Posted by: cochinblogger | August 15, 2010

A Tale of Two Coffins Redux

A good friend sent me a moving response to my earlier post, A Tale of Two Coffins, that illuminates with wonderful clarity what I was struggling to convey in my post:

“When my brother died in a motorcycle accident (he was 23, I was 18), my father and I went to the government morgue where his body lay. We were advised to procure some ice to place around the body (the morgue in Bangalore, at least back in 1984, was not refrigerated). A person who appeared very caring and helpful came by and offered to get us ice from a nearby source. My father (shell-shocked from the suddenness of his son’s death) handed him a hundred rupee note, hardly looking at him. That was the last we saw of that person. I (also shell-shocked) was enraged. ‘How could one be so callous, so insensitive, so devoid of empathy as to steal in such a situation??’; or so I thought, back then.

Now I see him for what he was: Another petty conman trying to make a living, who had his own stories of suffering to tell if only someone cared enough to listen. Nobody gave a damn whether he lived or died, so why should he care about others? He’d found a nice profitable niche operation: stealing money from grief-stricken people who would not have succumbed to his con jobs otherwise.”

Thank you, V, for sharing this and making my “two coffins” memory doubly meaningful.

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