CHENNAI: A 72-year-old woman whose obsequies were held at the Guduvancheri crematorium in the presence of the public and relatives on Tuesday after announcing her passing away through wall posters in the locality suddenly turned up at her house on Thursday when a post-funeral ritual — ‘Padayal’ (offering the favourite eatables of the deceased) — was about to be held.
The pleasantly surprised relatives stopped the ritual and had to rush to the railway police to inform them that the mutilated body of the accident victim that they had received from them after postmortem, was not that of Chandra, the wife of a former railway employee.
Chandra’s son Vadivelu, who had identified the body, found on the tracks between Chengalpattu and Tambaram, as that of his mother confessed that he presumed it since the saree draped around the accident victims was similar to one worn by his mother. He could not figure out anything from the face as it was highly mutilated, he said.
Vadivelu and his relatives were desperately searching for Chandra who left home to visit a temple and did not return for a long time on Tuesday when they learnt about an unidentified body of an old woman, run over by a train, lying in the Chrompet mortuary.
Vaidvelu identified the body as that of his mother, prompting the railway police to conduct a post-mortem and hand over the remains to the family, which organised a funeral with all the usual trappings, besides printing the condolence posters with her photograph and mentioning the funeral time.
After burying the body, the family also conducted a post-funeral ritual of offering milk at the grave on Wednesday and returned home to prepare for the next day’s rite of offering the favourite eatables of the deceased to appease the soul. Just as they started the offering, Chandra presented herself in person.
She said that she had gone on a pilgrimage to temples in Singa Perumal Koil and places around and hence could not return home earlier.
The news of the dead woman returning home, however, came as a blow to the railway police as they have to not just reopen the closed case but also send back the body to the morgue and then identify it. To start the process, they have to first exhume the body from the crematorium, which could be done only with the authorisation of the revenue officials.
Even as the railway police were approaching the revenue officials explaining the goof up, the return of the dead woman also created a flutter in the locality....