If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Oct 26, 2007

Die Another Day !

We're born. We live. We die.
Thats when we finally realise our dream of a plot by the sea.
Because three of Bandra's cemetries are right by the sea. [ OK , post reclaimation One] But earlier the waves would lap against the wall of the Seaside Cemetry and Mt. Carmels Cemetry. Then the BMC waved their hand and the waters retreated. And where there was sea there's Aishwarya Rai and Sachin Tendulkar.[Yes they live on the Bandra recalaimation] . The sea side cemetry was set up at the end of whats known as Cemetry road [ Officially Khandeshwar Marg ] .And right across the road from the Catholic cemetry, are the Jews. The dead ones i.e. Carved basalt headstones with The Star of David shining forth. Forgotten generations of Ezzekiels and Abrahams . A lonely caretaker who moonlights as a caretaker. So the weeds between the graves are forgivable. And the residents are not complaining anyways.
Mt. Carmels has had it's cemetry before Lilavati Hospital was a gleam in KiritLal Mehta's eye.
Though now from hospital to cemtetry is a mere body's throw away.
And two decades ago when all the graves were full and parishoners were still being born and subsequently dying, niche marketing was born. So as soon as you returned to dust you came from, except your femurs and cranium etc. etc. you were hauled out of valuble real estate and piled up into a niche that doubled up as the compund wall. And your heirs looked for a picture of you that did'nt show you frowning as you always did post 75 yrs. And did'nt show your bald spots and had you dressed in something other than a ganjee [ vest]. And Tony Baptista slapped this photo on to your niche and by some magic made it weather proof. And two hooks on either side held the garland that was put up every year until Jo Boy and Maria both moved to Auckland. Just like your compound when the neighbours on either side built walls you got your boundary wall for free , if the hooks were already in place on either side of you then ....
And St. Andrew's and St. Peters have their niches too. But the grave stones that move you back in time are still there.
Here lies,
Jerome D'souza
1925- 1973
beloved husband of
Willhelmia
who joined him here on 5th Oct 1974
father of Joesph and Maria
Gone but never forgotten !
R.I.P.
They're never funny.Like Spike Milligan who's gravestone read's "I told you I was sick "
Come the 2nd of Nov. The graveyards are all lit up with a million candles to celebrate All Souls day. With flowers done into increasingly creative displays. And grandchildren playing hide and seek between the gravestones of ancestors they've never known. While Nana and Mummy and Daddy think back to a time that's never ever going to come again. And even Jo boy has Western Unioned dollars to Cousin Clara to get a wreath and light one dozen candles. Amen

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Brings back memories of Tony Baptista saying " Hail Mary full of grace...
and even extracting a few tears of his own!!

Smiling Dolphin said...

this blog is a riot, will keep visiting, thanks for the bday wishes.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff, "men"! Your blogs really bring back memories of my children growing up near Chium Village.

Amal said...

Aaah,the roving Bandra eye at work.Was that you behind me when I made all those life threatening decisions on the 8.41.And then there was the hand of God - you made the right choice and over Mahim Creek the other train pulls ahead-it definately was not holy water running beneath my 8.41.But when you think back,it was a science perfected to an art (6 sigma types?).The incredible part was that despite life's last minute decisions on the 8.41 vs 8.43,you still met the same faces everyday and then it strikes you - you are not the only one with the divine gift of running down the stairs so that you can stay on top of the heap.Its a humbling experience.Amen to that.

Anonymous said...

Man you have the gift. Bandra suddenly became real again. And its Kadeshwari Mandir Marg (Cemetry Road). With Liquors Unlimited and the mysterious (to a 5 year old) Lal Bangla at the end of the road.
- Thanks again - Dean

Patz said...

Takes me back to the days when I worked for Tony Baptista dressing coffins made of cheap wood (fali) and the grieving family was told it was some exotic wood that would never decay for two years or depending on the amount of lime poured - not dusted inside the coffin, or better still whichever came first. And then to the all grand finale of Tony playing Abide with Me (always wondered whether he wished more family members would soon abide with him for coffins) and the family going into a crescendo of wailing! Just the last nail in the coffin! Have you ever wondered why coffins are bolted with dead people in them? Eh!!!