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A Death that wasn’t ...
by Lavina Noronha - Mangalore

Jan 20, 2010

I have been dead for 20 minutes. My sister and brother were in the Parish Priest’s cabin to discuss the funeral details. The plot would cost Rs. 85,000 explained Fr. Netto. “Ridiculous! 85K for a plot that measures 3x6?” I thought to myself. If I was not already dead, I would have had a heart attack for sure. “She did not want a permanent tomb Father, we will respect her wishes and go for an ordinary tomb.” My sister chimed in. “Thank you sis for honoring my wishes” I wanted to say.

“If you go for an ordinary plot, it would only cost you Rs. 5,000” announced Fr. Netto. I wanted to scream: “Father, didn’t you always preach in your homilies about this world being a transient place and that the soul is immortal and what happens to our body after death should be least of our concerns?  Isn’t this hypocritical?” I had to thwart my urge to scream when I realized I was dead and the bull-headed priest was not going to hear me anyway. “By the way, you will have to pay extra money if you want bells tolled more than thrice on the day of the funeral” he added. “Its okay Father, three times would be just fine” clarified my brother. “If you want us to turn on all the ceiling fans and the lights in the church during the funeral service, it would cost you Rs. 400 more” Fr. Netto added. “Yes, let the fans and lights be turned on” responded my brother.  “You will have to pay only Rs. 3,000 in advance and the balance can be paid after the burial.” Fr. Netto showed his Christian spirit. “Wow! How commendable! He trusts us enough to pay the balance after the burial” I thought to myself. 

I knew living was expensive but I had no idea that dying was even more so. I was awestruck at the exchanges between my siblings and the parish priest. What a fool I was to even think that one’s soul mattered more than the body. After witnessing this plot for sale ordeal I was all confused.  Oh, well, now it is too late, I can’t even change my will. Had I known earlier, I would have opted for a simple burial right in my own yard, under my favorite coconut tree. That way, at least in death I could have been useful as manure! 

“Who’s the funeral arranger? I hope you didn’t call Irvin from Good Bye Arrangers. He is such a crook, he wants his payment in full right after burial on the same day. Those who have called him once don’t call him again” Uncle Jimmy came forth with his (unsolicited) piece of advice. “No, Uncle Jimmy, we are going with a different arranger. We too have heard about Good Bye arrangers, our arranger is Eternal Rest. He is well known for his customer service.” explained my brother, who was overseeing all the arrangements. “Just make sure they bring enough coffee, it would be a shame if they run out of coffee at the cemetery” added Uncle Jimmy. “By the way, please don’t invite every Tom, Dick and Harry to stay for supper after the burial. This meal is for close family and friends, tell your sisters to exercise caution while extending invitations.

I just love the pomfret curry and the dry shrimp chutney they serve. We could help ourselves to the left-overs and enjoy them for a week you see” Aunt Mercy chimed in trying hard not to drool. “Aunt Mercy, you rest assured. Eternal Rest arrangers usually give their catering contract to ‘Eat well caterers’ and they usually bring more than enough” clarified my brother.  One has to appreciate Aunt Mercy’s frankness. I am amazed at people’s priorities at funerals. Some times it feels like the condolences, the tears, the words of compassion are all a façade, most people are outright pragmatic- what is in it for me?

Have you sent the information to the newspaper? If you type something fast, I can take it to them before their office closes” volunteered Cousin Arthur. My sister handed over a piece of paper with funeral details to Arthur. Let me see, Aunty Joanne grabbed the paper from him. “Hey, you need to add that she is the great grand niece of Late Mrs. Bonanza, the freedom fighter.” Lord have Mercy, I thought to myself, if you go back three generations and forward three, the entire newspaper page will not be sufficient. “No, Aunty, let’s not go that far, we are all proud of our great grand aunt but this is not the occasion to gloat about our ancestral heritage” Arthur was too quick to grab the paper back from her. ‘Good for you, Cousin Arthur, and thanks for not letting her steal my thunder.’ I thought to myself.

My baby sister was flying in from the Mid-East and had requested that I be put in cold storage for a couple of days. Personally, I did not want to be placed in the mortuary. I have always believed that loved ones should visit and spend quality time when people are alive. No matter how much formalin is injected into the corpse, the person does not look the same he or she was before death. Mummification might have worked for the Egyptians, not for us. When they finally brought me home for one last time from the mortuary I just heaved a sigh of relief (Oh, well, you get the point). It was just too darn cold in there and being there for 48 hours under spine-chilling, subzero temperature was a nightmare. My brother who had heard the horror story of a body that was decomposed right in the mortuary because the technician forgot to turn the storage unit on had made sure the switch was on after placing me in. It brought back memories of the 1994 snow storm of Illinois during my student days. It was so severe that they had to shut down the University for four days. Clad in four layers of clothing, wading through snow and ice to make it to class at 8AM used to give me the creeps. 

