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Annamma’s cross

Busy Sunday morning — birds singing and swinging in rhythmic disorder, the men at work making and breaking stuff down. Yes Ma’am! Sunday’s a busy day — the same day mom went away in body and time 5 years ago. 

We are at the family grave — mom’s grave right now. Dad’s not happy — there’s broken sticks and rubbish gathered there. More importantly, the wooden cross at her grave head has broken into two. The two arms do not make a cross anymore, rather they rest side by side, at peace.

    One arm reads – 

   In loving memory
Died 7.02.2016,
Age 78

    The other arm –

  Annamma Abraham.

We ask the staff about the cross. They give some bull about a branch from a tree 20 meters away that fell on the cross during the rains. My dad doesn’t like it — he complains to the staff and he complains to me. The staff sells him some fancy idea about redecorating the gravestone with marble and cut glass — costs a couple of lakhs — yaa right. Me, I’m used to listening to him complain.

When Dad prayed at the grave, I spied on the graves on either side. One belonged to a Joshua and the other to a John. They had initials and surnames – didn’t matter now. And i had a conversation with them. 

I asked –

Do you mind if Annamma is without a cross ? 
They said and I quote – 

John – Ever since she gave up the cross 
Joshua – That you stuck into her 
John  – She has turned into this great beauty
Joshua –  That flies around 
John – Weightless and free 
Joshua – In broken bricks 
John – Stones and sticks
Joshua  – While we gasp 
John – under false tombs and INRI  
Chorus –  Please let her be
Please let her be. 

His prayers over, Dad moved away and sat down. I waited till he left, then replied to J and J.

Maybe you see a ghost 
Maybe you guys lonely
Seek company 
So you see her 
A free spirit
But she lives on 
In verse and words
She lives in me.

And then I walked away leaving behind mom’s cross with J and J.


Published by appamprawns

soni writes about children and people in controlled spaces, in his quest for appam stew. homi writes in the hope of being able to buy prawns to make patiyo.

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