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Happyening Yard and Grieving Yard

About Devang Desai

An accountant's journey of 40 years gathering non- financial insights about people , their relationships & their environment . Learning from the experiences of the many who have travelled before and trying to create enjoyable readings from words , ideas and self-realizations .

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Happyening Yard

Ramon was negotiating with the undertaker to decently manage the funeral cost of his friend’s uncle, staying alone in his city. His friend had a tight budget.
“I cannot come as my wife is about to deliver; would you please take care as she does not want my uncle’s next birth in our home?” requested his childhood friend who had migrated to Australia but had to complete the burial process to inherit the uncle’s wealth.
Ramon agreed as he had tasted the liquor of the deceased uncle every few years along with the visiting nephew and he felt obligated. A few distant cousins and obligated neighbours were expected to attend the funeral and he got into the details of embalming, Priest management, final clothing, flower and picture taking formalities and transportation for the dead and the living.
And most importantly, the graveyard management. The equipment, the labour, the music and the paperwork of the departed soul. It was a rainy day; the women in black and the men suited, had a deep cleansing. The Priest ensured smooth passage and the ceremony ended with a few sandwiches and cold drinks after the uncle was serenely deposited.

Ramon saw a friend in the young Priest. Wine was poured at the a pub conveniently annexed to the yard, to unravel the mysteries of life and its creator. After the first bottle, the journalist in him sensed some unearthly goings on at the graveyard.
The Priest whispered, looking around, “The devil is at work here. I don’t like to stay overnight in this area. The hall and the office rooms are haunted. I hope the rain stops or we will be stuck here.”
The God’s man spoketh and the graveyard office became their Arc; the young caretaker was their shepherd for the night.
“Strange things happen here but they are all like us. They want to be friends and they like me most of the time, provided I keep my mouth shut.” His matter-of-fact statement sent shivers down the drunken duo. The lightning and thunders brought the overgrown shrubs and age-old tree branches to life. At sharp 12, there was a knock on the door and with a polite cough. The newly dead uncle entered, greeting the three who had recently shoved him underground!

“Ramon, my son, tell your friend, I have agreed to be their son. Soon. He will see my handsome face till the end. And you will be my godfather.” He took the bottle away from the terrified trio. The sight of the dead man’s staring eyes unnerved the young grave-dweller too. Never had he been visited by a fresh corpse; they came only if they had extended transit period or some who were in permanent transit .
“You, young fella, I need my Stone area cleaned up properly! What with the dogs, uncut grass and stagnant water! The dead deserve a better service than the living. Taxes and death are old friends and I have paid all my taxes. The benches around are also broken. Where do you expect the dating couples to go? And I am fresh meat; a big demand. Better shape up when I’m here.”
The caretaker mumbled unconditional apologies and promised a better graveyard in the nights to come. But the Uncle had a long agenda. He called in his new friend, Mr. H. M. Broker, to outline a strategic plan for the graveyard property. The two had a few untried ideas which would get them going. A company of the living, for the dead, was to be floated with the three as active partners along with the two creative dead’s and the place of business was the graveyard office. There were plans to take the company public, in due course.

“I have a vision for my many friends here. I want to make this place swanky. You, Mr. Priest have a lot of work to do with your higher-ups. Bring them here for a night-cap if anyone does not agree. The nearby realtors have to provide marble for all the resting places and we want multi-level grave parkings.” He echoed. “All the services including wearables by the designer undertaker, the financial and legal people will be given a special building. Ramon, your job is to get good media exposure and we need an update of how our later generations are shaping up. I want to create a Deadly Daredevils Club and we will have a franchise arrangement at other grave centres.”

The visionary uncle had become more active after he stopped living! The trio were promised special benefits and plush jobs at some of the graveyards; foreign postings were also thrown-in.

“There is one another thing you have to work out Mr. Priest. I know you guys are having a great time throwing dirt and what not at each other; who cares what book you follow or which statue you bow down to, once you are here. We need diversity and frankly, we would rather barter some of ours for a better variety. I have particular liking for the more conservatives ones across; teaching is always my passion.” A smile and a wink from the old rouge told all.