Uncle Joe was in the front yard, nervously wiping his forehead with his nicely folded white handkerchief. “Why don’t you order some plastic chairs, if there are more people there is no room in the house and while you are at it, ask them to get a couple of pedestal fans too. Its going to be stuffy in here he predicted. Uncle Joe’s concerns were legitimate. ‘It was a hot summer day but I could not choose another day, could I?’

People slowly started streaming in…. some solitaire, some in pairs. “Poor thing, this was not her age to die.” Someone exclaimed after taking a good peak at the coffin. I tried to figure out who it was but did not seem to recognize her. ‘Interesting, I thought the time of death and age of death and manner of dying was in God’s hands; humm, this lady seems to know more than God’ I smiled.

I turn around and good Lord, it is Aunt Elsie! She’s carrying a wreath that exceeds the circumference of her hips. I am sure it weighs at least 10 kilograms, I meant the wreath. There she was trying to wade through the front door. After two knee surgeries and a hip replacement surgery, her tenacity to balance 116 kilos (her weight) on those pencil point shoes is highly commendable. Funeral announcement in the local newspaper and in the media network carried a post script at the end: “In lieu of flowers, family appreciates donations to Ave Maria Palliative Care.”  Looks like Aunt Elsie didn’t seem happy slipping in a folded bill into the charity box which lay on the right side of the casket on a little stool. My niece and nephews had taken extra care to find a nice little box, decorate the same with silver crepe paper and the youngest had even placed a skull and a set of bones on the same. I had to fight my urge to chuckle at her sense of humor, you see, one had to respect the solemnity of the occasion. 

“She doesn’t look dead, she looks like she’s just sleeping.” Lo, it’s my neighbor, Aunt Carmine. ‘What kind of a comment was that?’ I said to myself. I am sleeping, you fool! but this time, I am not waking up.’ Wonder what she expected to see….eyes rolled up, tongue sticking out?  Umm, whispered Carmine to Sellu who was sitting next to her. “ I think they went in for a third class coffin, not much decoration either.” I wanted to scream in her ears this time ‘Hello! I’m dead! The brass handled teakwood coffin with elegant sequencing, the vibration of the band beats, or the piles of flowers don’t really make a difference to me!” 

All my adult life, I have been a strong opponent of funeral and wedding extravagance- the fire crackers, the flowers, the meaningless flaunting of wealth. After my school trip to the fire cracker factory in Chennai and after seeing the charred hands of those little children in the factory when I was fifteen years old I had vowed to myself that I will never buy or enjoy fire crackers. All the family functions (where I have had a say) have taken place without fire crackers. One really needs to ponder over the impact of fire crackers on global warming and the double dose of pollution- both air and noise! By the way, I don’t have anything against florists either. So, please don’t get me wrong. I loved flowers and I loved gardening but I did not expect people to bring me flowers when I can no longer admire them or smell them. And, those of you who can make sense, please do not waste money on flowers at funerals. Give your loved ones flowers when they are alive and show them you really care when they can appreciate them. ‘Oh, well, I think I am digressing here. Let’s go back to my funeral, shall we?

I wish I could thank my mother for fulfilling every wish of mine when it came to funeral arrangements. The mass was over and the priest asked the eulogist to come forward. I hope it is a short one I thought to myself. Just then, this tall, overweight lady in her mid sixties came up to the altar and unfolded a sheet of paper. I wondered who she was as I was seeing her for the first time. “It better be a short one,” I wanted to tell her “people usually don’t have patience for a cock and bull story at a funeral.”

“She was such a gem…..font of patience and understanding. Nothing could ever make her angry…..” She stood there lying through her teeth and the people in church just nodded in assent as if it was all true. ‘What a farce’, I thought to myself. At one point during the eulogy I had to force myself not to laugh. She possessed all these qualities which we should all emulate…. “Strange, isn’t it? Even though they couldn’t stand your sight when you were alive, when you’re lifeless, you become such a role model to one and all…… Outright hypocrites! I did not know I had such great qualities!”  She went on for sometime until the parish priest gestured to her to cut it short. He was worried about the next mass that was going to begin in five minutes. 

Finally, it ended and I was on my way to the cemetery. “It is about time they gave me some rest.” I said to myself. “Have thine own way Lord” the choir was trying it’s best to keep it in-sync. You could tell from their croaking that they did not really want to be there but had no choice. I really pity them. If anyone needs a cup of coffee badly, it is the parish choir! People thronged around the freshly dug tomb. The singing stopped and the pastor began the Lord’s prayer. Crrraccck! Suddenly there was this sharp, crackling noise nearby. I too tried to look in the direction of the sound. One of the old tombs had caved in, two rows down from where I was being interred. My two overweight neighbors were standing on the tomb of Mr. D’Souza wanting to get a good glimpse of who’s shedding the most tears and lo and behold, Mr. D’Souza taught them a lesson. ‘Yes,’ I said to myself, ‘it is a good lesson for all those insensitive people who stand on tombs in total disregard for the feelings and sentiments of their loved ones! Finally with much struggle, the ladies were helped to get out of Mr. D’Souza’s tomb. Luckily they sustained just a few cuts and scratches when the tomb caved in. 

