. She stood up and walked out the doors of the house, not letting anyone know except for the neighborhood boys, some of whom followed her out the door. It took her considerable amount of time to walk to the doors and the boys followed her to the opposite door. The owner's wife came out with old clothing and handed it to her son so that he could take it to the beggar. He ran as his friends were already there in the road but upon going onto the road, they lost her, One of them said he saw her walking this path and his friend next to him looked into his shirt to remove a leaf that had fallen into his shirt. Then the other boy who had been watching her go had taken a blink which took her out of his picture as he figured out that right after she had come out of the house, her speed in walking was tremendous. It was thus concluded that she was the actual person who had died, she was the grandmother herself.

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