A large smiling image of Andrea Bharatt looked over her father as he bowed his head solemnly standing over her flower-coated casket at his Arima Old Road home yesterday.
When her father lifted her casket out of the hearse close to 9 am he appeared composed and calm. It was the last time Andrea would grace home with her bodily presence.
Minutes later Bharatt’s relatives, including her father Randolph, surrounded her casket as a musical interlude permeated the rainy morning.
Relatives squeezed his shoulders reassuringly.
His resolve, for the most part, stood, but the countless memories of his only daughter conveyed on the digital screens above the tent moved her father to silent tears.
He stood stoically as the tears streamed briefly down his face as the smiling images of his daughter from the age of three riding a bicycle to her standing proudly in her graduating gown from UWI flashed across the digital monitor above.
The realisation of burying his only daughter, it seemed, had not quite soaked in as scores streamed into the yard and spilt onto the pavements outside to show not only their love for Andrea but their solidarity to end all violence against women.
Scores of people arrived at the home shortly before 9 am, some honouring the colour theme of pink and white for Andrea’s funeral. Some clad in bright pink T-shirts with Andrea’s smiling face at the front hugged one another.
Several well-wishers placed wreaths of flowers on her closed casket. One police officer lay a wreath and took time to look up at the digital screen where a montage of pictures and videos played repeatedly.
The heaviness of grief was evident as scores stood silently outside on the roadway and under the tents united in grief with a father that lost his only daughter.
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith made an appearance, briefly chatting with one of the family members, paying his solemn respects and later exiting as several police officers remained behind to man the traffic on the Arima Old Road near Andrea’s home.
A motorcade traversed the streets of Central Trinidad all the way to the home of Andrea Bharatt in Arima yesterday where her body arrived amidst the continuous honking of horns and two music trucks with a large montage of photos showing the young woman plastered on the trucks.
This outpouring of love and concern had been lit more than a week ago after Bharatt’s body was found dumped off a precipice at the Heights of Aripo on February 4. Her death had unified a nation to ignite change in the laws to better protect women against violence and other heinous crimes.
After standing for nearly 25 minutes at his daughter’s side he made way for a tassa group.
They played a few songs before the body was loaded back into the hearse for the next leg of her journey.