We wrapped a long length of red holy cloth around
his body, slung him between two green bamboo poles and
carried him to the edge of the Bagmati river.
We covered his cold nostrils with soft cotton balls and
placed six sacred beads of Rudraksha in his palm for moksha.
We lit a bunch of sandalwood incense and stuck their points
near his head. We threw a tong of rice on his chest and started
chanting mantras for the peace of his soul. I walked around
the pyre with a burning piece of wood and lit a handful of kindling
at his feet. The dry logs whooshed and the pieces of flesh
sizzled and spluttered. The flakes of ashes flew off and fell on our heads.
Later, as the sun turned red on the horizon, we left the burning pyre
to go home. I lit the old oil lantern and hung it up on a hook
from the balcony wall, its light barely filled the front yard.
Near the window, my small brother kept on expecting for
Grandfather home soon from the farm with a bottle of
baby pots pedaling his rusty axon bicycle.
with a bag of bonbon in the basket on the front of his bicycle.