A Departed Soul – Mr. Justin Andhradhri

Students line up, bordering the road leading from the College Main Hall to the Upper Chapel. A slow breeze blows. Dried leaves descend to the ground. A sense of sorrow and loss hung over the gathering, an aura of incredible power that softened the hardest of minds.

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Sunday, the 23rd of October, 2016. The College Groundskeeper, Mr. Justin Andhradhri, having served this grand institution for over forty years finally came to an eternal rest upon the stretcher of a hospital after being brutally sick. Word of the passing away of Mr. Justin spread through all those who were related to the college like lightning on wet metal.

Presently, band music plays in the distance, faint to those afar. In a slow march, the College Band Troop approached around the bend, black cloth wrapped around their instruments and arms.

Upon the appearance of the band, the crowd fell silent, the harmonic trumpet music playing in their minds. Hands clasped before them, the students, teachers and prefects alike stilled.
A black hearse passed, bearing the body of the all-known Mr. Justin, or as the students call him, Justin uncle. His coffin was a deep hazel, with intricate designs carved at its polished base.

Family and friends followed the funeral procession, eyes overflowing. The students and teachers followed the procession as it headed to the Upper Chapel.

An eerie feeling crept over everyone entering the Chapel. Candles flickered and a musky smell drifted down into the noses of the all who arrived.

As a Catholic Song played, the children and teachers approached the now uncovered coffin upon which rested Mr. Justin.

They bowed or made a respectful pose at the well-known character who served this school so well, never faltering or giving up, never getting angry.

The most adversely affected were those of the senior Cricket Team. This being the hundredth Battle of the Blues, it was hard for them to forget how he mowed the overgrown grass or how he rolled the cricket pitch flat for a match.

And we, as students, too must mourn over the passing on of Mr. Justin who helped us in so many countless ways that we’d ignored, calling him ‘old’ and ‘weak’.

The students paid their gratitude to the Soul finding its way to heaven. May he Rest in Peace!

By,
Zaid Hussain and
Sahit Liyanage

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