Few years down the line, the inevitable impossible happened.
“Uncle Undertaking Ltd,” a conglomerate boasted entrepreneurship of saints and darling of the deceased, providing special services of mummification, cross-cultural dating through machines and rebirth choices. Ramon became the Godfather and Mr. Priest, the Savior Salesman to those dying.

And a child was born…

 

Grieving Yard

Ramon was negotiating with the undertaker to decently manage the funeral cost of his friend’s uncle, staying alone in his city. He could not refuse his childhood friend and fondly remembered Uncle’s generous whiskey – a rarity during college days.
The taxi driver, while visiting the undertaker, advised him against the cemetery selected. When probed, he was evasive and rolled out funny happenings at that burial place. Ramon went ahead with the funeral arrangements anyway. The body cleansing, dressing, flowers, pictures and vehicle arrangements – all under the undertakers’ umbrella including the priest management.
“All done.” Ramon sent the final closure message to his friend as he safely transferred the henceforth to the saviour. But the journalist in him could not get over the driver’s evasiveness. He intuitively knew there was a story here. And as was his habit , he disguised as a roadside tramp and waited for the alms near the Graveyard gate.

He was surprised at the absence of other beggars in that area. Soon he learnt why. The two cops threatened him of dire consequences if he lingered there further and he did not want to mess with their tone. So he moved away and begged from a few street food vendors and their customers. Again he was chased away by the cops who seemed to own the area. There were a few offices nearby and he took refuge behind a dump-yard. It stank but there were no chasing cops and he had a clear view of the goings on in that area.

Somewhere after midnight as the area quietened down and surprisingly the street lights went off. He saw some activity at the side gate of the graveyard. He could recognise the undertaker and the few helpers who had done the grave filling at the uncle’s site. He had tipped them well and was promised a proper slab fixation within a week. They were carrying boxes in a cart which they dragged on the road and went into the neighbouring street. He saw them load the boxes in a van, which he recognised as belonging to a known cold storage warehouse brand.
Before the van took off, he again saw the two cops come, look around for any activities and chat with the undertaker. An obvious exchange of money took place. He now understood, the function of the police was to enable the uninterrupted transactions at the graveyard under the cover of darkness. He was now afraid for his life and did not move away till all activities stopped, the van moved away and silence prevailed in the streets of the dead.

Taking no chances, he remained hidden for another hour. Shedding his rags, he then walked till the parked car in the vacant parking lot. While driving home, he speculated on what he saw. Drugs were not a paying business these days with so much de-facto regularisation by most countries. Then what? He dreamt all sorts of ghostly images and the dead uncle’s face with no eyes.
Ramon woke up and tried to make sense of the dream. He knew the subconscious mind had its own logic and role. After a troubled night without an answer, he often slept over it and got rewarded with strange insights. So what were his dream scenes telling him?

 

