Muslim Man Performs Last Rites of Hindu Friend
When 30 years old Milan Das died a sudden death recently, his neighbours at Burdwan’s Nurse Quarters in West Bengal had one thing on their minds: who would perform the man’s last rites as he had no family? That’s when his closest friend, Rabi Sheikh, signed up for the job. People, of course, were shocked at first. After all, Rabi was Muslim, and Milan’s last rites were to be performed as per Hindu rituals. But none of that seemed to have mattered to Rabi at this point. Rabi stepped up for his friend. Rabi performed all of Milan’s funeral rituals down to the last detail, from lighting his pyre to hosting his shradh a few days back. Even the Hindu priest who assisted Rabi in the rituals described himself as ‘fortunate’ to have witnessed such heartwarming friendship. “I wonder if I will ever be so fortunate again. This is friendship winning over religious restrains,” the priest told Anandabazar Patrika.
The Anandabazar Patrika report also quotes Rabi, who overcame his personal loss to step up for his friend. “We were very good friends. There has hardly been a day in the last 10 years when we haven’t met,” the report quotes Rabi.
Reports have it that Milan died of heart ailment on May 29. After being unable to trace his family, police had decided to perform his funerals as an unidentified body, but Rabi stopped that from happening. “We even chatted on May 28 night. Next day I came back from work and heard that he had passed away.” Rabi said.