My heart cracked and ached as my grandfather hobbled out till the gate and applied vermilion paste and rice grains to our foreheads for good luck before we departed.
What would it feel like to live with someone for a few years shy of fifty?
To lose that someone?
He stepped in to fulfill the role of a mother and a father to my mother, as she learned to live without my naani.
Being the eldest of four siblings, mum shared everything with her.
I cannot gauge the loss of a parent; I saw my mother fall apart as my grandmother was cremated.
I felt nothing. It was too unreal. Even after I was home, I’d expect the door bell to ring and there she would be, chuckling that we did think she’d gone away.
She was a fighter. Her face was softened by kindness and grace. Resilience too; she dealt with the most unfavorable of cards dealt to her in the spirit of the game and suddenly, she went away.
That she was mortal never really occurred to me. She was my naani, she loved hanging out with us and she loved being happy.
She’s always been around. She will always be around.
I was in the tenth grade when my father called. My last pre board examination had ended; I reached home, packed what I could find and left for the nursing home she was admitted to.
My grandmother’s siblings were there too. Chatting, assuring each other that it would be fine. Their eldest sister would be back in shape in no time.
Tubes and wires snaked in and out of her: that’s the best my memory has to offer.
I did not even enter her room because I knew she’d come back. She was strong.
I wish I hadn’t been so sure. I wish Continue reading
There’s something so intimate about hand-me-downs, don’t you think?
As a child I hated using things my brother no longer needed. I felt as if he was more important so he got to use brand new things: like a new study table. (I was too small to use anything else yet.)
I had outgrown my tiny table and got promoted to using my brother’s.
Why can’t I get my own table?
But studying at that table with my brother next to me, my feet hardly touching the ground, are the earliest memories I have of my first home; one of my fondest memories.
I loved to read and I’d read my story books cover to cover and answer all the questions at the end of each one before they were taught on class as my brother practiced his math questions, scribbling squiggles and pluses and minuses.
As I grew a little older, I would wear clothes from when he was small. I didn’t really mind. I don’t remember complaining about it; the table was another matter. In my head, it was every individual’s inviolable right to possess their own table.
I wear round neck t shirts my mother used to wear at one point. There are three of them, of which two go wherever I do.