It was now time for lowering the casket into the grave. The men were really struggling to coordinate the task of lowering the casket trying not to fall in first. I really felt guilty for not taking care of my weight. Had I been a little lighter, the entire ordeal would have been a painless one. The casket reached the bottom of the tomb and those who loved me did not mind getting their hands dirty with dirt. Fistfuls of soil kept falling on the casket. The Asst. Parish Priest made the final announcement: “The requiem mass will held on Thursday at 8AM.” “I guess they are going to settle with just a breakfast instead of a three- course lunch” exclaimed Mrs. Furtado, my neighbor. ‘What has a three-course meal with an open bar got to do with the repose of a soul?’ I wanted to ask her but thwarted my urge and decided to rest, yes! Rest in Peace. Just then, “Lavi, aren’t you getting up? It’s quarter passed six.” Mummy thundered from the kitchen.  Oh, my goodness, I am still alive, oh, no, was this all a dream?” I shook myself off and jumped out of bed.

Comments on this article
jeetendra hegde, mumbaiTuesday, April 30, 2013
Wow, excellent.., love it.good article.
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James Fernandes, Barkur,USASaturday, January 23, 2010
"Crrraccck! Suddenly there was this sharp, crackling ... One of the old tombs had caved in". Hope this unsolicitedly desecrated tomb did not belong to Uncle Jimmy's ancestors!! Can Uncle Jimmy explain why now just the half of his room is freezing and the furniture is floating?
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Rammohan, PutturSaturday, January 23, 2010
Good article. Even to die, it is worrisome. It exposes the harsh realities that one comes across even after death left to the living. The question still is to die or not to die peacefully
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Rakshitha Kudva, Mangalore/ DubaiSaturday, January 23, 2010
Dear Lavina, Excellent article and well said, you have revealed the harsh truth, whenever you do anything, no matter good or bad, there will be allways criticism. we need to read more article like this from you. I really appreciate this article and also the courage to speak your mind. Dont worry about the criticism from hypocrites.
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A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.Friday, January 22, 2010
Though it is an article of humour and fantasy, it is revealing a cardinal reality of life. When a relative called me to tell the details of her husband's funeral service, she was talking more about the pomp and glory of the funeral how many Priests and Bishop showed up, and the rest of the story. Dying is getting more expensive than living! Everybody is trying to cash on a painful point in life. The public will talk about the pageantry of the funeral, and the chapter is finished within a week. Some people go bankrupt after a marriage in the family because they tried to overtake others for an instant fame and glory. We try to impress others, including our enemies, by bankrupting our treasury. That is an irony and silly pride of life.
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Mangal, MangaloreFriday, January 22, 2010
A well written, amusing and a thought provoking article. Richard Mendonca and Annappa Poojary need to calm their nerves. After all, we need to respect Lavina's dream so beautifully penned down.
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Mohd. Ridhan, Mangalore, FalnirFriday, January 22, 2010
"Crrraccck! Suddenly there was this sharp, crackling ... One of the old tombs had caved in" This is downright hilarious!! Harsh truth revealed in the lightest way possible.. Can't wait to read your next.
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Al Dsilva, MangaloreFriday, January 22, 2010
A well written article. Seems like most of us agree with authors ideas. Keep up the good work lavina, wish you all the best.
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JOHN PINTO, Mangalore/Canada-USAThursday, January 21, 2010
I wish we learn to read an article and enjoy the humour built in it. Such articles bring forth added joy to the readers. Let us not stick any malice to any one, but, just enjoy the article for what it is worth and compliment the writer.
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Ronald, MumbaiThursday, January 21, 2010
beautifully expressed, keep up
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D. F. Lobo, Vamanjoor-MangaloreThursday, January 21, 2010
`There are so many cases those who cannot afford to spend or body of single persons who have no one to take care of their funeral are burried freely by the church authorities in their semitaries....'- This is not true. S.V.P.Society or others make payment to the church. Mr Richard Mendonca,please write the truth,speak sense. Dont defend the Religious Merchants. Now a days, especially in Mangalore Diocese, Church is looking at only money and money. Nothing else. We the laity just to `pray, pray and obey'. We have to abide by the rules and orders of the Clergy,dont have not even single right to exercise/claim/demand the Religious Leaders of the Church. What Lavina has said in her article is reality. Hats off to you Lavina, Mangalore.
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John Crasta, Mumbai / IndiaThursday, January 21, 2010
Has anybody been refused burial because he/she could not pay? Can a institution survive only on love and fresh air. Does the church has the luxury of asking Reserve Bank to print notes to cover the deficit just as the government has?. Did you at anytime take up this issue with the church authorities ? All the people who tried to prove that they are liberals by digging up the dirt that did not exist have only faded away carrying with them heavy burden of guilt. I hope this will not happen to you.
