‘Hi, long time, no see… where are you these days? … Hey, did you see ” Pink?” … A class movie yaar!’
“So, did you buy an Audi?”
These are not mundane kitty talks or fiesta socials.
These are conversations in a Condolence meeting.
Somebody has lost his only son. The pathos is at its pinnacle and the grieved family is in a well of tears and cries. The whole city has gathered to pay condolences.
Are they actually there to pay homage?
No, they are not.
In the vast courtyard of the grieving family’s residence, a large group of people were socializing. They were exchanging jovial gestures, cracking jokes, sharing videos on WhatsApp and doing business deals, among other things.
I noticed a similar thing at a funeral. The pyre was lit and the ambience was depressing. Some people were present just for the sake of attendance. They conveniently moved out of the cremation premises and were keenly involved in discussing irrelevant and stupid matters.
It is painful and pathetic. We belong to the educated and so-called elite class.
Why do we make a mockery of our rituals? Why do we go to such places at all, when we have no control over our emotions.
Why do we have such rituals?
Do we actually need them?
Does formal condolence actually reduce the burden of pathos from the grieving family or person?
When I lost my parents, I wanted to be hugged by people who mattered to me. I just needed one shoulder to cry on.
Why don’t we keep a condolence book outside the house for people to pen down their attendance? They can visit at their convenience, without disturbing the grieved family. Ultimately what matters is attendance, so why not make these arrangements yourself? Moreover, one tends to forget who came in for the condolences. So, by keeping a register, one can have a ‘Hissab’ for life.
Christian funeral etiquette
There is a protocol, a dress code and decency in carrying out the last rites of the deceased.
I had the chance to attend this service. There was a pin drop silence. Everyone in the church, including non-Christians like me, participated in the activity. There was a feeling that the prayers and condolences were reaching the departed soul.
I am not here to praise or criticise anyone. But, I do feel pathetic.
When will we learn emotional etiquettes?
We don’t find them in books, and the subject of moral science is no longer on the school syllabus.
Children act the way they see their parents behaving.
We strongly need to inculcate etiquettes in ourselves.
It’s high time we learned some social skills.