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L to R: My Parents, my Uncle and his wife

Mahalaya Amavasya

Yesterday, North Indians performed Pitru Visarjan Amavasya. It was Chaturdashi in the morning and Amavasya came in the evening. So, South Indians are celebrating Amavasya today, since it is in the morning. This morning, they are celebrating Sarva Pitru Amavasya in South Indian Mathas since it needs a lot of Achara and that is not possible in the flats of today.


This day around 10 years back, my maternal uncle Rangarajan expired. He was 60 then. Mom and Uncle were very close. Even today she misses him very badly. If there is a little resemblance to him, she begins to call the person as a younger brother.

We had a bad experience here. The walk of a senior citizen from another religion resembled that of my uncle. When we came here initially, the man was very good. Mom thought she had found her brother again. Our Lady of Intolerance misguided the man and made him call us names. We are still suffering because of that.

L to R: My Parents, my Uncle and his wife
L to R: My Parents, my Uncle and his wife

Similarly, the businessman, who had bought the commercial area on the ground floor of our building, also resembled my uncle a little as he spoke English. Mom called him younger brother. Our Lady of Intolerance again intervened and made him gesture in a vulgar manner every time he saw Mom. He even began torturing us, coming to our home. He would not care what time it was and would compel us to allow him inside. He did not even bother that there were only ladies at home at those times. And he calls himself an educated person coming from a noble profession. We are being tortured very badly due to this person.

On the other hand, my uncle was a gentleman. He had retired from a job with an Airlines. When he had just joined the company, he had been posted in the South. Within a few days of his posting, he saw a worse accident happen near the airport. A few minutes after takeoff, an aircraft fell near the airport killing most of the passengers and crew. We do not know the details of the incident. But, everybody worked on the surface of the crash because of their superstitions that they are not allowed to touch dead bodies when their parents were alive. They thought that if they touched the dead bodies, their parents would have to perform their funeral.

My uncle went forward and began collecting the parts of the dead bodies until proper help came. Everybody was cautioning him that he would die soon. Though he expired in his 60th year, he had performed the last rites of both his parents and several shraddhas for them as well. He was such a gentleman that he would respect ladies so much. My sister and I were his pets and meant more than his children to him.

One of Hema Malini’s elder brothers Jagannathan was my uncle’s close friend. Uncle was called Rangu and Hema Aunty’s brother was called Jaggu. When both these uncles would walk together, girls would comment, “Dark and fair handsomes.” Mom would sing, “Rangu aur Jaggu ki hai Jodi ajeeb!”

But, the personality of this businessman is comparable to kerosene tin. Last Sunday, I compelled Mom to take a head bath and purify herself with Ganga Water, Cow’s Urine, Rock Salt and turmeric powder to have called these people as brothers. Even I did the same for having called Our Lady of Intolerance’s husband and a man from another religion from this building as brothers. I have several cousin brothers, very affectionate rakhi brothers even from the army, police force and other places, who treat me like their child. I have several educated boys approaching me in a friendly manner from this area and treating me like a good sister. At the same time, there are some friends of Fart (Our Lady of Intolerance’s son), who keeps abusing us like he does.

In these times, when the brother-sister relationship is deteriorating and being abused verbally and otherwise, one good relationship can obscure a 100 bad ones.


About Gayatri T Rao

A double post-graduate (MSc. - Botany and MA - English Literature) Gayatri T Rao is a Senior Multimedia Journalist with vast experience in writing on varied topics.

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