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Dalia Hartman, Mulund/MichiganThursday, January 21, 2010
A well written article! I agree. There truly is no dignity in death. On any given day I see at least a dozen animals, in various degrees of decomposition, lying on or alongside the many roads I drive on. At first I would gag at the sight or the smell but one gets accustomed to it. Even in death, the creatures become food for other beings, thus completing the circle of life. The point I am trying to make is about dignity. Once dead, we have no control over what happens over our remains. Theoretically, we could eliminate some of the burden on family members by giving specific instructions in our last and living will to keep it simple. Even then we are not guaranteed that our wishes will be respected. In India, my mother has seen burials of the poorest of poor wrapped in woven mats. Some groups of Cistercian monks prefer to bury directly into the ground without a casket. Depending on where you are located there may be local rules and laws to adhere to. In the past couple of years, I have been to three viewings…one a suicide, one a murder by shooting and the one a natural death from illness. I have seen varying degrees of expenses borne by the family. At the end of it all, I truly believe it does not matter to the dead. It is the living we aim to appease.
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Neville Fernandez, Mangalore/AntiguaThursday, January 21, 2010
A wonderful write up on the path to the cemetery. I really liked the way you have exposed the various so called "CUSTOMS" in our community. I've often wondered why the hell it is customary to serve coffee after the person is buried. It is for the people I was told, they are tired after spending the day with you. Of late, in addition to coffee, I have seen sealed cups of lime juice being served. And who knows, in a few years from now, it may become customary to serve cake and puffs too !
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Oliver Mark D Souza, Bajpe/ DubaiThursday, January 21, 2010
Dear Anitha- Mangalore. No body who has commented on the article is neither anti Catholic faith nor anti church or clergy. We love and respect the church and clergy as much as you do. Our Holy Catholic Church has witnessed so many changes and reforms and we are likely to see many more. Thinking differently always paves the way for a change.It is better to express your thoughts openly than remain silent. The so called great parish councils could think of buying more buriel place for the parishoners rather than plan to build buildings. Death is a LEVELLER no matter whether you are rich or poor.Atleast for funerals we could think of a way of making everybody equal. One who has experienced the inferior treatment from the society all through his/her life need'nt be shown poor at the time of death. For myself , I am certainly not for the rich nature of the church today. I really wish to be in a place which is devoid of all the unwanted formalities.
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Shubha, MangaloreThursday, January 21, 2010
Nicely written dear Lavina. Everything is true and proper. Knowing Lavina and her great work at Ave Maria Palliative Care centre, I can understand what Annappa Poojari felt when he read Richard Mendonca's comment. But i wish, the mature and sensible readers would not pass personal, hurting comments about the author or anyone for that matter. If you dont like anything written, please try to write something better, yourself!
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Laila, Mangalore / KSAThursday, January 21, 2010
Dear Lavina Your article is wonderful and humorous too for the reason,that is what is happening in reality. Do continue writing.
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Roshan, Belman/DubaiThursday, January 21, 2010
Dear Reader, . It seem’s to me Lavina bought a real life situation into a story, we do agree that we all are from GOD, and HIS desire that all we must come to HIM. But in reality all will not go HIM, but those who chose the narrow gate. I heard it some one told me,Enter ye in by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many are they that enter in thereby. For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it.
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Ronald, MangaloreThursday, January 21, 2010
Hi Richard Mendonca, Vamanjoor/Abu Dhabi, why are you critisizing ? such a beautiful article from Lavina. She has not mentioned your name in the article.just read and enjoy it . Annappa Poojari, mangalore/abu dhabi, please do not use words like 'she should be burried naked'. such words are Embarrassing for ladies at least.
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Edmund correa, UdipiThursday, January 21, 2010
One of the good articles where almost all comments are positive!. wonder whether lavina could fire up her imagination to write something on birth. something like THE BIRTH THAT WAS OR WASNT.I once asked a person what would we be after death?. his answer was - you would be what you were before birth!.
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Agnello, Mangalore/MuscatThursday, January 21, 2010
Lavina, nice story.Good observation . Great sense of humour. Enjoy the comments on the sidelines.Develop your style and keep writing.
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pramila, mangaloreThursday, January 21, 2010

Good! nicely it is written I too agree that after death lot of money is spent! which I came to know my uncles' funeral. Oh! I felt that NOWA DAYS everything is commercialisation. Even the time of death too.. After all we are come from God ,we are going to God. Thank God when Jesus born he born in stable. and He died on the cross. What about us? We born in the hospital by giving thousands Rs. and some times we die in the same place by lending the money.

