The cemetery was located in a rather busy part of the town. Traffic reigned at its doorstep as we hop off the taxi (known as an 'auto' in our country) and head inside the cemetery. Majority of the time, it's unoccupied and silent. I used to consider it eerie, hearing only the footsteps and the crunch of dry leaves under our feet as we headed towards grandfather's resting place. But the purpose of the visit would block out those childish nightmares about graveyards, and keep me in reality.
Compared to most of the other tombstones set around, my grandfather's wasn't all that flashy. It wasn't even made up of marble and my mother always persisted my grandma into getting that changed but it had never really happened. Each year we would return to the same, almost stale-looking tombstone, knowing that grandfather deserved better.
But the man that maintained the cemetery would wash it out, scrub off the soil that clung to the dips of his name engraved onto the stone. Once clean, we'd take out the incense sticks, light them and then set them in the small crack on the surface of the stone so it supported the sweet smell that wafted through the air.
My brother and I would take the courtesy of using one of the garlands, plucking out the leaves of the flowers and carefully scattering them around on the surface of his grave. It lit up the scene, encouraging me especially as I usually smile to myself, knowing that grandfather was watching from above us.
Then, we'd pray.