Tuesday, August 25, 2009



This is the back cover of the book published in memory of Kuna ba( a close relative and a great friend) whom we lost two weeks back to a deadly colon cancer- with a doctorate in child psychology -she was working as a professor and head of the dept of home science in a reputed girls college in Mirza.... her death report was covered by almost all the newspapers here.this painting is done by her seven year old daughter Antara titled SURJYA UTHA DESHOLOY..meaning" to the place where the Sun rises"....it is a goodbye gift from her to her mother .On the day of her Shraddha this book was distributed amongst all the friends,relatives and the family members.This book contains a lot of messages from family,friend and relatives.....many things written about her life, pictures of her childhood ,school days,college,marriage and many other aspects of her life.The idea of a book of this kind was initiated by both the families and the way both sides put their effort in was very touching and inspiring......even at a hard time like this they did something very positive.

In Assam it is mandatory to observe certain rituals in memory of the deceased ...starting from the day of death till the shraddha bhoj which takes place on the 13th day(many variations are seen )....but this pattern is followed by the most. I visited both the families(in-laws and her maternal home) many times ......during these thirteen days i saw all the rituals very minutely.I felt that these rituals are not only done in memory of the deceased but in a major way these are structured and designed to heal the family left behind mentally after such a great loss.....if not that at least it places the family on a healing path.Fasting and eating a plain meal,leaving some everyday comforts ,everyday evening prayers where all the family members and interested friends and families join.............people visiting the whole day to offer their moral support to the family.....a lot of talking and discussions.....it rebuilds our faith in family,relations,society and God even more.
At first i wrote a detailed version of these 13 days but later deleted because i was not sure if it is a right thing to do or not.... i want to share this beautiful lines written by Kuna's 15 years old nephew Chinmoy(i was surprised because it is the same kid whom i used to bribe with balloons before extracting his milk teeth).....


We were strong but now broken
only tears are left to show as token
pray darkness fails and light dawns
into a day of endless hope and delight
where pain is only a mere thought
and we are away from God's wrath;

Her smile ecstatic and joyous
shatters the pain that so monotonous
her humble looks delights ones sight
have hope and fight;
you are strong,
fight and prove all wrong

All that is good went in vain
she lost her fight with pain her movement cease to sway!
O DEATH!why thy take her away!
sleep now behind this curtain of fate!
now that we be joining you none too late!


  1. I am so sorry to hear about this loss Kavita. The rituals you mention are again similar to the Bengali culture. I think its very comforting for the spouse and the kids to have the company of the relatives for these 13 days and also the family rebuilds the shards slowly and is capable to function after the 13 days.The poem and the thoughts expressed are so beautiful, coming from such a young boy, its absolutely marvellous.

  2. Err.. I am sorry for what happened but, you noticed it very correctly, it is being said to eat boiled foods with no oil and spice because it is difficult digesting in a state of mourning. actually we don't feel eating most of the time but because of this ritual we have to eat compulsorily. A meditation like environment is created.

    And Tell Chinmoy to continue, because he writes fabulously. And he can be a guest writer to our blog also.

  3. Enemy thinks that I have great set of teeth?why not? after paying hundreds of dirhams for the german capping for the frontal teeth???? loll..next time i am going to visit assam specially for this purpose..u have to help me.sorry, who asked u to be such a dear friend of mine and suffer this?

  4. Sad! may the rest in peace.
    The dedicated poem is beautiful

  5. May the memory of your family member & friend ways be a blessing!
    The poem written by Kuna's nephew is lovely and the watercolor by her daughter is also very special!
    The book must be wonderful!

    So sorry for your loss!

  6. I am so sorry to learn about your loss.

  7. Sorry to hear about the loss.

    The poetry is brilliant, more so coming from a 15 year old. Wish her a good luck. She has captivated the emotions of the moment so vividly. Kudos to her. Thanks for sharing. Really Nice writeup.

