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In Dungarpur, family cremate effigy of hotelier who died in Kuwait


Udaipur : Among many of the heart piercing incidents being reported from across the country during the lockdown times, family members of a 56-year old businessman in South Rajasthan, held a symbolic cremation of his effigy which was set on pyre and consigned to flames. Dileep Kalal , a hotelier from Simalwada town of Dungarpur district had been working for the past 15 years in Kuwait. He fell ill and was hospitalized a fortnight ago in Kuwait, he died on Monday.

Two days later on Wednesday, when his reports came, it was known that he was infected of coronavirus. Due to the lockdown, his body could not be flown back to India and hence his nephew and few of the hotel staff buried him there. A video of the burial rites was sent to the family.

Meanwhile, back home, Dileep’s wife, children and other family members were heart broken after knowing about his demise. This pained them even more that the funeral could not be held as per the HIndu customs and that his soul would not be in peace. Elders in the family suggested to hold a symbolic funeral. Dileep’s effigy was made by using his clothes and his picture was kept in place of the head.

A turban too was tied as per the rituals and the final procession was taken out in a pick-up van, 8-10 family members including his son Roshan, brothers Rajesh, Naresh and Prakash etc took part to perform the rites. The dummy was taken to the cremation ground at Sakarsi road where the rituals were held properly. The family members said they did not feel for a moment that they were doing some artificial act. ” We could not be by his side during his last breath, atleast now after following the rituals properly, we have some relief that his soul would be at peace and liberated.

The ashes and remains too would be immersed in the holy waters and so all the other mourning rituals would be performed for our emotional satisfaction” a close relative said. Dileep is told to have had last visited Dungarpur some six months ago. He is survived by wife, son and a daughter, both married.

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