The family of a 95-year-old man declared dead were shocked to find the man regained consciousness while they were performing his pre-funeral ritual.
Budh Ram Gujjar had fainted on Saturday afternoon in northern India and failed to regain consciousness, so his family called a doctor who declared him dead.
The man’s family, from the Jhunjhunu district in the state of Rajasthan, then called in a priest to deliver the elderly man his last rites.
In preparation for the funeral the men of the family had shaved their heads as part of the grieving tradition.
Then the body of Mr Gujjar was taken for a customary bath as part of the pre-funeral rituals before the unthinkable happened.
When relatives poured water on the man’s still chest, his body began shivering. Within a few minutes, the man gained consciousness to the surprise and joy of his relatives, according to the Times of India.
“The priest had started the rituals and a barber had shaved the heads of the men in the family,” said Mr Gujjar’s eldest son, Balu Ram.
“We were about to bathe the body as a customary practice before the funeral procession.”
In disbelief, the family carried him to bed and he soon began breathing. He later told them he had suffered chest pain and slept.
“This is a very happy day for us,” Balu Ram told the Indian newspaper.
Rather than a funeral, the family is celebrating the elderly man’s life with a “grand” party.