Introduction to culture: in traditional Hindu culture, cremation means That friends and relatives barefoot (as a mark of respect) carry their dead on the cradle to the crematorium.
I was mischievously looked at by a pair of menacing pale yellow glass eyes with dark vertical cuts. With his ears tucked back, his tongue stuck out and his face warped by a terrible growl, it really was the face of the devil ready to attack. The owner of this ugly face, spotted skull, conveniently settled on a small mahogany dressing table with intricate carvings against the living room wall. A wide-open mouth showed a pair of yellowed 2in-long fangs hanging from the upper jaw and two raised from below. When I was about eight years old, this spectacle created for me a stunningly frightening image of an agonizing death.
It was early evening when I first encountered a monster in my cousin’s tricycle while exploring their living quarters. My feet froze on the pedals when my gaze slid over the wall. Right over the angry head was greenish dirty skin. The mantle had dark chocolate sockets with an inch-wide black border. The beast’s long eerie tail was also pressed against the wall. It seemed that the monster was flying through space in search of its prey. And here I am, helplessly counting the last moments of my young life. It was my first encounter with the face of death, and my childhood brain was just damaged.
From the open door to the kitchen, I could hear pots and pans knocking, and the ladle rang as the food was busy. In addition, the happy laughter of two sisters, my mother and my aunt, rang in my ears as they helped around the house. The smell of dinner was in my nostrils, but I was sure I wouldn’t sit at the table and enjoy it.
My bladder was on the verge of collapse, or it could have happened, and that’s when I heard my name call me from behind. I jumped, but I couldn’t risk taking my eyes off the monster hanging on the wall and coming face to face with the caller until my brother’s hands touched my shoulders. Ah, that’s the uncertain relief that crossed me! The next question arose: are we both now at risk of death? My older brother followed my gaze and immediately understood the whole story – I didn’t need to talk. He smiled calmly and said that my uncle’s father had just shot a dead leopard. He went up to the wall, clenched those horrible jaws as a call and asked me to sit down with him. “Pure madness,” I thought, realizing that the blood was flowing down my legs again. I was just glad that I had the opportunity to go out!
My brother started laughing at my predicament, but I didn’t care. My first and only concern was to get out of this room as soon as possible. Like a hellish bat, I did. If my brother hadn’t come to dinner for me, I don’t know what would have happened. Most likely, I wouldn’t print these lines. In this fading light, this terrible monster appeared even more diabolical and almost managed to stop my poor little heart. It was my shock. Then I could only think of the maximum possible distance between me and this being from hell.
We visited my maternal aunt’s apartment on Remunt Road, Kolkata, India. Right in front of the Territorial Army station. My uncle worked for a shipping company and was involved in communications and communications. Her job required her to work at night, but my aunt, a tiny figure, was afraid to live alone. His fear had an even more serious reason. She complained that throughout the evening, after midnight and into the pre-dawn hours, people could be seen and heard carrying bodies for cremation. On the road leading directly past the red brick building, there was a procession of mourners and wearing a veil. We joined our aunt to offer her help and company in her husband’s absence.
That evening I had already witnessed at least two parties carrying their dead to the crematorium. The scene was typical: the bed was securely attached to two rickety green bamboo sticks, which were then carried by porters. The body of the deceased lay on the bed covered with a white sheet, and only the face could be seen. A rope was often attached to the corpse to hold it in place. The standard meal was a wreath around the neck, flowers scattered around the body, and ordinary sticks of tubular rose (Rajanigandha) attached to four poles. It was the smell of burning incense and the stirring of Rajinganda’s sticks on her deathbed that made her last outing, which made this scene especially strange for the audience. Even as a child, death was a grim achievement for all of us. We all know its purpose and its irreversibility. It’s scary to even look at a scene like this.
At the table, I completely lost my appetite after meeting the devil. But my mother didn’t want it, and her instructions were clear and simple: eat! This order has now made it mandatory for me to at least bite off the food on my plate. I was so happy and happy that we only spent one night with my aunt. One night is all I need to survive, I told myself. Dinner ended with my mom warning me of profligacy. But this time no one had to persuade me to go to bed. All I wanted to do was close my eyes and let go of the demons. Tomorrow we’ll go to safety at our house. Tonight, just remove the lid from your head and make you fall asleep. At that moment I heard the ringing of the gong at the post of the Territorial Army, followed again by a terrible and at the same time sad song: Bolo Hori … Horiball!