Living and Dead

At work, he started digging into the people responsible for the workings at the graveyard. It seemed they were part of a bigger organisation which was totally independent and loosely supervised by the local authority. Each place was allotted to a few undertakers and there was a monopoly of sorts in this smaller yard catering to a few select families.
He now got into action. He believed in technology and had some fancy gadgets which he casually embedded at the graveyard gate, at the place where the uncle was recently buried, a few subtle ones inside the office where he went to submit the pending forms and in the waiting room where the visiting families were served a few titbits.
All the gadgets had powerful sensors to provide pictures and sounds. After a week, he visited the graveyard once again to check on the slab fixation and in the process, retrieved many of the embedded gadgets. He saw from afar every night, the return of the refrigerating van to load the boxes with the undertaker supervising and the cops guarding like something precious.
He lingered at the street vendors selling clothes, trinkets and shoes, belts, a few hats and the prayer beads of all types. The buyers seemed to be dealers rather than actual users. The market was a closed one; every day the same people traded silently .
And then he chanced upon something which shocked him. The favourite suit of the uncle was neatly folded on the table along with his shoes and miscellania. They were thieves – the  grave-robbers. Every day when the bodies were buried, they must be removing the clothes at night and selling them off during the day.
The spying tools frightened him; the incomplete talks and pictures gave him nightmares. This was no story, no petty crimes. This was organised inhuman business.
“Good lot today; some nice young ones too.”
“Leave them alone; do it to the live ones. The f… doctors will know and the bosses will do you if you are not careful.”
The pictures showed a few gathered around what looked like a folding surgical table and the workings with tools, removing things from the bodies and putting them into boxes. The helpers put ice and put them in the corners.
God awful! They were removing organs and putting them… oh shit in that freezer van. This was madness. A market for the wearables of the dead and a bigger market of their organs. And all involved!!
Ramon knew a few organisations which were bold, resourceful and capable of exposing these ghastly happenings at the yard.
Every day the grieving families visited, prayed for their dead’s who they thought were safely returned to earth and heaven. The workings of humans defied the gods. Senseless replication of molecules was the only reality. There was no caring, moral human here; only mindless evolutionary play.

The story was told. He became a famous upholder of human values. The culprits were brought to books. The undertaker roped in all the untouchables and became the confessor against them. He survived and thrived; little was known till Ramon came across a gadget which he had presumed lost but which he located during the graveyard investigations.
The undertaker had sole monopoly on the residuals. The things still not turned to dust; the hardened flesh and the unusable organs. That was a market of adulteration. Human things mixed with the flesh of animals, blended and cooked into delicacies at the many eating places!

Ramon was negotiating with the undertaker to decently manage the funeral cost of his friend’s uncle, staying alone in his city. His friend had a tight budget.
“I cannot come as my wife is about to deliver; would you please take care as she does not want my uncle’s next birth in our home?” requested his childhood friend who had migrated to Australia but had to complete the burial process to inherit the uncle’s wealth.
Ramon agreed as he had tasted the liquor of the deceased uncle every few years along with the visiting nephew and he felt obligated. A few distant cousins and obligated neighbours were expected to attend the funeral and he got into the details of embalming, Priest management, final clothing, flower and picture taking formalities and transportation for the dead and the living.
And most importantly, the graveyard management. The equipment, the labour, the music and the paperwork of the departed soul. It was a rainy day; the women in black and the men suited, had a deep cleansing. The Priest ensured smooth passage and the ceremony ended with a few sandwiches and cold drinks after the uncle was serenely deposited.

Ramon saw a friend in the young Priest. Wine was poured at the a pub conveniently annexed to the yard, to unravel the mysteries of life and its creator. After the first bottle, the journalist in him sensed some unearthly goings on at the graveyard.
The Priest whispered, looking around, “The devil is at work here. I don’t like to stay overnight in this area. The hall and the office rooms are haunted. I hope the rain stops or we will be stuck here.”
The God’s man spoketh and the graveyard office became their Arc; the young caretaker was their shepherd for the night.
“Strange things happen here but they are all like us. They want to be friends and they like me most of the time, provided I keep my mouth shut.” His matter-of-fact statement sent shivers down the drunken duo. The lightning and thunders brought the overgrown shrubs and age-old tree branches to life. At sharp 12, there was a knock on the door and with a polite cough. The newly dead uncle entered, greeting the three who had recently shoved him underground!

“Ramon, my son, tell your friend, I have agreed to be their son. Soon. He will see my handsome face till the end. And you will be my godfather.” He took the bottle away from the terrified trio. The sight of the dead man’s staring eyes unnerved the young grave-dweller too. Never had he been visited by a fresh corpse; they came only if they had extended transit period or some who were in permanent transit .
“You, young fella, I need my Stone area cleaned up properly! What with the dogs, uncut grass and stagnant water! The dead deserve a better service than the living. Taxes and death are old friends and I have paid all my taxes. The benches around are also broken. Where do you expect the dating couples to go? And I am fresh meat; a big demand. Better shape up when I’m here.”
The caretaker mumbled unconditional apologies and promised a better graveyard in the nights to come. But the Uncle had a long agenda. He called in his new friend, Mr. H. M. Broker, to outline a strategic plan for the graveyard property. The two had a few untried ideas which would get them going. A company of the living, for the dead, was to be floated with the three as active partners along with the two creative dead’s and the place of business was the graveyard office. There were plans to take the company public, in due course.

