For the 2018 #AtoZChallenge, my theme is the A-Z of Descriptive Emotions beginning Sunday, April 1, 2018.
D IS FOR DIABOLIC
At this time of the hour, a little after seven with the sun just about to do the disappearing act beyond the hills that surrounded he ancient temple town of Benaras, at least seventy other bodies were being confined to the flames.
Amidst the wailing families of two who had departed, one a boy, barely ten years of age, and the other a young man of twenty, Rajesh stood quietly in a corner, his head bowed, as the priest chanted the holy hymns. Two feet ahead of him, lay his wife of six months; now no more, her dismembered body parts, hastily re-arranged and laid above a three feet high plank of fresh sandalwood.
On the prodding of the priest, Rajesh stepped forward and held the wooden stick that was proffered.
Amidst the chanting of sacred Sanskrit slokas he dipped the ghee laden edges of the stick onto the fire. With a crackling sound the body caught fire and by the time he was done with the customary seven times merry go round, the flames had half reached the azure blue skies, lightening it with the hue of countless other illuminations, the last remains of the departed going up in smoke.
A hand rested on his right shoulder. He looked around only to see the tear laden eyes of his father-in-law. The two men, until now bound by a common thread, that of Anjali, seemed distraught, and tried in vain to hold back their tears.
Later, much later, long after they had collected in an urn and submerged into the waters the ashes of the one they had lost, and after the customary dip into the cold waters of the Ganges, the two recently bereaved, stepped into Heavenly Abode, the dazzling mercury vapour lit sprawling Five Star hotel that catered to the richie rich set who came from far and wide to bury their dead and was a mere fifty metres from the world famous ghats.
There, in their respective de luxe rooms, the two freshly turned ‘ex father-in-law and ex- son-in-law duo’, uncorked their favourite brand__ Johnny Walker Premium Black Label__and then proceeded to drown themselves in sorrow well into the night.
#neelanilpanicker #fiction #A-Zchallenge2018 #diabolic #episode#04
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