This is the life that we live here on earth. I just ask God O God! WHY AT ALL THAT MONEY IS CREATED! WHAY CAN'T BE LOVE ON THAT PLACE WHICH YOU WANTED!

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Richard Mendonca, Vamanjoor/Abu DhabiThursday, January 21, 2010
Dear Annappa, I was not criticising Lavina and infact I did not know her background or knew what she was doing.In conclusion it wouold have been better if there was some hint on what our community should do to overcome all these expensive funeral services.Just blaming the Church authorities or industries involved will not solve anything.Jesus Christ was burried wrapped in a shroud.There is lot of difference between shroud and nakedness.About your suggession to help Ave Maria Palliatice Care, I will certainly do it when I get a chance to visit them. Just one thing, how can you suggest Lavina to be burried naked, are you a close pal of her.
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Arthur Dsouza, Cordel/dubaiThursday, January 21, 2010
Dear Mr Richard Mendonca, You have just shown yourself to be blind. There is nothing for lavina to teach the world as you have questioned. she has put very nice thoughtful ideas on record for people like us to read and reflect but not belittle and criticise. talking about money , lavina has spent a great deal on starting up AVE MARIA PALLIATIVE CARE . here she takes care of people who are in dying stages especially people who have no one to care , including the rich who have no time for their agieng parents . she cares to let people die in dignity. she does more than what is asked for by God. she does it free , my dear Richard. when you go home , find out from your parish the number of free funerals done by your church. and if they have done, have rung the bells, switched on the lights and built a tomb of marble or at the least celebrated mass for the poor departed soul!. even that costs money!. lavina's write up looks up like a comedy or drama only for idiots.it looks like your eyes need to be opened .Her AVE MARIA PALLIATIVE CARE' is in vamanjoor as said by one of the commentators earlier. Now that you know what lavina is doing and if you have money to help her cause then please do . YOU cannot say that you may not land up in her care at you old age. Its a bizzare world but we need to find sense in it
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Joyce D'Souza, Bandra / DubaiThursday, January 21, 2010
A very humorous article, let’s have more of such type of articles. This sentence “Give your loved ones flowers when they are alive and show them you really care when they can appreciate them” is an eye opener for many people who do not really care for their parents and siblings while they are alive but adorn their burial graves with flowers.
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Sanjay Fernandes, MangaloreThursday, January 21, 2010
Christening, weddings, funerals are something personal and it should be better left to the individual and family members on how they want to carry it. Lavinas article here is a wonderful eye-opener. I lost a close family member recently and it was our choice to carry the funeral without a brass band and a photographer. The band was not required as we felt it creates a lot of noise at a time when all that noise is totally uncalled for. The need of a photographer too was ruled out when we have hundreds of snaps of our dear one during happier times when she was alive. We still refer to the snaps when she was alive and thus seek comfort and we would have not liked to see the funeral snaps if at all they were clicked. Having said that it was our personal decision and I am not here to say that this is what others should follow. It’s a personnel event and let everybody have it their way. Let’s start respecting other people’s space. The sad part is the society does not respect your privacy and I had a couple of people who came to me after the funeral and said “It all went very well (the funeral ceremony), but it would have been better if you had hired the band and a photographer.
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JOSEPH, DUBAI/CORDELThursday, January 21, 2010
Good article Lavina..True whats happening in this society...Also there are some who ask to donate 2 benches to the church when getting married.
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sathu, delhiThursday, January 21, 2010
Such a thought provoking article put in such a humuourous style is rare in the Mangalorean community. The reactions published in the site prove it. I do not know the author but would definitely like her to show a mirror to the community more often.
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Annappa Poojari, mangalore/abu dhabiWednesday, January 20, 2010
Mr Richard , it seems to me that lavina's article has stirred a raw nerve in you.it is obvious you never got the gist of the article. But let me tell you what lavina has done and achieved. she has single handed built a place to care for the terminally ill and dying regardless of caste , creed or religion and for free!. And it is very near to your house in vamanjoor, Mr Richard. This world is vicious and I suggest that you refrain from such acerbic remarks. I will tell lavina that she should be buried naked in her compound as that shroud can be used to take care of the patients at "Ave maria palliatice care". Afterall we are born naked so whats wrong in getting buried naked.Just have glance along side of the road when you go home on vacation, her place is just there opposite St joseph engineering college at vamanjoor. Now if you have a change of heart please help her.Else dont criticise , you have no right
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Ronald De Costa , KuwaitWednesday, January 20, 2010
It is a nice article well done Lavina you opened our eyes i appreciate you thanks alot.But targeting to church that is not fair.
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Jerome, MangaloreWednesday, January 20, 2010
Well done Lavi, a nice injection for the church authorities. There should be a limit to the extreme commercialisation of church activities and formalities. .
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Antony Crasta, Mangalore/Sydney, AustraliaWednesday, January 20, 2010
Nice story Lavina, and it`s an eye opener to everyone, as Veera Fernandes said. You have narrated the real situation that prevails in many of the Churches in a succulent and comical way. No flowers and expensive funeral for me though, thanks, as I have opted for donation of my vital organs when I am gone, if they are any good at all by then, and advised my next of kins to get rid of my body in the most convenient way.
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Anita, MangaloreWednesday, January 20, 2010

When it comes to commenting , the comments are mainly targeting the church and the clergy forgetting the article talks about other issues like spending on food, drinks, coffin, Obituary announcement in local news papers/media etc. I know a few who have commented on this article , who have spent on the funeral of their loved one/ weddings / anniversaries way too much.