“I have a vision for my many friends here. I want to make this place swanky. You, Mr. Priest have a lot of work to do with your higher-ups. Bring them here for a night-cap if anyone does not agree. The nearby realtors have to provide marble for all the resting places and we want multi-level grave parkings.” He echoed. “All the services including wearables by the designer undertaker, the financial and legal people will be given a special building. Ramon, your job is to get good media exposure and we need an update of how our later generations are shaping up. I want to create a Deadly Daredevils Club and we will have a franchise arrangement at other grave centres.”

The visionary uncle had become more active after he stopped living! The trio were promised special benefits and plush jobs at some of the graveyards; foreign postings were also thrown-in.

“There is one another thing you have to work out Mr. Priest. I know you guys are having a great time throwing dirt and what not at each other; who cares what book you follow or which statue you bow down to, once you are here. We need diversity and frankly, we would rather barter some of ours for a better variety. I have particular liking for the more conservatives ones across; teaching is always my passion.” A smile and a wink from the old rouge told all.

Few years down the line, the inevitable impossible happened.
“Uncle Undertaking Ltd,” a conglomerate boasted entrepreneurship of saints and darling of the deceased, providing special services of mummification, cross-cultural dating through machines and rebirth choices. Ramon became the Godfather and Mr. Priest, the Savior Salesman to those dying.

And a child was born…

 

To Be Continued in Grieving Yard

Ramon was negotiating with the undertaker to decently manage the funeral cost of his friend’s uncle, staying alone in his city. His friend had a tight budget.
“I cannot come as my wife is about to deliver; would you please take care as she does not want my uncle’s next birth in our home?” requested his childhood friend who had migrated to Australia but had to complete the burial process to inherit the uncle’s wealth.
Ramon agreed as he had tasted the liquor of the deceased uncle every few years along with the visiting nephew and he felt obligated. A few distant cousins and obligated neighbours were expected to attend the funeral and he got into the details of embalming, Priest management, final clothing, flower and picture taking formalities and transportation for the dead and the living.
And most importantly, the graveyard management. The equipment, the labour, the music and the paperwork of the departed soul. It was a rainy day; the women in black and the men suited, had a deep cleansing. The Priest ensured smooth passage and the ceremony ended with a few sandwiches and cold drinks after the uncle was serenely deposited.

Ramon saw a friend in the young Priest. Wine was poured at the a pub conveniently annexed to the yard, to unravel the mysteries of life and its creator. After the first bottle, the journalist in him sensed some unearthly goings on at the graveyard.
The Priest whispered, looking around, “The devil is at work here. I don’t like to stay overnight in this area. The hall and the office rooms are haunted. I hope the rain stops or we will be stuck here.”
The God’s man spoketh and the graveyard office became their Arc; the young caretaker was their shepherd for the night.
“Strange things happen here but they are all like us. They want to be friends and they like me most of the time, provided I keep my mouth shut.” His matter-of-fact statement sent shivers down the drunken duo. The lightning and thunders brought the overgrown shrubs and age-old tree branches to life. At sharp 12, there was a knock on the door and with a polite cough. The newly dead uncle entered, greeting the three who had recently shoved him underground!

