Eternal Love for Mother - Professor who clinged to mother in life and death
An elderly Professor of English literature and a distinguished man of letters expressed his immense love for his mother in a most unimaginable way — he lived with his mother's corpse for 21 years in his ancestral home. The Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh was agog with this bizarre story ever since Prof. Syed Abdul Ghafoor died on Saturday last at his native place Siddavata, 450km south of Hyderabad, and his relatives performed the last rites of both mother and father.
Syed Noor, the nephew of Prof. Ghafoor and a schoolteacher in Siddavata said that they fulfilled the last wish of their uncle. He had told us that his mother's body should be buried only after his death. Curious onlookers in the town descended at the place where the mother and the son were laid to rest side-by-side in two graves in the compound of the local mosque.
M Prabhakar Reddy, the mandal (block) revenue officer in Siddavata said that everybody knew that he had kept the embalmed body of his mother at home. There were protests and complaints by the local people but he was adamant.
In 1992 the then joint collector, Dinesh Kumar, visited the professor to convince him to bury the body of his mother but the man had a heated argument with him. He said that this was his house and nobody had any right to intervene.
The strange story of Abdul Ghafoor began at Poondi in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu, where he worked as professor of English literature in mid 1980s and lived with his mother. When she died, he brought her body to Siddavata village. However, his decision to keep the embalmed body in a glass showcase at home evoked strong reactions from the other family members and neighbours. While his elder brother Abdul Quader tried unsuccessfully to persuade him to bury their mother, the neighbours were worried too. He did not even allow anybody to look at the glass casket in which the body was kept. In the large ancestral home, he lived in one room and the body was kept in another. He had made it clear to us that the body should be buried only after his death. The professor died after a prolonged illness on Saturday. The next day the family buried both the mother and the son in two graves, side by side.