Come on don’t be hypocrites. Cremation is allowed by the church, so go for it! please be reminded St Vincent de Paul in the parish takes care of the funeral expenses of the poor in their respective parishes. Lavina, good balanced article .

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Richard Mendonca, Vamanjoor/Abu DhabiWednesday, January 20, 2010
Lavina its a good story.Can you publish what lesson you are trying to teach the public . Stop spending money or you are gealous that people are spending money. There are so many cases those who cannot afford to spend or body of single persons who have no one to take care of their funeral are burried freely by the church authorities in their semitaries and their coffin and funeral arrangemnts expenses are met by their neibhours, employer or distant relatives. Your write up looks like a comedy or drama. Even dead body can be wrapped in a shroud and can be burried. People got money to spend and there lot of industries involved in funeral arrangements. Those who said your write is a eye opener. Ask those people will they remain inside the chruch without fans on or will they kneeldown in the church without kneelers or sit on the floor without benches. Next time in your dream let your body be wrapped in a shroud(cloth) and taken for burriel and by this may be someone one day dare to adopt your latest dream style. All the best.
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Henry Misquith, MANGALORE/BAHRAINWednesday, January 20, 2010
Lavie....,I really appreciate you for this article. Hope some people of our society should read this. Keep it up Lavie, All the best. Henry Bahrain.
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RSK, mangaloreWednesday, January 20, 2010
Good one enjoyed reading it from the start to the end! dream n keep writing
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Ronny Rodrigues, Valencia, Doha QatarWednesday, January 20, 2010
Wonderful Article, nice to read, i really enjoyed reading,i expect more such articles from the writer.
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A.D'Cunha Shenoy, MangaluruWednesday, January 20, 2010
It costs money to live and it costs money to die as well. Amazing isn'it. LIfe has privileges and death has expenses. Funerals have become a big business. The west has huge funeral parlours with limos to carry the dead(not when alive) and cater to the needs decades earlier for aprice and it is picking up in our back door. Do we need the dead to bury in the expensive places? Or do we have a choice? To be blunt does the dead person care? or it matters to the living. In Mumbai as I was walking on a footpath. I read a sign flashing in front of the shop. It read" We die to take care of the dying". With curiosity, I explored and to my surprise it was funeral arrangements shop. Indeed, this is really a service or is it a paid service. Welcome to the "business" of the dying.
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NAVEEN FERNANDES, Kalmady Malpe / Alkhobar - KSAWednesday, January 20, 2010
Good job Lavina, i have face this situation in reality when my dad expired. i was asked to come after 4 days as they could not find the cemetery register book as regular clerk was on short leave and take over was unable to find it.I had to blast at him. During this time everybody tries to make money out of your situation. Hope this article will be a eye opener for the concerned and feel shame themselves.
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Yvonne, MangalolreWednesday, January 20, 2010
Very well written..seems so realistic... Keep it up....
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veera fernandes, bahrainWednesday, January 20, 2010
Laveena, good article.It is an eye opener to everyone. If the concerned people read it would be a benifit to our christianity. expect more articles of the same manner from you
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Oliver Mark D Souza, Bajpe/DubaiWednesday, January 20, 2010

Thanks Lavina.First of all ,The Catholic Church must address this issue of exorbitant payments and the buriel thamasha. It would'nt be wrong to say that today MONEY AND CHRISTIAN FAITH HAVE BECOME SYNONYMOUS.Why every ritual in the Church is associated with money? Priests should not be blamed for this. The Bishop must address this issue.

Secondly there are no end to our christian hypocrisies.Let us focus on the most important point of growing in faith and ignore the meaningless formalities. Common man has no say but has to give in to the decorative niceities introduced by the rich.LET NO FAITHUL CHRISTIAN FEEL HUMBLED OR FEEL INFERIOR because he can not imitate the rich. The Protestant Reformation movement started by Martin Luther was mainly because the Church was beyond the reach of the common man.Though the Church today is involved in lot many programmes that benifit the poor man ,it must look into issues that make Christian to doubt their faith.

