DEATH & GRIEF

Over the past two years the world has seen so much death and miniscule are those whose family has remained untouched by this pandemic. We all have lost a relative, a friend or even an acquaintance.

Alas life moves on for some and for some it comes to a complete halt with loss of one’s bearings but in either case what remains are the memories.

The moot question is how do we grieve?

George Bernard Shaw in The Doctor’s Dilemma: A Tragedy had said,

“Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.”

So when we laugh or smile, do we ever stop grieving or has it just been pushed aside for the time being?

Is grief quantifiable?

Is shedding tears a true barometer of one’s grief?

A cousin of mine visited a salon immediately after her father’s passing away, for her hair needed some touch-ups in order to look ‘decent’ for the condolence meeting. Did she stop mourning because of this or her grief any less?

Is grief directly proportional to emotional and financial needs?

How long do we grieve or what should be the mourning period?

Are those 13 days enough for one to stop mourning?

Do the dead keep living in our memories forever?

If yes then how long before it just remains a faded memory?

While we mourn the dead, do we forgive them too?

Personally for me each time I look back at some dead people, their evil deeds eclipses whatever good memories I may have had of them.

Nothing explains these questions better than the below mentioned three movies that deals with the topic of losing a family member and how each one reacts to it:

  • PAGLAIT

This is a film about a young widow who is indifferent to the death of her husband and unable to grieve on her loss. On the other hand are her in-laws who can’t get over the loss of their son and sole bread winner.

  • RAMPRASAD KI TEHRVI

This one is about siblings arriving at their ancestral homes on the death of their father. Each one trying to ascertain their financial gains, supremacy and it’s the grieving mother who is left alone to decide her future and legacy.

  • KARKHANISANCHI WAARI

This one is a Marathi film about a family who undertake a road trip to bury the ashes of the family patriarch and the custodian of their family land. How each is on this trip for their own gains mostly financial while the wife of the patriarch gets no time to mourn as she soon realizes the patriarch has a mistress tucked away somewhere.

Each of these movies showcases death and mourning thru a typical Indian point of view wherein entire immediate and extended family huddle together to comfort the mourning family. But it’s also the time skeletons tumbles out of the closet, relationships redefined, some new ones forged and some old healed wounds scratched opened.

Dealing with death is never easy but it is always there, staring right across our faces – ALWAYS FOR EACH LIVING SECOND OF OUR LIFE.


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