#Death, #equality, #rituals,#mourning Join for Solidarity ………………….Ganga Maya

#Death, #equality, #rituals,#mourning Join for Solidarity ………………….Ganga Maya

by Radha Paudel

A special worship called DASDAN BAITARNI, arranged after requested by dying one, PANDIT (priest), brother and myself

Carrying death body to keep in van, younger sister, myself front and brother at back (half paint) along with neighbourhood

The first step of burning by firing at mouth-myself, brother and younger and elder sister at the bank of river in Devghat, Chitwan

Brother, younger sister and my self, a special worship for dying one in day 2

My elder sisters (second elder sister was absent due to death of her father in law)
Join for solidarity ……………………………………………………………………………………………….Ganga Maya


Ganga Maya, biologically mother of six children, practically of …….children, died in April 16, 2009 (a mid day of Nepali (New Year) at 56 years old. Death is very obvious if someone born….. She illiterate hardly signed from literacy classes. She loved to study but always deprived. She peeped through window while her brothers were with their Guru (teacher) during her childhood in Sahilitar, Lamjung. She had asthma when I knew that she was my mother. Sometimes, her friends teased `my mother had asthma because of mine’. She had many attacks when I was child. I remembered these days…..no telephone, no ambulance, no money, no one at home and used cart, cycles and sometimes without any options….We are very lucky, we found her at least…..but we always will be remembered her while celebrating the new year!
One hour before her final departure, she told to my father; `baba! I have difficult, where I go’ where as she never said previously when she was in hospital, with oxygen, injecting medicines, sleeping with empty stomach, working a whole day and night……She started to live in western Chitwan in the beginning while my father was busy in eastern and western Nepal in his so called official days.

Everyone learned from her/his mother, but I learned peculiar ideologies from my mother;
1. You shouldn’t die like dying a dog at drainage cannel
2. Daughter also can study (during day time, we had to work therefore she always wake up us at mid night, she followed her SUKRA tara (eastern star) and prepared roasted corn and tea for us). She told us`no one dies with hard work, everyone can die if she/he couldn’t get food.’
3. Encourage fighting for injustice, she also fight alone with her husband’s siblings, she never tired and won too.
4. She told stories why we have to work for poor and women.
5. Share to others, let us give at least taste, finally it would be a stool if you eat more by yourself.
6. She had ample of stories of violence at her society before we grown up…..
Regarding death, she always told to us and her friends/neighbors’ please do not cover face of death body, if you don’t follow for others do not do for me. She justified; ` what would relatives/neighborhood see if you covered the face.’’
Before two years back, she told me “if you were nearby during my death, please do not do funeral activities (kajkriya). Donate money to school for poor children. Do not add burden by inviting/informing to all relatives and neighborhood for bringing to me river (Narayani). Call the tractor, do not cover my face, do not tie my body with three pieces of CHOYA (a small and long piece of bark of green bamboo, used for tie up). Give enough food for those who will be there as their choice and you also eat whatever you like e.g. pizza and do not cry. Children would be good if they care while live, no sense of crying after death. I am happy with you all.”
Right before her final departure, she advised three things related to my father, younger sister and cousin brother. Then she went away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I convinced `nothing will be miracle if daughters performed funeral activities.’ But we just want to break the continuity to get our cultural rights which an associated with other rights of women as a slow poison. Thus, my sisters and myself were performed each and every steps as performed by brother. It was not easy task, struggled for convincing priest (PUROHIT) since DAS DAN BAITARNI (a special ritual arrangement, arranged after requested by dying one), DAGBATTI (a initial step for firing to death body in the bank of holy river) and the remaining funeral rituals (13 days intensive tasks).
Based on our experience, it is neither competition with brothers nor getting popularity but a sharing of pain, tasks during mourning when mentally, physically so weak, needs more support.
That was not suggested by our mother, we are trying to do……..
Hope it will give different perspectives to all visitors/readers specially women activists. Join for solidarity with Ganga Maya…………….
(I would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere thanks again to all of you who were with us before, during and after these tregedies).

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0 thoughts on “#Death, #equality, #rituals,#mourning Join for Solidarity ………………….Ganga Maya

Roshana January 4, 2010 at 9:35 am

Really appreciable work!!!! It will give positive chanrge to the society…………..

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