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Astrin, MangaloreWednesday, January 20, 2010
Hi Lavina, This is one of your first articles that I have read and it is truly commendable. I love your style of writing and the creativity and humor that accompanies it! Very well written. The topic is thoroughly apt and relates perfectly to what happens around us, when someone passes away! Hopefully, like I have, the rest reading too are able to understand the deep message you are trying to spread through this article! Once again, lovely work and looking forward to much more from you!
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Dr.Jessy M.D'Souza, Kalpane,mangaloreWednesday, January 20, 2010
great lavi,raw truth is bitter always.Hope the concerned people will understand the feeling in it & change.
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Ronald, MangaloreWednesday, January 20, 2010
Usually i do not read in full the big articles but this one made me to read from begining till end. Very well written. really enjoyed reading. thank you.
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Janet D Cunha, MangaloreWednesday, January 20, 2010
Lavina, its such a wonderful story. Speaks all about life and death, illustrations are good, humorous, truth combined. You are a great writer. Continue writing. You are not only speaking about death but also exposing the skeletons from the tomb.
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Averyl Rodrigues, Mangalore/DubaiWednesday, January 20, 2010
I had a real dream of my burial a couple of days back. As written in the article i could see what was going on around. Was shocked to see this article on the website. Anyways Nicely written !!!!!
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clifford, urwaWednesday, January 20, 2010
very well written laveena. i share ur emotions on the extravagant spending on weddings and funerals. the same money can b put to good use. god bless u,........and ur soul (ur dream!!!!)
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sunil pereira, Wednesday, January 20, 2010
@ow very nice article.
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Nikhil, Wednesday, January 20, 2010
TOO GOOD ARTICLE,Truely showing the bitter side of life after death
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Edward, DubaiWednesday, January 20, 2010
An eye opener. Now our financial planning has to include this expense with a high margin for variation.
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Placid Gregory, , Mangalore, IndiaWednesday, January 20, 2010
Government land granted to the Church free of cost to be earmarked for burial is being allotted by the priests at an exorbitant price to bury the dead on the pretext of dearth of sufficient land in the cemetry, while most of the burial land is used to construct marriage halls, schools and buisness complexes to make profit.
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Dheeraj, Mangalore/singaporeWednesday, January 20, 2010
" Very nice article , a bit too lengthy , but i guess wat the article says does happen in our christian community "
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Uday Kulal, MangaloreWednesday, January 20, 2010
Lovely article Lavina. In fact i felt like, I am watching one of the episodes of "Six Feet Under" serial :). Keep it up. Expecting more from you soon. Regards Uday
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Lancelot N Tauro, Doha QatarWednesday, January 20, 2010
Good Article but too lengthy. It's better to open an GRAVE fixed deposit Account or Insurance for final journey. First of all we are unnecssarily binding courses like Marriage preaparation course, Pre baptism course. Why not introduction of pre death course?
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Wilson, Udupi/DubaiWednesday, January 20, 2010
This is a great article of recent times on DaijiWorld.Hats..off Lavina.It is infact a great, one of a kind dream you had..... Well, i feel that this article has not reached all the manglorean catholic readers.Walter....Kindly assist/publish this article in Konkani if possible in the konkani weekly....Raknno etc..
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Moushmi Dsouza, Mangalore/SharjahWednesday, January 20, 2010
Lovely Article Lavina..loved reading every word of it..Keep up the good work and publish more articles in Daiji
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Max Sequeira, M'Lore/BahrainWednesday, January 20, 2010
Excellent eyeopener for most of us alive. it calls for a change in our churches. Church charges for all events that place, can't we exempt all charges for funerals atleast? it is so shameful when the church demands money for a decent buriel. if rich can afford all kinds of extravagance, the poor are equally hardpressed to raise money to bury their loved one's. it is time that we in the church show charity atleast in the death of a christian.
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M Sunil, BangaloreWednesday, January 20, 2010
Interesting. Next time I hope you get a chance to visit heaven also so we can know how it is up there.
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M.K. John, Dammam, KSAWednesday, January 20, 2010
Its nice article, enjoyed by reading it. a lesson for hypocrites, they never come to see or help when you are alive but they shed crockodile tears and place wreath over you to show infront of others as if they can not live without you.
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Alfred Vincent Monis, Bantakal,BahrainWednesday, January 20, 2010
Nice article, an eye opener for church and priests.Thanks Lavina for the wonderful article.
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MAJEED, BRAHMAVAR/DUBAIWednesday, January 20, 2010
Hi Lavi a wonderful imagination,I appriciate U
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Dianez, Mangalore / MuscatWednesday, January 20, 2010
Made good reading. Sweet dreams and Good luck for the future!
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Molly, DubaiWednesday, January 20, 2010
Wow ! very nice article, thanks Lavina.
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tracy dalmeida, mangalore/israelWednesday, January 20, 2010
thanks laveena for beautiful article. keep writing article like this all the best.
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shanti miranda, mangaloreWednesday, January 20, 2010
