32-year-old Rudwa Devi has lived to tell the story of her own 'funeral'.
Declared dead by a local doctor and mourned by her relatives, Devi woke up from "deep slumber" on Wednesday to find preparations being made for funeral in Pundri village of Katkamdag block in Jharkhand's Hazaribagh district.
Whether family-members and villagers were more shocked than her to see the 'dead woman' rise and start walking is anybody's guess but news of the incident have spread like wildfire through the entire belt and Devi's 'resurrection' hailed as a "miracle of God".
"I felt like I woke up from deep sleep. As I was coming to, I could feel commotion around me….some people crying…it was strange," Devi said when asked by HT about her unique experience.
Married to one Sohan Kumar, a resident of Jarba village of Churchu block in the same district, Devi was staying at her father's house for medical treatment.
The father of Devi, Ganesh Sao, said that when her condition deteriorated on Tuesday, she was rushed to the local doctor who was treating her. "The doctor declared her dead on Tuesday night…there was nothing we could do," Sao added.
Her in-laws were informed and on Wednesday morning her husband reached Pundri for her cremation.
When all family-members had assembled in Pundri, her preparation was slated for Wednesday evening and preparations made.
Devi, in fact, slept through the entire process of bathing the body and dressing it with new clothes as per tradition. It was oly when the family-members and villagers were about to start her last journey when she woke up to face the shocked people.
A villager said that when Rudwa saw her husband she expressed her desire to go to her in-laws' home.
"Relatives and villagers were only too happy to let her go least she shocked us again," he added.
When contacted by HT for his reaction to the incident, the civil surgeon of Hazaribagh Dr Binay Kumar said that "a doctor declared a patient dead only when the patient's heart and lungs stop working. Such a wrong statement can only be given by an untrained doctor".
It was not immediately known if the government would initiate any action against the person who had declared Devi dead.