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Reflection, Imitation, Experience
In my village, when my uncle died, a major problem we all faced during his after-death-ritual was shortage of a single photograph of him.
My uncle never went outside of the village; he was an experienced farmer with vast knowledge about monsoon, pest-control process and firming process. People from nearby villages use to consult him regarding easy and effective pest control processes. My uncle never used chemicals in his land and never suggested to apply. He had some special solutions of mixture of biomass he used to mix in a particular percentage and the solution works excellently. I heard him to consult, “Your land is different and the mixture applied should be in a different ratio. You better bring me few sample of the soil and I can provide you the appropriate ratio.” Uncle never charged for this, people use to offer him gifts; it can be an amount of crop of any living cattle.
The chemists can call him a mad as he never consumed any allopath medicine. He was so connected with nature and the best thing is I never saw him under any kind of treatment for even minor health issue. So, when we faced the photo-crisis, it just shocked us. No at last the problem was resolved, when one of our neighbors shared a picture of my uncle, from their daughter’s marriage album. Wedding-ceremony like dresses and with his friends, my uncle is having a larger piece of mutton.
The photo crisis event moved the villagers even in nearby villages too. People started buying cameras. Started collecting their photos for funeral! My aunty, who was not out of her trauma of being a widow and the challenge of living life alone for the rest of her life, wanted me to take few snaps of her. I told, “Definitely I will click few pictures but I already have few pics of you with me, so don’t worry”
Two more days passed I clicked many pictures of my Aunt. She asked for the prints and I send my brother to the nearest town to print the photos. When I handed over the photos to my Aunt, she was too much happy. I was living the room; she called and gave me one among the many photos of her.
“I already have all the pictures with me”
‘Who cares? Keep this one. At least you will remember me after my death’
All her life was not enough to assure her that we will remember. She wanted few pictures to be alive among us. May be she have seen the changes among the relatives, how they are managing and being used to the situation without uncle. This monsoon lands will produce huge amount of corns and someone will take those to the market. I will be back to my work and my Aunt will find a better way to be remembered after death.