'Dianna did everything for her father, siblings'
TRADITIONAL religious Hindu songs and words of comfort filled the air at the funeral of crash victim Dianna Persad at her home at Barrackpore yesterday.
Scores of bhajans were sung by officiating pundit Hansraj Harripersad Maharaj and other mourners, as the final rites were performed.
Many mourners whispered expressions of sadness over the death of Persad, 26, who was struck by a car last Tuesday outside her family's home at Rochard Road, Barrackpore.
Persad was taking a gas tank out of the family's sports utility vehicle, when a vehicle driven by a 58-year-old Barrackpore motorist ploughed into her. Her death was a double tragedy for her family, as Persad's mother, Rose Celestine Persad, was killed under almost identical circumstances less than three months ago.
Rose Celestine Persad died after she was pinned underneath a runaway car on June 23—the day of her 28th wedding anniversary—as she stood outside the house and was speaking to a friend. Persad, a resident of New York, returned home for her mother's funeral and stayed on as her father, Basdeo Persad, grieved.
Yesterday at the funeral, Basdeo Persad stood stone-faced and several metres away from the coffin in which his daughter's body lay. He said nothing at the funeral nor at the cremation site of the Shore of Peace at Mosquito Creek, La Romaine.
Persad's brother-in-law, Neil Ramjattan, said she took on the role of caregiver to her siblings who had also migrated to New York, and then to her father.
"She was very hardworking and independent. She took care of her siblings as if they were her own children," Ramjattan said.
"In these past two months, she did any- and everything for her father. She washed his clothes, cooked his food, and made his bed. "She will always be remembered as a fun-loving, caring and pure-at-heart human being."
Pundit Maharaj offered words of comfort to the family. "Stand up and be strong," he said. "We make plans, but God also has plans. Death has no appointment. Live life and be God-conscious." —SM