Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cemeteries in Pune

They say that one of the places to look for the historical path that a city has taken, is the cemetery. There are 146 World War I soldiers burried in St Sepulchers cemetery near Hadapsar Rd, Pune. 
It is very rare that we go to cemeteries to click pictures, but that is what I did this morning.


Had been to this cemetery in Pune a few days ago for the funeral of my friend’s dad, and that was when I noticed the beauty of this cemetery.
It was very spacious, and well organised. There were some tombstones that was really old like the one of Cpl Francis George Gregory from the 11th Armoured Company who died in 1924. This was probably erected by his comrades as his family must have been back in Britain. 


Or the Dy. Examiner, from Military Accounts Dept who died in 1933. Probably the Dy. Examiner was a big post to be put on a tombstone.


I found that these graves were smaller and realised that it was a section  for infants


 But the best part about this cemetery is the birds. And when I am talking about birds, I mean our national bird.


There were plenty of them and they were freely roaming around. Their favourite place was to perch on the tombstone or the crucifix. Maybe that gave them a better view of their prey on the ground. (I believe they feed on insects and reptiles)


This guy was doing the peacock dance for a long time which gave me a chance to click him from all sides.





I was wondering why he was holding on for so long when I saw these pea hen close by. No wonder. He knows he has to work extra time to beat the tough competition.


This one was peeping from behind the bush to see if I had left the place. (maybe he is suitor number two)



Found this grave with no markings, no dates and no name. But the placement of that neem tree over the grave somehow caught my eye. Gave me a feeling of eternal shelter and protection for the nameless person.  Very poignant.



Some of the tombstones are nice and colourful like this one with four from the same family


Or some with meaningful words


Or some with some pretty statues


Which brings me to the grave of my friend Vilas’ dad.  Mr Prabhakar Bhalerao would have been 90 years old this November.


The irony of the fact is that Vilas lost his mother just eight days after his dad expired.


I remember meeting this elderly couple on Vilas’ 60 th birthday. That was just 10 months ago. I had the privilege of covering the event.





The small speech given by Vilas’ father was very touching. He mentioned about the time when they got lost in the outskirts of Pune while they went hunting (about fifty years ago) and spend the night in the jungle comforting each other.


 When the programme was over, he called me and wifey and spoke to us for some time. Then he kept his hands on our head and blessed us. Believe me, blessings from old people go a long way.
The wordings put on the grave are apt for him “Lived in peace, died in peace”



28 comments:

Marie said...

Lovely pictures of the peacock.
Mr Prabhakar looks very dignified.

GretchenJoanna said...

I love to go to cemeteries to take pictures, but I've never seen peacocks at one, even though it does seem like the kind of place they would frequent. It is a blessing to attend the funeral of someone about whom it can be said that he lived and died in peace.

shivani said...

wow what pageantry...have never been to any Christian burial funeral. Have only seen it in movies. i know my words may sound weird. Funerals are somber moments but like u say they are great moments too. i guess that one particular day everybody is unanimous about the soul which is in peace at last...and on that one day whether u know the person or not we have genuinely good thoughts about not only one but all those resting in their final resting place.
Once again a very very gud post. Glad that u shared this with us. :)
loved ur words too and want to chip in on that , blessings from elders are priceless.

Kichu Khonn said...

Now that I no longer live in Pune and miss it everyday, your posts are a huge help. Beautiful photographs Haddock ... as usual. The portion for infants touched my heart ... reality of life. May your friend's father rest in peace.

anilkurup said...

That was a post with a difference- I mean the subject, foremost.
Remember going to the World War -2 cemetery in Kohima. It was well kept.
As you mentioned the epitaphs on the tomb stone are often gripping.

A small but well mentioned brief about the elder folks who passed.

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

Recently I saw some Jewish and Dutch cemeteries in Kochi but no one is allowed to take pictures. So, I stayed away from clicking but it got my interest because it was so well kept and that too for several decades. On your blog post, it interested me to see peacocks in the cemetery, first time I have seen something like this. The small tribute to those who passed away was touching and compassionate.

Lata Menon said...

Very nice & interesting Joe.The presence of peacocks in the burial grounds gives death a whole new feel....

Beena Bharatam said...

Such an endearing article!!! Lovely!

walk2write said...

I love to visit cemeteries when I have the chance. Your visit and post about this one is a sweet tribute to life lived well and its endurance even when death removes it from our sight.

I've never seen peacocks at a cemetery before, but they seem to fit the scene. They are better than flowers.

Janit said...

Great snaps Joe.
I have noticed another cemetery/war memorial near Khadki cantonment too. Its very well maintained and I have been itching to go there to take some photographs.

A S said...

nice post and lovely shots esp of peacocks.

Indrani said...

Weren't you scared? I have been to a Jewish cemetery, i didn't actually feel scared because there were lot of people visiting it. Tombstones are indeed unique subjects,great series of captures.

Micupoftea said...

I enjoy visiting cemeteries too- it reminds me of lives lived and times past and puts everyday existence into perspective. I read the headstones and wonder what kind of life the person led. Thanks for taking your readers along for the trip. The peacocks look gorgeous.

Insignia said...

I did the same when I visited Kandy. In fact that was part of my plan to visit the cemetery behind the Golden temple. But this cemetery seems to be lively with peacocks and peahens

Meera Rao said...

I am so glad you left a comment on my blog - followed back here to your and what a treat! Love your photography and narrations. You are showing a part of India I am not familiar with and love every bit of what I see. Thank you very much! I will be back for more ;)

Chongololo09 said...

Thank you for sharing, Joe. Inspiring story and lovely memories. How beautiful to rest among the peacocks and trees....stay blessed.

SweetMarie said...

Very handsome Peacocks! They roam freely in the neighborhood my parents live in. :)
You have a lot of lovely photos here.
My son's doctor is from India. I'll have to ask her what part.
Hope you have a great week!
Marie :)

COTTON BALL said...

VERY TOUCHING AND WONDERFUL

COTTON BALL said...

VERY TOUCHING AND BEAUTIFUL HEART OPENING

My Unfinished Life said...

what a touching post...lovely pictures..and such a beautiful emotional connect!!

http://www.myunfinishedlife.com

A Cuban In London said...

I love cemeteries. That might sound odd, but I love the tranquillity of them. Beautiful photos you took. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Auto Gate said...

Nice touching post hope for his Rest in Peace.
Sliding Gates

padmaja said...

Never seen such beauty in a cemetery , thanks for sharing these lovely pictures. This seems like a fantasy with do many peacocks perching around , this will make a beautiful surrealistic painting I would say, the souls resting there are singing I am sure.

A Plain Observer said...

Cemeteries have never been places where I like to spend anytime. I think that fear stems from the tales my grandmother used to tell me of ghosts and people buried alive who would scream at night (why not during the day, I wonder now), so I avoid those sites. Your pictures show a side I'll never see in person...the birds are so beautiful too

Ramakant Pradhan said...

Cemetries certainly offer great photo opportunities. But they are kind of taboo in India. In the US they double as parks where people go for strolls or to walk their dogs.

Here I Am/Carrie said...

Really what an interesting place to take photos. But what a surprise to get the peacocks there as well. So much history also to be found there.

Joanne Noragon said...

Hello--I don't know how I missed this post. I find cemeteries fascinating; interesting to walk about and surmise history or relationships. Peacocks would be a lovely addition.

a Rat said...

Peacocks are a delight to watch. Nice post, Haddock :)
A Rat's Nibble : Surprise Surprise ~ Comic