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A sentimental walk in the graveyard

Encountering dead people and their loved ones in the Humayun Road’s cemetery.

entertainment Updated: Oct 28, 2010 01:35 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times

First, we went to the Jewish Graveyard, Delhi’s only one for the Jews. It’s next to the Humayun Road Metro station, near Khan Market. Later, we walked out, strolled straight to the left, and turned left again. The air was cold; it had rained in the late afternoon. Flowers were being sold outside the brick-red wall of the city’s Christian cemetery. We ignored the florist and stepped inside where the traffic sound was subdued and the Taj Mahal Hotel was hidden behind the trees.

The slippery pathway was mossy. The overgrown grass whispered with underworld life. The pale sun shined sharply in honeyed hues. We stepped over several grave-stones to reach the one that was freshly made. All six candles on it had died except one. The grave was surrounded with overgrown grass. Scared of snakes, we walked ahead.

There were broken vases and stale flowers on various headstones. Flower hedges skirted the boundaries of many graves. A few baby graves had cherubic stone angels as guards. During the walk, we came across many lives. Some lived long. Some died young: Lucrezia Maria was born in 1949 and died two years later. Alison Jean lived for 18 days. Baby Anne Grace, daughter of Alice and Chacko, was fondly remembered by Sorrowful Mummy Daddy.

Not far from a grave, the stone of which was etched in Japanese language, was a headstone chiseled with “Mom We Love You.” Next was somebody’s “my one and only wife”.

Aman Anthony Choudhury’s mother grieved his death in these words: “Let death not part us.” Thomas Ponter’s daughter, son, and son-in-law noted on his gravestone: “A beautiful memory is all that is left.” Molly George, wife of Jose, from Edathua, Kerala, lived for 56 years and is remembered by her “sorrowing children” — Dolly, Jolly, Yury and Polly.

Suddenly, we turned into a corner and discovered two children hovering around a man, who was painting a grave. We had imagined we were alone. Disappointed, we left.

Where Prithviraj Road Time 7 AM to 7 PM Nearest Metro Station Humayun Road

First Published: Oct 27, 2010 19:21 IST