Crematorial structuralism

It has never been easy to die a Hindu, when you have to contend with your near and dear ones trying to force Ganga jal down your gullet. When you are croaking your last, that bit of holy water often provides the final choke. Funny, though, how no one seems to care, even though everyone somewhat educated must know how easily fluid can be diverted from the gullet to the windpipe. And does it help that these days the holy aqua is quite polluted, with a coliform count that would do the municipal sewers proud? The ancients placed the burning ghats astride rivers, little realising that they (the water bodies) would one day serve as the carriers of varied effluents, rather inappropriate for the final departure.

But there are graver issues pending, as long as we are into death and dying. I am referring to the fact that the receding forests of South Asia and the import of exotic flora have together managed to irrevocably change the way in which we are cremated. Sadly, the structural dynamics of the funeral pyre is no more what it was in Vedic times, and later. It has all to do with eucalyptus.

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Himal Southasian