Waheeda Ganesh broke down in tears, shaking and wailing loudly, as the body of her only child- murdered teenager Eric Ganesh was brought up the street in St Charles to the surprisingly sombre sounds of tassa drumming.
Mourners wore special tee-shirts emblazoned with Ganesh’s smiling face and the words “Our Angel, Our Legend.”
The funeral attracted hundreds of people who spilled from the houses of mourning, onto the streets.
Among those in attendance were Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Naparima MP Rodney Charles, both of whom wept openly for the family’s loss.
Drawing on her own experiences as a mother of one child, Persad-Bissessar said she could not find words to express the horror and pain she felt as a mother and grandmother over the loss of Ganesh who was gunned down in the yard of his neighbour’s home at St Charles, Princes Town last Saturday.
Police said the killers were after two men who came to do business at the neighbour’s graphic design shop and as Ganesh happened to be in the neighbour’s yard, the men gunned him down.
While the death was horrific to comprehend, Persad-Bissessar said it was time for citizens to stand up against crime and say enough is enough.
“How many more of children must die. How many more must be wiped out before those in charge take action to save our sons and daughters? she asked. She said crime had no bounds and people were facing senseless killings regardless of race, religion, gender and class
“This country has become so unsafe. A child is killed in his own yard. I say let God continue to bless and keep you in this hour of grief. Let us stand up and say enough is enough and take comfort that after death there is the resurrection,” Persad-Bissessar said.
While she spoke Waheeda and her husband Vishnu hung over the casket, gazing at their dead son’s face.
Meanwhile, Pastor Alister Bhola said Ganesh’s death had left the entire community in turmoil.
“A death like this makes you sad, and it makes you frightened. I am vexed and I don’t know who to be vexed with. How are we to walk the street? How are we to allow our children to play in the yard. The people who took Eric from us must not be allowed to take our lives and our souls also,” he said. He added that feeling anger was normal.
“Many of us have felt and have feeling to desire for Eric killers not only to be brought to justice but suffer the same fate as he did. I guess it is only natural the profound anger and desire for revenge are only natural. But this tragedy must not be allowed to direct our lives, longing for justice and lusting for revenge are two different things. Justice is one part of the healing process and we wish for justice, but taking it further and lusting for revenge you need to remember that revenge is a slow poison in the soul. It offers no lasting relief. It makes us no better than the murderers who gunned down this innocent life,” Bhola said.
He also said while sin and violence had stained the villages and the privacy of our own homes, people should not give themselves over to hate.