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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 3, September 2014


Paresh Tiwari
Hyderabad, Telangana, India

The Wind Horse

All I remember of my grandfather’s death is a white staircase, ferrying steel gurneys with patients accompanied by their friends and families. I wasn’t allowed to attend the funeral.

He’s too young’ was the general consensus amongst the aunts and uncles whom I had never seen before.

After the funeral, I saw my dad clean shaven and tonsured for the first time in his life. His high forehead adorned with a saffron tilak, clad in a white loincloth, he would sit in the large mud courtyard of a nearby temple intoning shlokas. For thirteen days, he remained this distant figure tending a sacrificial fire, cooking his own meager meal, sleeping on a straw mat on the cold December floor. I did not understand the rituals or the Sanskrit verses he would recite, but the timbre of his voice was reassuring, as if everything would remain the same . . .

rites of passage—
leaf by auburn leaf
autumn deepens



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