M A I N   N E W S

They organise their own bhog lest children back out
Jupinderjit Singh and Mahesh Sharma

Tribune News Service

Baurhai Kalan (Mandi Ahmedgarh), December 27
Ever attended a bhog ceremony of two living persons? Today the residents of Baurhai Kalan and adjoining villages near this town were witness to one such rare occasion.

The septuagenarian farmer, Mr Ajmer Singh and his wife, Mrs Basant Kaur, are quite healthy. They are quite prosperous, as they own 40 acres of land and several heads of livestock. Yet, they surprised everyone by playing a good host in their own “bhog” ceremony for which they sent printed invitation cards.

What prompted the aged couple to take this bizarre step is the fear that after their death their six children, several grandchildren and great grandchildren, who are all fighting for their property, would not perform their last rites. They also fear that the children would pass the responsibility to one another and eventually no “bhog” ceremony would take place.

Small wonder that the couple has even stacked piles of firewood to be used for their own cremation. Besides, they have also made all other funeral arrangements so that nobody would be put to any inconvenience on this account.

They distributed sweets, as is the custom in the case of persons who leave behind grand and great grandchildren. Traditionally, such deaths are not “mourned” but “celebrated”.

But today while partaking of the sweets, many a participant could taste the bitter feelings of the couple. And they also sensed the satire inherent in the whole ceremony.

Most of their children and their families attended the “bhog” but tension was quite palpable among them.

“There is so much of domestic disharmony, quarrels and dissension among our six children — three sons and three daughters — and their children that we feared that our bodies would putrefy while they fight for property”, said the couple while talking to the Tribune.

They unburdened themselves when they said, “Though we have accepted our destiny, time has taught us that in modern society, a father can bring up six children but the children would fight among themselves over the expenses to be incurred on the last rites of their parents”.

Mr Ajmer Singh, who had inherited eight acres of land from his father, was now the proud owner of 40 acres. He has already distributed the property among the children but this has not prevented quarrels among them.

Nonetheless, the two are happy that all their sons and daughters are now well settled. Mr Ajmer Singh considers it a pity that his wife has to do all household chores, when she should have been getting care and love from her children.

The residents of Baurhai Kalan and surrounding villages said that it was the first time that anyone had invited people to his own “bhog” ceremony. Though none of the children agreed to comment on the subject, the couple confirmed that nobody had objected to the “celebration”, either.

Everybody except one son attended the function and welcomed the guests. The couple showed a stock of fuel wood, which is to be used for their cremation. The couple now has one last wish – they want to die together. But then, they know they cannot change destiny.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |