B&WEuropeFeaturedStoryA Hindu funerary rite in a Calcuta crematory by Joxe Inazio Kuesta

Today we are going to go to a different site that will interest you, which will impress you, Rahul told me. Where? I asked. You'll see, he answered. Rahul was my guide: a boy who slept in the street. And he was right, it was impressive, exciting.

Today we are going to go to a different site that will interest you, which will impress you, Rahul told me.

Where? I asked. You’ll see, he answered. Rahul was my guide: a boy who slept in the street. And he was right, it was impressive, exciting.

It was a cremation ceremony at a Municipal Crematorium. He told me that the relatives would have preferred one in the traditional style, but that they did not have enough money to buy the necessary wood.  At the entrance to the crematorium there was a corridor in which there were three bodies and people around them. Rahul and I approached one of them, next to him were his son and some relatives. I was impressed by the situation. Relatives told me that during the ceremony I could take as many pictures as I wanted. I had the feeling that more than inviting me they begged me to take them out somehow, I think they wanted me to be part of it, too. When they were carrying the body in the oven they told me not to take any more.

A Hindu funerary riye in a Calcuta crematory | Joxe Inazio Kuesta
A Hindu funerary rite in a Calcuta crematory | Joxe Inazio Kuesta

In this type of ritual, we try to pay attention to everything we want to know all the details of the ceremony, even if it seems strange and difficult to understand. We tend to believe that they are rare because they are not performed according to our beliefs. I suppose that people of other religions will think the same of ours: our masses, prayers, etc … However, there is a common denominator that affects us all equally: the feelings we experience are homogeneous. In this ritual I could see the feelings of pain and sadness of the son of the deceased, his anguish. I perceived it in his way of casting what appeared to be seeds above the body of his father in his concern when he put that mixture of rice with some ingredient of black colour in the mouth when he applied the torch over his mouth and then circled around him, seized and protected by his relatives. And all this in a mourn that he could hardly bear. And I suppose all this was done following a tradition.

He was always attentive to the instructions of the person in charge of conducting the ceremony and with a determination to do well, so that he could honor his father in the best possible way. And I see that those feelings of sorrow of the son are the same as those I experienced when my mother passed away. And I suppose they will be the same as those experienced by other people. We will be of different races, cultures and religions, but in those situations we all feel something similar. I do not remember where we went from there, I do not know where Rahul took me, but I do remember that I thanked him enormously for having taken me to that place. I was excited by what I had witnessed, and convinced that in such difficult situations we are all the same.

A Hindu funerary riye in a Calcuta crematory | Joxe Inazio Kuesta
A Hindu funerary rite in a Calcuta crematory | Joxe Inazio Kuesta

A Hindu funerary riye in a Calcuta crematory | Joxe Inazio Kuesta
A Hindu funerary rite in a Calcuta crematory | Joxe Inazio Kuesta

A Hindu funerary riye in a Calcuta crematory | Joxe Inazio Kuesta
A Hindu funerary rite in a Calcuta crematory | Joxe Inazio Kuesta

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A Hindu funerary riye in a Calcuta crematory | Joxe Inazio Kuesta
A Hindu funerary rite in a Calcuta crematory | Joxe Inazio Kuesta

A Hindu funerary riye in a Calcuta crematory | Joxe Inazio Kuesta
A Hindu funerary rite in a Calcuta crematory | Joxe Inazio Kuesta

A Hindu funerary riye in a Calcuta crematory | Joxe Inazio Kuesta
A Hindu funerary rite in a Calcuta crematory | Joxe Inazio Kuesta

A Hindu funerary riye in a Calcuta crematory | Joxe Inazio Kuesta
A Hindu funerary rite in a Calcuta crematory | Joxe Inazio Kuesta

One comment

  • Avatar
    serge janssens

    May 26, 2018 at 22:15

    Un reportage détaillé sans aucun artifice . Superbe

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