At lunch yesterday while talking about the legal procedures to clear the corpse from the lake, I was a bit disturbed and also made a comment saying we are all worried about getting rid of the 'body' but we never felt any sympathy to the person or even prayed for him. That he later was found to be one of our own Parish boarders made us feel all the more touchy. But even otherwise, my first thoughts were about the relatives of the deceased. They would be searching for him or missing him (since the body was in the water for more than two days, for sure!).
Moreover the stench was so bad that none would approach the body. Four men had to be given money to get drunk and then venture into the lake to drag the body out on to the road. I remembered Charlie uncle. Doing a similar job, of course without drinking, for unclaimed bodies. I also remember the disdain everyone had for Krishna when he died in that road accident. None would come close, leave alone touch him. Just a couple of minutes ago he was a lively chatting young boy, one who had grown up with us in the house, and now with one stroke of life (or death) he was anything but Krishna! The very Salesians whom he lived with and worked for were not willing to even touch his body. Perhaps it was more of anger against them that prompted me to carry the body than love for him. But I always looked at him as 'our boy' even though I'd never met him before. I believe the way we treat our departed is the way we treat other living people too - if not physically, mentally for sure. There can be nothing more humiliating than being totally and absolutely rejected by our own - but the good thing, at least for the other, is that he is not there to feel it!
Another disgusting group of people are the police and mortuary personnel. Nothing would move - not even the dead body - unless each one is paid a bribe, each depending on their position. People do not hesitate, even a bit, to make a profit on corpses!