  8. how smart..my dear friend..u have not answered..i am taking a flight there for a free checkup - from the greatest dental surgeon..hey..i ll pay yaar Dr, dont worry...lol

  9. it's always sad when a loved dies but good that there are rituals to bring comfort and closure to those left behind.

  10. How sad that such a great, accomplished woman passed away.

    In Hawaii, we have rituals for the dead, also. Usually, there is a "Celebration of Life" in a church or a mortuary, which is then followed by a meal for everyone who attends. Burial is later, usually attended by close family members.

    Distributing a book about the deceased is a wonderful idea! Maybe, my husband will distribute my books (if any are left) to people attending my "Celebration of Life."

  11. What a wise young man. So sorry for the your loss and the family of your friend and relative.

  12. 'All that is good went in vain
    she lost her fight with pain her movement cease to sway!
    O DEATH!why thy take her away!
    sleep now behind this curtain of fate!
    now that we be joining you none too late!'

    These lines from a child moved me to tears, Kavita.

    These rituals for the departed souls are created to keep the family together, during the 13 days' 'dukh anucharan' period. This way the spouse and children are not left alone and go into depression.

    Chinmoyi's book is an apt tribute for Kuna.

    I am sorry, Kavita.

  13. "................see! how we all react to aspects of human behaviour and life cycle..........in life some become the means, meant for others, rendering a meaning to another and in its own little way creates values which we cherish........".

    May peace and tranquility be upon all of us

  14. i love the prose you have written for her..

  15. @Sujata...thanks.There are many similarities between Bengali and Assamese culture and even the language spoken and written .You know Sujata i was very doubtful at first whether Chinmoy really wrote this poem -but until he showed me his huge collection of poems and songs...i was amazed.

    @Pramathesh...i think we are lucky that we have such wonderful customs predesigned for us,now its our responsibility to pass these customs to our next generation.I will pass your compliments and message to the kid.Thankyou.

    @Ramesh..I answered your question .
    @ZB....Thank you.Chinmoy is a sensitive kid and he loves writing ..i hope he develops in this field even more.I will pass your message to him.Thaaks again.


    @Margie...thankyou.Antara (Kuna's daughter)is a very bright kid thanks to her mom's good upbringing.

    @Abraham Lincoln..THANKS.

    @Lin....closure is very important for getting healed....these customs really help...i always try to understand the customs we follow and end up thanking our ancestors for the same.

    @Gigi.....Kuna was a great teacher and a wonderful person,the day she arrived back from Chennai ,a guy from airport authority inquired if she was a political leader ,seeing such a huge crowd gathered there to receive her."CELEBRATION OF LIFE" is a beautiful term....something very similar is observed in some parts of North East region.


    @Sandhya....even i cried inside when for the very first time i read the poem just before the book was being published.Thanks for your tears...it means a lot to me.

    @Romita....i completely understand you here and i am with you always...may peace and tranquility be upon all of us....those who are here and those who left us.

  16. Joops...thanks...we all loved the poem he wrote.

  17. Sorry to hear about the loss!!!
    The rituals that u have mentioned here seems to be really helpful and the thing that the family needs at that point.

    The poem was very nice n touching!!!

  18. As Sujata mentioned here, the Bengali and the Assamese culture is very similar and we also observe these rituals. Doing all these things together as a family helps them to go through a difficult time.
    I am sorry to hear about your loss.
    The poem is beautiful.Amazing to know that it came from the pens of a 15 year old.

  19. I am feeling very sorry and its heartbreaking to hear about the loss of your family member. May the soul rest in peace. The poem is very nice and I am very much surprised that it has been written by a little girl. Even I liked the wonderful painting.

  20. I'm so sorry for your loss, Kavita. I do think the rituals of death are as much for the departed as they are for those left behind. I think it helps people say their heartfelt goodbyes.

  21. I read out the poem to my friends. Sorry that I did not take the permissions. But, you know what? Everyone says that it is a great poem.

  22. Your friend lives on through your words.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you...

  23. I empathize with your loss. It's wonderful how you honor the dead.

  24. Hello Kavita,

    Thanks to the link to this Post that you noted , I could read this solemn post .