In 1993 In USA :New york:
Dressed as bride and groom, Hema Sakhrani and Shaleen Wadhwani were mourned yesterday as they lay a few feet from each other in a funeral parlor in Queens. She wore a red sari with gold trim that her uncle had brought from Bombay. He wore a bejeweled turban and a black suit. An orange sash, a symbol of the bond between man and woman in Hindu marriage rites, joined the two coffins.
Their parents held two services for the young couple, whose lives had seemed so promising until a man who the police said was obsessed with Miss Sakhrani gunned down Mr. Wadhwani last Wednesday. She was so overcome by grief that she killed herself two days later.
Early yesterday morning, there was a kind of wedding ceremony. Later, several hundred relatives and friends crowded into the same room for the funeral. July Wedding Was Planned
Mr. Wadhwani and Miss Sakhrani, both 20, were students at New York University who fell in love and planned to marry on July 16. He was about to start medical school on a full scholarship. She excelled in chemistry. Their parents, immigrants from India and Pakistan, reveled in their children’s happiness.
Yesterday, the sadness seemed tempered only by a sense that the two would never again be apart.
“In this world, they could not be united through their marriage,” said Nathir N. Lalchandani, a close friend of the two families, “but at least their souls will be together.”
The police said Mr. Wadhwani was killed by Chandran Nathan, 35, a friend of Miss Sakhrani’s family who seemed to be obsessed with her. He is accused of going to the Wadhwani home in Manhassett, L.I., ringing the bell and then firing numerous times into Mr. Wadhwani’s chest with a high-powered rifle. ‘Why Did It Happen?’
Mr. Nathan, an actuary for the City of New York who is married, was arrested on Thursday near his home in Richmond Hill, Queens. He was charged with second-degree murder. Miss Sakhrani leapt from the window of her family’s 16th floor apartment in Rego Park, Queens, on Friday. Moments before she jumped, she reportedly cried, “Why did it happen?”
Just like the lives of Mr. Wadhwani and Miss Sakhrani, the service at the Neufeld Funeral Home in Elmhurst seemed to reflect the merging of two cultures. Nearly all the mourners were immigrants to the United States from South Asia. Some wore the saris and kurtas — knee-length collarless men’s shirts — of their homeland. Others were dressed in suits or skirts. The prayers were in Hindi, the eulogies in English.
After taking their shoes off, the mourners sat on the floor of the funeral home, which has become accustomed to holding Hindu funerals as a growing number of South Asian immigrants have settled in Queens.
A brahman, or member of the priest caste, led family members in reciting verses and chants from the Hindu holy books. As incense burned and candles flickered in the dimly lighted room, relatives sprinkled the bodies with sandlewood oil, colored powders and clarified butter. “Rest in peace,” they chanted in Hindi.
Deepak Wadhwani referred to the Hindu belief in reincarnation when he spoke about his brother.
“He was a wonderful inspiration to me,” he said, sobbing. “He was probably too good for this world. He’s probably in a much better place. I’m sure I will meet him again.” A Trip to India
Sunder Sakhrani told the mourners that he had traveled to India to buy his niece’s wedding dress, robes, jewelry and other gifts. He said that when he learned of the deaths, he felt as if his own daughter had died.
“Here is proof that death does not do us part — that they remain married even after they die,” he said. “Give your blessings to this couple as if they were alive. And let them take those blessings with them to another life.”
After the service, mourners filed slowly past the coffins, dropping flower petals and swaths of translucent silk on the bodies — as if so much beauty would forever banish the tragedy. The bodies were then cremated. The families said they would sprinkle the ashes on the Ganges, which the Hindu religion considers the holiest river in India, at the city of Benares.
“They both were so great,” whispered Narayan Wadhwani, Shaleen’s father, as he greeted mourners after the funeral with the traditional pressing of the palms. “They both are so great. Because they are alive. I am telling everybody that they are going on their honeymoon tomorrow.”