“Ramon, my son, tell your friend, I have agreed to be their son. Soon. He will see my handsome face till the end. And you will be my godfather.” He took the bottle away from the terrified trio. The sight of the dead man’s staring eyes unnerved the young grave-dweller too. Never had he been visited by a fresh corpse; they came only if they had extended transit period or some who were in permanent transit .
“You, young fella, I need my Stone area cleaned up properly! What with the dogs, uncut grass and stagnant water! The dead deserve a better service than the living. Taxes and death are old friends and I have paid all my taxes. The benches around are also broken. Where do you expect the dating couples to go? And I am fresh meat; a big demand. Better shape up when I’m here.”
The caretaker mumbled unconditional apologies and promised a better graveyard in the nights to come. But the Uncle had a long agenda. He called in his new friend, Mr. H. M. Broker, to outline a strategic plan for the graveyard property. The two had a few untried ideas which would get them going. A company of the living, for the dead, was to be floated with the three as active partners along with the two creative dead’s and the place of business was the graveyard office. There were plans to take the company public, in due course.

“I have a vision for my many friends here. I want to make this place swanky. You, Mr. Priest have a lot of work to do with your higher-ups. Bring them here for a night-cap if anyone does not agree. The nearby realtors have to provide marble for all the resting places and we want multi-level grave parkings.” He echoed. “All the services including wearables by the designer undertaker, the financial and legal people will be given a special building. Ramon, your job is to get good media exposure and we need an update of how our later generations are shaping up. I want to create a Deadly Daredevils Club and we will have a franchise arrangement at other grave centres.”

The visionary uncle had become more active after he stopped living! The trio were promised special benefits and plush jobs at some of the graveyards; foreign postings were also thrown-in.

“There is one another thing you have to work out Mr. Priest. I know you guys are having a great time throwing dirt and what not at each other; who cares what book you follow or which statue you bow down to, once you are here. We need diversity and frankly, we would rather barter some of ours for a better variety. I have particular liking for the more conservatives ones across; teaching is always my passion.” A smile and a wink from the old rouge told all.

Few years down the line, the inevitable impossible happened.
“Uncle Undertaking Ltd,” a conglomerate boasted entrepreneurship of saints and darling of the deceased, providing special services of mummification, cross-cultural dating through machines and rebirth choices. Ramon became the Godfather and Mr. Priest, the Savior Salesman to those dying.

And a child was born…

To Be Continued in Grieving Yard

Ramon was negotiating with the undertaker to decently manage the funeral cost of his friend’s uncle, staying alone in his city. He could not refuse his childhood friend and fondly remembered Uncle’s generous whiskey – a rarity during college days.
The taxi driver, while visiting the undertaker, advised him against the cemetery selected. When probed, he was evasive and rolled out funny happenings at that burial place. Ramon went ahead with the funeral arrangements anyway. The body cleansing, dressing, flowers, pictures and vehicle arrangements – all under the undertakers’ umbrella including the priest management.
“All done.” Ramon sent the final closure message to his friend as he safely transferred the henceforth to the saviour. But the journalist in him could not get over the driver’s evasiveness. He intuitively knew there was a story here. And as was his habit , he disguised as a roadside tramp and waited for the alms near the Graveyard gate.

He was surprised at the absence of other beggars in that area. Soon he learnt why. The two cops threatened him of dire consequences if he lingered there further and he did not want to mess with their tone. So he moved away and begged from a few street food vendors and their customers. Again he was chased away by the cops who seemed to own the area. There were a few offices nearby and he took refuge behind a dump-yard. It stank but there were no chasing cops and he had a clear view of the goings on in that area.

Somewhere after midnight as the area quietened down and surprisingly the street lights went off. He saw some activity at the side gate of the graveyard. He could recognise the undertaker and the few helpers who had done the grave filling at the uncle’s site. He had tipped them well and was promised a proper slab fixation within a week. They were carrying boxes in a cart which they dragged on the road and went into the neighbouring street. He saw them load the boxes in a van, which he recognised as belonging to a known cold storage warehouse brand.
Before the van took off, he again saw the two cops come, look around for any activities and chat with the undertaker. An obvious exchange of money took place. He now understood, the function of the police was to enable the uninterrupted transactions at the graveyard under the cover of darkness. He was now afraid for his life and did not move away till all activities stopped, the van moved away and silence prevailed in the streets of the dead.

