The Swinging Funeral

I was absent-mindedly finishing up my homework for the day when my mother came into my room and asked me to stop what I was doing and tell her what clothes I wanted for the next week. I didn’t understand what was happening as I’ve never had to pick out clothes for a week because of my school uniform. As we were on the way to the bus stop I kept telling my mum that I wanted to play with my friends in the evening and kept cribbing about the same.

My mother got really annoyed and took out the frustration on me. Me not knowing what was happening felt really dull for the rest of the evening.
The bus journey to Hyderabad seemed more like a roller coaster ride to me as I was confused between being happy for a vacation and sad for missing my playtime and because I did not know why my mother was angry at me.
As we approached our relatives’ house, I noticed a huge playground right opposite their apartment, and the sight of that made me ecstatic.
The mood then suddenly dropped to curiosity and wonder as everyone in the house was sobbing and seeing my mother cry was something new!
I thought about this for a while before I found myself running towards the play area with a few other cousins. We soon replaced the sad sobs with excited squeals and I completely forgot what I just saw inside the house.
After playing for a while I wanted to swing really badly, but being the short kid I was, I couldn’t do it by myself. I shouted out loud to my mother for her to come and give me the gentle push like she always does, but did not hear any response. I waited for 5-10 minutes and called her repeatedly after that.
After a minute or so, I saw her walking towards me furiously.
I was confused because according to me, I had not done anything wrong.
As she approached, I sat on the swing, expecting to move any moment, instead, I saw her thunderous face not so far away from mine, continuously saying things to chiefly tell me how badly I was behaving and that I had no sense of surrounding.
As she was scolding me, I was completely oblivious to what was happening around me.
The next thing, I was being dragged into the house, I saw something I had never seen before. A man, Lying upon ice, his eyes, nostrils shut, no signs of movement.
My first question to my mum was, “ Is he a god?”
And for a second, there was a glimpse of a smile on my mother’s face in between all the sorrow that she was going through.
Before she could answer my question, I went to my uncle, one of the very few people I knew very well in that house, at that point of time.
He was one of those uncle’s who plays with you all the time, take you around, get you anything you want and that was the first time I saw him that low, and I really wanted to know why. I asked him why he wasn’t carrying me on his shoulders and why there were no chocolates in his house. He picked me up, hugged me, and started crying!
I was stunned at this and had no idea of what was happening.
When he pulled be back and wiped his tears away, I asked him why he was crying, he took me to a corner, made me sit, and told me, that the man lying down on the ice was his father, and that his father was taken away by god and that he couldn’t move anymore.
My immediate question was “ Why don’t you ask god to give him back to you?” He gave me a weak smile and said, God, can’t give him back because death is controlling god too in these situations.
And for about 3 years after this, I made sure that I do not make friends with anyone called death because if I do, he/she will take someone I love away from me.


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