“You know where Hindus on the East Coast [of the United States] ask for their ashes to be scattered?” I asked.

“Pittsburgh, I’m guessing?”

“Yeah, but do you know why?”

She didn’t. Why would she?

Pittsburgh is the Triveni Sangam of the East Coast. The place where three rivers meet. In India, the most holy place for ashes to be scattered is at the confluence of the Yamuna, the Ganga, and the Sarasvati rivers. Pittsburgh is the American equivalent: the site where the Monongahela and the Allegheny converge to form the Ohio. …

The Judeo-Christian concept of burial is something I can’t get my head around – a slow, suffocating decomposition at the hands of soil and worms. I briefly considered the Zoroastrian method, having my body place on top of a mountain for birds to take heavenwards in their beaks, but this seems both bloody and impractical. In the end, this Hindu ritual is what I want. ... A way to return to the mix of Hinduism and Appalachian heritage that have defined me from the beginning.

Avashia Neema in Another Appalachia