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When I Lost My Grandmaa

2 years ago, she meant a lot to me. Today, after 2 years that she is not with us, she means a lot more.

April 2007
My passion to study is the driving force of my life. The Numero Uno position I gained in the 1st year of my college has made me greedy for marks. I studied harder in 2nd year and heartlessly in the 3rd.

28th April 2007
My grandmaa is calling me several times from her hospital bed, asking me to visit her. She is calling all of us, all her sons, daughters, daughter-in-laws, son-in-laws and grandchildren- she was an attention seeker. She liked it when she was surrounded by her family, we all knew it.

I'm burying myself in books and promising her to see her after my exams. She is also insisting to visit Akshardham Temple, no one takes her she is complaining. I'm promising to take her on a wheel chair.

But poetry of Keats and Eliot are more important to me. More than her phone calls pleading me to see her in the hospital, to spend some time with her. Everyone in the family is with her- talking to her, touching her, and she is smiling.

29th April Afternoon
She is calling me to gossip about the doctor who is not diagnosing her properly, and the nurse who hits the injection in her skin. I can not infer that these are  my last words with her. I'm laughing with her, wishing her speedy recovery, reading Keats, preparing notes, reading Eliot, preparing notes, reading all the books- all of them, completely unaware of the impending loss that would tear me to pieces.

29th April Afternoon, Evening, Night, Midnight
I'm studying voraciously the whole day, the whole night. 5A.M., I'm dozing off- slept. Restless sleep, forcing me to wake up with a bad dream. Bad Omen. All of us- our family- sitting in rounds- sad- mournful- eating with hands- white curd- white clothes. I sense the loss. This is a wake-up call for my conscious- But I'm adamant to study- final year exams are more important to me. Heck. My mummy catches up my distress and reveals dadi maa’s worsening condition. She is undergoing an open heart surgery, I just learnt.

I'm still studying, alone, alienated in my room, all throughout the day- no one is at home- I'm absorbed in books, feeling happy with my exams preparations- "I'll top again!" 9:00 P.M., my brother is coming to my room- informs me that the dead body is here.

Sounds of ambulance, my parents crying, my chacha crying, all of them crying in chorus, in sync. Swollen eyes, hoarse throats and silent chokes are making me numb. My father is opining that I should not appear for the exam tomorrow. But I choose to go.

30th April Morning
My dadimaa is lying on a brick of ice, closed eyes, blue face, heavy body. I see her- the antim darshan- and could not control hiding my face in the wall. I'm guilty. The ground underneath my feet started eating me up. Bit by bit. I fell on knees. Guilty of not seeing her when she really wanted. What’s the point now?

I'm arranging my roll number, picking up my bag, going to college. My dead dadimaa is at my home, everyone is mourning her sudden death, and I'm in college, giving my final year exam.

30th April Afternoon
I returned home, things seems normal. No one is asking me about my exam. It only matters to me. My chacha is still weeping, my bua is numb, everybody is teary-eyed,  arranging for the rituals.

I could not attend the cremation.
I could not get a chance to cry.

I want to weep till my voice chokes, till my eyes swell, till my body shivers. I go up to the attic- close the doors- crying. Crying as I have never cried before.

But this does not lessen my guilt...of not paying her a visit to the hospital, for not taking her to the Akshardham, for not taking her for a metro ride. "I even have a metro card", she used to say.

2007-20011
She is not yet dead in me, barely because I could not see her going- could not bid her goodbye, could not hug her, kiss her, hang on her legs when her body was taken away- the reason she is still alive in me.

Comments

  1. this one was very touching...never knew u went thru so much during that time...bt u still managed to top...hats off...at times, it is very difficult to mk a choice...u don't hv 2 b guilty 4 whateva happened...u made her proud...m sure tht wd gv her soul the joy of more than visiting akshardham n a metro ride.. :)

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  2. this ir really tching.. u dnt need to hang on to d guilt nw wen u hv realized u wer wrong.. U r making her proud.. at times, things go wrong n u cant help it.. I did smthn same, but hv lrnd to live wid it n hv repented.. m more humane nw.. Give ur thoughts a break.. God bless ...

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