Around 8 years back, one given day of summers, I was getting ready for Maths tuition when I get a call from my younger cousin brother. He called me to let know the death of his father, who, for a long time, was suffering from cancer. It was not a surprise because he was in an incurable situation. I cancelled my tuition straight away and got ready to get the bus to get home. We (I and my cousin) were in same college for our graduation and used to stay away from home as our small town did not have good college. Since last week, he was already at home as his father was in a critical situation. After the journey of 3 hours, I reached home. We have a joint family and since always have been living under the same roof. He was my father’s elder brother, merely older by a couple of years. I entered into the house; there were lot of people gathered – relatives and friends, everyone was sitting around the dead body of my late uncle. Some of them were mourning, some sitting quietly and some talking about the pain he had been experiencing since months and consoling the family by proving that his endless pain is finally gone with him. I didn’t talk to anyone as I was not sure how to react. I silently sat adjacent to my mother in front of uncle’s body. I couldn’t think of anything during that time, the absence of emotions surprised me a little. After a few hours when everyone expected arrived, the body was lifted on shoulders and we all headed to the graveyard for the funeral.
The body was put on the bundle of woods and the fire was lit by my father while the pundit was chanting the mantras. We all sat on the ground watching the fire growing. A moment later, I looked back where my father was sitting. That was the day I saw him crying for the first time, a sudden burst of sadness heaped in my heart, I looked away from him but could not stop my tears. I started crying badly though as silently as no one could hear or see. A thunder of feelings, emotions, and relations arose all of a sudden. I was mourning on the loss of my father thinking that he has lost his brother with whom he spent so many years of his life, they played together, grew up, studied, did business, they must have been very close if not the best friends, must have shared the secrets and the jokes throughout the life, how bad he must be feeling now. I had never witness my father being so weak before. That day I cried so a lot.
After that incident whenever I think about it, I go confused as why didn’t I cry seeing so many people crying even always being so emotional. Why and how I was so choosy with my tears that day?