Posts Tagged ‘dead’

Burial Customs

February 10, 2014

On my visit to Manipal, Karnataka, walking in the Saralabettu area while participating in the Bird Day, I saw this scene:

DSC08628

That intrigued me, and I enquired of my fellow birders if they knew the significance of the open umbrella and the pot.

One of them explained to me that when someone of the area died, they were buried, and the pot and open umbrella were left to feed the departed, and shelter him from the elements, respectively.

Such burial customs reminded me of the

dolmen

that I have often found in the Bannerghatta forest, especially in the Ragihalli sheet rock area.

A dolmen, according to the Wiki, is also known as a portal tomb, portal grave, or quoit. It is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of three or more upright stones supporting a large flat horizontal capstone (table), although there are also more complex variants. Most date from the early Neolithic period (4000 to 3000 BC). Dolmens were usually covered with earth or smaller stones to form a barrow, though in many cases that covering has weathered away, leaving only the stone “skeleton” of the burial mound intact.

Here’s the picture of one that I took in Ragihalli sheet rock area, 261113:

260113 bg sunrise dolmen photo DSC09994.jpg

One common thread running through many burial customs seems to be an unwillingness to accept that what is left is only the body; there seems to be an attempt made to ease the person’s path even in the afterlife. The most famous examples of this are the tombs of Pharaohs in ancient Egypt, where all manner of items were interred with the mummy.

Here

is an account of Egyptian burial customs, with a detailed description of “funeral goods”.

Well, our friend in this field was no Pharaoh, so he has to be content with an umbrella, a pot, a stirrer and some small items.

DSC08627

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How to deal with this?

November 11, 2008

If I have any work pending, I get really het up until I have finished it…I am not able to shelve things even when that is the correct thing to do. At the same time, I tend to put off wo rk (especially writing) until the deadline LOOMS dreadfully….

How do I deal with this?

While you are replying, here’s something I liked in Nandi Hills:

That, unfortunately….is ME until a writing deadline catches me by the neck….

Just finished and sent off an article, so feeling relieved and happy..maybe I shouldn’t be writing at all.

Christmas Trees

December 19, 2006

After reading asakiyume‘s post, I realized that I have never been comfortable with the idea of cutting down a tree just to use it as a decoration for a few days or weeks…when my sambandhis came over to India in 2000, I hunted and found a sparse, somewhat sad-looking conifer in a pot and decorated that….I knew they didn’t like having an artificial one, and I didn’t like a dead one, so that was the way I dealt with it….they were too polite to make the comparisons with the lush tree they would have had at home, and accepted the spirit of my having a Christmas tree and decorations for them.

I still hate the idea of cutting down trees, especially when the tree is supposed to represent life continuing in the winter. And last time I saw all those discarded, dead trees when I returned to St Louis…not many becasue I left by Dec 30 or so…but enough to sadden me…

Whey can’t it become a custom to have live trees in planters, which can be planted later on?

Similarly, I would like to change the custom of blowing out candles on a birthday cake to lighting a lamp somewhere and then just cutting and distributing a cake…I am somehow not comfortable with putting out a light as a mark of celebration. How did this custom come about?