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Young oil worker cremated

By LAUREL V WILLIAMS Saturday, March 29 2014

THREE - YEAR - OLD Alex Kristian Ramkhalawan, kept tugging at his mother’s clothes at the funeral service for his father yesterday as she wept uncontrollably, repeatedly asking, Mommy what you crying for? ”

Even when the young mother of two- Lolita Maharaj- collapsed in grief to the ground, he continued to ask the same question, while trying to help pick her up together with a group of female mourners. Maharaj’s common-law husband. Avitar Ramkhalawan, 23, a Petrotrin contract welder, died instantly on Tuesday afternoon when a cavity pump (PCP) struck him on the head.

The father of two- Alex and one-month-old baby Aidyn- was employed by Petrotrin contractor, Premnath Lalchan, for eight months.

At the time of his death Ramkhalawan was working on an oil well at Forest Reserve in Fyzabad where workmen were servicing a device referred to as a polishing rod. Based on reports, as the motor was started the device suddenly spun out of control and struck Ramkhalawan, who was standing nearby on an overflow line. Yesterday at the funeral service held at the family’s home at Sudama Village, Fyzabad, many mourners wept openly.

Sitting a mere feet away from the coffin, Maharaj had to be consoled by relatives who were sapping her head with Limacol.

Her elder son, Alex, was seen running around during the service often stopping to enquire from her the reasons for her tears. Overcome with grief, the young widow placed him on her lap a few times and continued weeping. Little Alex as he was viewing his father’s body loudly asked a mourner, “What Daddy doing there? ”

Maharaj appeared to be physically weak, and so other relatives had to lift the newborn baby. In her weak state, when the time came to do the traditional passing the child over the coffin, her sister Seeta Maharaj and Ramkhalawan’s great aunt, Leela Ragbir, had to do it instead.

Mourners told Newsday that the traditional act of passing a newborn over the coffin was based on the belief that the soul of the deceased would rest in peace, and not return to interface with the infant.

Ramkalawan’s parents —Asha Khanai and Ivan Ramkhalawan were also overcome with grief.

With tears in his eyes as he placed flowers into the coffin yesterday, Ivan said: “ You leave me, and gone son? You leave Daddy and gone.”

Ramkalawan’s sister Leanna Ramkhalawan and cousin Manisha Khanai, also wept openly during the funeral service.

Pundit Ramdeo Maharaj of San Francique, officiated at the service. He told mourners that as human beings, he asked the mourners to forgive Ramkalawan for any wrongs he ( Ramkalawan) may have done.

Following the service yesterday, Ramkalawan was cremated at the Shore of Peace Cremation Site (Mosquito Creek) in La Romaine.

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