Emotional scenes at Tirukadayur
The silence that gripped Tirukadayur South Street area was broken only by the faint sobbing of mourners.
By midday, the body of J. Vinodhini, victim of a heinous acid attack last November, was moved to the graveyard for the last rites and consigned to flames on Thursday.
Her mother Saraswathy, other relatives and friends were drained of emotion as they went through a great trauma for nearly three months since the incident at Karaikal bus stand on November 14, said Vaidyanathan, a neighbour of Vinodhini’s family for decades at Tirukadayur, her native place.
Her parents later shifted to adjoining Karaikal for their only daughter’s higher education.
Until Wednesday, when Vinodhini’s body was brought to Tirukadayur, none outside of a close circle of friends and relatives knew that her roots are here, Mr. Vaidyanathan said.
Both her parents struggled a lot doing temporary jobs wherever possible and sold their only piece of land for meeting educational expenses. I sincerely hope the State government will provide them moral support, he said.
Saraswathy bore a resigned look. The scalded and disfigured face on the body was a stark contrast to Vinodhini’s portrait that depicted a sprightly countenance.
Every now and then the distraught mother appeared to mumble something with her gaze transfixed on the body. Sudden cries erupted only when her father Jayapaul broke down when his friends arrived to pay last respects.
Vinodhini’s bosom friends and former classmates of B. Tech Computer Science Engineering at Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Institute of Engineering and Technology in Karaikal were in a state of disbelief.
“She was so dedicated and self-confident and used to excel in extra-curricular activities. Teachers had high regard for her,” Aishwarya said, adding: “Though she belonged to a poor family, her parents overcame penury to provide her with good dresses and education. She went to work immediately after completing studies to ease the burden on her parents. Please make our pleas to the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry governments for proper attention to Vinodhini’s parents and stringent punishment for that person (Suresh the jilted lover who attacked her with nitric acid) known,” Aishwarya appealed.
Some of the family friends feel distressed, but have a forced sense of relief that she died as they could not see her suffer any more. “Fortunately, she died in a state of blindness, without having to confront the horror of seeing her damaged face,” said one of her elderly relatives.