Taking no chances, he remained hidden for another hour. Shedding his rags, he then walked till the parked car in the vacant parking lot. While driving home, he speculated on what he saw. Drugs were not a paying business these days with so much de-facto regularisation by most countries. Then what? He dreamt all sorts of ghostly images and the dead uncle’s face with no eyes.
Ramon woke up and tried to make sense of the dream. He knew the subconscious mind had its own logic and role. After a troubled night without an answer, he often slept over it and got rewarded with strange insights. So what were his dream scenes telling him?

To Be Continued in Living and Dead…

At work, he started digging into the people responsible for the workings at the graveyard. It seemed they were part of a bigger organisation which was totally independent and loosely supervised by the local authority. Each place was allotted to a few undertakers and there was a monopoly of sorts in this smaller yard catering to a few select families.
He now got into action. He believed in technology and had some fancy gadgets which he casually embedded at the graveyard gate, at the place where the uncle was recently buried, a few subtle ones inside the office where he went to submit the pending forms and in the waiting room where the visiting families were served a few titbits.
All the gadgets had powerful sensors to provide pictures and sounds. After a week, he visited the graveyard once again to check on the slab fixation and in the process, retrieved many of the embedded gadgets. He saw from afar every night, the return of the refrigerating van to load the boxes with the undertaker supervising and the cops guarding like something precious.
He lingered at the street vendors selling clothes, trinkets and shoes, belts, a few hats and the prayer beads of all types. The buyers seemed to be dealers rather than actual users. The market was a closed one; every day the same people traded silently .
And then he chanced upon something which shocked him. The favourite suit of the uncle was neatly folded on the table along with his shoes and miscellania. They were thieves – the  grave-robbers. Every day when the bodies were buried, they must be removing the clothes at night and selling them off during the day.
The spying tools frightened him; the incomplete talks and pictures gave him nightmares. This was no story, no petty crimes. This was organised inhuman business.
“Good lot today; some nice young ones too.”
“Leave them alone; do it to the live ones. The f… doctors will know and the bosses will do you if you are not careful.”
The pictures showed a few gathered around what looked like a folding surgical table and the workings with tools, removing things from the bodies and putting them into boxes. The helpers put ice and put them in the corners.
God awful! They were removing organs and putting them… oh shit in that freezer van. This was madness. A market for the wearables of the dead and a bigger market of their organs. And all involved!!
Ramon knew a few organisations which were bold, resourceful and capable of exposing these ghastly happenings at the yard.
Every day the grieving families visited, prayed for their dead’s who they thought were safely returned to earth and heaven. The workings of humans defied the gods. Senseless replication of molecules was the only reality. There was no caring, moral human here; only mindless evolutionary play.

The story was told. He became a famous upholder of human values. The culprits were brought to books. The undertaker roped in all the untouchables and became the confessor against them. He survived and thrived; little was known till Ramon came across a gadget which he had presumed lost but which he located during the graveyard investigations.
The undertaker had sole monopoly on the residuals. The things still not turned to dust; the hardened flesh and the unusable organs. That was a market of adulteration. Human things mixed with the flesh of animals, blended and cooked into delicacies at the many eating places!

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6 Response Comments

  • Aparna Mondal16/02/2019 at 9:14 AM

    Nice story !! Will be waiting for the next part !

  • Devang Desai17/02/2019 at 9:17 PM

    thanks for appreciating

  • Advait Berde20/02/2019 at 10:23 AM

    Intense story, gripping narrative.. I just fell in love with the way the writer has depicted the tale..

  • Nidhi Jangid20/02/2019 at 7:23 PM

    Conveying harsh and cruel reality! The story was able to hold the attention till the very end! The beginning was beyond the imagination and enjoying and an end shows us undesirable yet true colors of this world!

  • Swetha Amit22/02/2019 at 11:39 PM

    Quite a gripping and compelling narrative.

  • NANDANA DASGUPTA16/03/2019 at 8:30 PM

    Never read a story like this before, it sent chills down my spine! What a remarkable Grasping effect your story has on the readers. Thanks for giving us such a compelling narrative.

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