Hyderabad: Harry Joseph of Tukaram gate lost his uncle Tonny Kumar on Sunday. The 50-year-old suffered cardiac arrest and was declared dead at Osmania General Hospital. More traumatising for his wife and two teenage daughters was his final journey.
They took his body home on Sunday evening and wondered where to bury him. Just three months earlier, Harry Joseph lost a sister and buried her in the family grave, the only space they owned, leaving no space for Tonny.
A distant aunt offered them burial space at the Bhoiguda graveyard, Secunderabad. It was a relief, so they passed the night chanting the rosary and singing funeral hymns. The burial was scheduled for 6 pm on Monday at the cemetery with mass at Sacred Heart church.
The next morning the aunt’s phone was switched off. Repeated calls to the family went unanswered. Harry sent relatives to the office at Gunfoundry, assuming that network issues had come in the way of communication. They found the aunt refusing to give the space.
“It felt like an iron curtain dropped on us as we had six hours left for burial,” Harry said. “We pleaded but nothing moved her. In the meanwhile another relative offered space but had no mandatory graveyard card. The body was kept at home. I called Malcom Taylor, an active member in the Catholic community. Through him we found a gentleman who offered us space at Narayanguda graveyard for ‘free’. We only paid digging charges.”
Mass was pushed to 6 pm and Uncle Tonny was buried in the dark. “To get the priest to bless the body at 8 pm was difficult as they were in retreat. After pleading a Father finally reached the cemetery. Light was dim but we managed with phone-torch and candles. We never expected such an end,” Harry said....