An Open Grave



Once they die, they’re forgotten,” said a grave behind me. “In me lies the best singer in the city, his voice was the toast of the town, but when he was laid here and his voice heard no more, he’s forgotten!”


[dropcap]I[/dropcap]T was an open grave I passed on my way out of the cemetery: Quite often gravediggers dig graves beforehand and keep them open and ready for the next body to come. But as I passed the grave, I heard a chuckle and shuddered, “I could be open for you!” said the open grave sending shivers down my spine.

“I still have many years left,” I said and tried to walk away, but something held me back to the talking, open grave.

“There’s none yet who died, who didn’t think he could live a little more,” chuckled the grave, “See the one next to me!”

“It’s just a mound of mud packed together,” I said, “Couldn’t they have built a tombstone at least?”

“You should have seen his funeral,” chuckled the open grave, “They scrambled on all the surrounding graves, and I hurt for days with the scratches made by fancy boots and ladies heels! But once he was buried, no one comes to visit, not even the undertaker to lay a stone!”

“Once they die, they’re forgotten,” said a grave behind me startling me with it’s baritone voice, “In me lies the best singer in the city, his voice was the toast of the town, but when he was laid here and his voice heard no more, he’s forgotten!”

“That’s sad!” I said.

“I could be open for you!” chuckled the open grave, its dark insides staring gloomily at me.

“No” I said, “I have many years to live!”

“I’m a bit of a crotchety type,” said the open grave, “Once you’re dead, you’re dead. I don’t want you squirming and turning inside me, all wide awake, when you should be resting and still!”

“Why ever would I do that?” I asked, “See what it says on all you graves, ‘RIP, Rest In Peace!’

The sound of laughter that came from all over the cemetery was startling, “Rest In Peace!” chortled all the graves, the guffawing rising to alarming proportions, “All that happens when you get shoved here is guilt!”

“And shame!”




“And turning!”

“You know something,” said the Open grave, “I like your size, I think you would be a good fit!”

“No,” I shuddered, “Not yet!”

“But when you do come, brought here by those pallbearers, please see you have made peace with your family and friends!”

“Forgiven you enemies!”

“And are a child of God!”

“We don’t want you folk, turning and tossing, and spoiling our siestas,” said all the graves together.

“Make your peace!” whispered the open grave, “I like your size..!”

A funeral came down the path, towards the open grave, and I swear I saw the body toss a wee bit, and do a turn, as I heard the open grave mutter to himself, “There goes my rest. Can’t they make their peace before they get here?”


All opinions and views expressed in columns and blogs are those of individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Caravan

Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.


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