Far From The Madding Crowd

-Nadia Feroz

Imagine if you have spent 20 years of your life, sleeping, eating, laughing, and crying amidst the dead.  At one point, you resented their very presence but now find peace in their company. Imagine if the dead were closer than your own flesh and blood. This is a reality for Shekhar Kumar.  His well kept secret.

A high-caste Brahmin from Bihar, he came to Delhi to work as a security guard. To his embarrassment and horror, he was posted at the Christian Cemetery near Okhla, New Delhi. The love for his two polio-affected sons and his young bride made him swallow his pride and settle for a meagre salary of Rs 1400 per month.  He has managed to keep his profession a secret from his family.

He has no education nor skills to have another career. His days are spend chewing tobacco, preparing meals and chit-chatting with his friend Kunjum. She drops by twice a week and shares the latest event in her life, her new chocolate brown shoes, her sons wedding etc. Apart from  Kunjum, Shekhar Kumar  has his three dogs (all named ‘Sheru’) to keep him company.

It is here with the dead that his soul finds rest from the world he has been deeply hurt  by. The walls he has built around his heart are taller and stronger than the walls of the cemetery.


~ by starfieldd on March 14, 2011.

One Response to “Far From The Madding Crowd”

  1. way to go…photographer!

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