Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Day of Remembrance

I must warn you, the theme of the day was a bit sad. Some might say morbid.

On Friday, my aunt told me that she wanted to go to her grandmother's grave, as yesterday was the anniversary of her passing. My Badi Nani (Great Grandmother) passed in 1994, two years before my mom. I was 10 when Badi Nani passed, but I still remember spending time with her when my mom and I would stay with her and my grandmother.

I'm pretty sure this is the first time I had been to Badi Nani's grave.

We stopped to pick up pre-made flower arrangements from a custom flower shop. Once we got to the cemetery, before we could lay the flowers, place the incense or pray, we had to get someone to pour water on the grave. Once we placed the flower arrangement over the grave, my aunt lit incense and each of us placed two or three sticks in the grave.

Day of Remembrance from Ali Thanawalla on Vimeo.

A few other family distance family members were buried in the same cemetary, so we went around to all of them and placed some loose flowers and incense on them.

I know this is going to sound weird to some of you, but I'm glad I got to experience this.

In the evening, I went with my aunt and cousin to the memorial service for my cousin's friend's mom, which I mentioned in an earlier blog post. It was a much smaller, low key service than the one we had for my mom. There were no speeches at this service. Anybody that wanted to pay their respects was allowed to come by and see the family. My cousin's friend was surprisingly composed. She cried a little bit during the prayer towards the end. My cousin and I were just trying to keep her friend's spirits high by making her smile and/or laugh.

One week left on my trip. Still have a lot of things to do and a few family members to visit. I think Samira and I are going to go back to the Kala Ghoda Festival today and look at the crafts to see if there is anything worth buying.

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