Lovely dream laveena. It is said that dreams are replay of thoughts in daily life. Money, name and fame are concerned, no one follow God or any ideals! Like we see dreams, why cannot we shout that in the burial place there should not be a class difference. As in practice in a few churches, all should be given a common burial. Whether wedding or funeral, there should be only one priest plus family priests only. Churches are built by the people and they are for the people therefore should be managed by the people elected by them. Present system of ing people for the parish council is actually as per priest's choice and the members are either dumb or corrupt minded or cowards or devils agents. Therefore parishners are not properly represented, also parishner's wishes are not respected!
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Felix. F., India/KsaWednesday, January 20, 2010
The expenses for funeral which Lavina explained so beautifully are true not only with catholics/christins, but more so, with other religions as well. I know instances were buriels of poor were delayed just for want of because money. Buriels should be the responsibility of the state, and not a single paise will have to be spent by anyone on behalf of the dead person.
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Joy Paladka, Mira Road, MumbaiWednesday, January 20, 2010
Very good article, I enjoyed reading it till the end. Good guessing and observations. Lavina keep writing, all the best to you.
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Gracy, BangaloreWednesday, January 20, 2010
Nice article Lavina. nice way of making people realize what they are in this world and where they would finally land to. Let greedy people atleast now know there is nothing in this world which is ours! u have to leave evrything one day! thanks for the wonderful article..
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Shalini, MangaloreWednesday, January 20, 2010
Quite interesting article Lavina. Let us spend the quality time with our loved ones when they are alive. Keep writing
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santhosh sequeira, bantvalWednesday, January 20, 2010
Nice article Lavina. It looks like a true story. Presently it happens in our area. All the best
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Anandi Martis, MangaloreWednesday, January 20, 2010
Hope next time dear Laveena may get a dream portraying how church offices/admin. have become like corporate offices or corrupt govt. offices, without missing apart from church charges, how clergy to be paid separately for church services or for their presence to services which are not for their parishners, nor close friends nor relatives!!!!!! Just to show the world so many numbers priests were present for a devils function !!!!!
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DOLPHY D'SOUZA, PANDESHWARWednesday, January 20, 2010
Dear laveena, we have been told in the scriptures that death is not an end itself but a begining of eternal life. your article has exposed the hypocracy of our funeral rites and obligations
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Maxim Fernandes, Mangalore/BikkernakattaWednesday, January 20, 2010
Thank you Lavina for your nice article. Keep dreaming.
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Vinita Lobo, Jeppu /DubaiWednesday, January 20, 2010
"Yes,’ I said to myself, ‘it is a good lesson for all those insensitive people who stand on tombs in total disregard for the feelings and sentiments of their loved ones!" loved this sentence -Very nicely narrated .Don't have patience to read a long article, but this was read in one go. keep going Lavina All the best...
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Vinod Mascarenhas, MangaloreWednesday, January 20, 2010
Hi lavi you had a good experience of the funneral. I wish may have another dream of your ressuraction where you will not meet any funneral ordeal. Your dream has turned into a best peice of article. May you have many lovely dreams every nights!!! good luck!!!
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josh, udupi/abu dhabiWednesday, January 20, 2010
very nice......
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Irene, Derebail/KuwaitTuesday, January 19, 2010
Nice article. Well enjoyed. Keep dreaming and writing. All the best.
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Charles D'Mello, PangalaTuesday, January 19, 2010
It is a nice article. Generally I dont have patience to read a long article, this I read full in one go. M/s Laveena you have clearly said dos and donts at a funeral. Thanks.
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Jovin, Pangla, DubaiTuesday, January 19, 2010
Nice one and totally true. Good lesson to all arround us. All the best to Lavina Noronha.
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LAWRANCE, DOHA/BELMANTuesday, January 19, 2010
""Personally, I did not want to be placed in the mortuary. I have always believed that loved ones should visit and spend quality time when people are alive"" loved this words good one keep writing
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lezz, Badyar/BangaloreTuesday, January 19, 2010
How true a view of the present day Church and us Christians..Only Flesh .. No Spirit..
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Oliver Mascarenhas, Mangalore / DubaiTuesday, January 19, 2010
NICE one, tickling the funny bone... Shall I say R.I.P. or L.I.P. (Laugh in PEACE)
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Ashley , MangaloreTuesday, January 19, 2010
Lavina, Very well written. Keep up the good wrok. and keep writing.
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Wenreena P, MangaloreTuesday, January 19, 2010
Oh! its simply wonderful.I loved reading the article.Thanks.
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Wilson Saldanha, Shirthady/ KuwaitTuesday, January 19, 2010
Very good guess and happenings after life ends. No one is sure life after death. But the article explains life after death and before funeral. Keep it up. enjoyed a lot.
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Simon Dsouza, Shirva/DohaTuesday, January 19, 2010
Nice One Lavina, Keep going Wishing you all the very best
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Daniel, MangaloreTuesday, January 19, 2010
That's good. Enjoying the fundamental right of dreaming to the full extend.
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