Me and Papa today are standing on the ruins of a once beautiful life. He is devastated but has his work to keep him busy most of the day. I sit at home all day, wander from room to room hoping you would jump out from a corner and shout, ‘surprise’. In our bouts of grief we help each other but both cannot be broken at the same time so we take turns. Nights are the worst and sleep eludes us both. My vision is now impaired, I see only you everywhere and in everything. A child of any age in a parents’ arms is weightless. But, the body of my child on my shoulders is one heavy crippling burden for several lifetimes.
The days after your rituals were excruciatingly painful and lonely. Everybody left, all relatives and friends. Dodappa and dodamma came to help. It was Dasara holidays so maybe people had to celebrate than stay with us and mourn. Do you see the extent of our loneliness? I don’t know why it still matters to me that we were alone. After all, while your dad was in UK, we lived alone and no one greeted us for festivals nor enquired of our welfare. Perhaps because I care for them; they are our only family, aren’t they? Anyways, we struggled alone to clear up the stuff at home, you know we had a massive collection of clothes books artefacts etc. that we had planned to dispose off during Nov Dec. It was difficult grieving and concentrating at the same time, but we managed. There were six large bags of good clothes that we donated to Goonj through MarksnSpencers. I really can’t say how much of it will really reach the needy, you know how it is in India.
Mom used to say that when god leaves one hand he strongly grips the other hand. In the lowest moment of our lives, some heart warming help, gestures and the most soothing words came unexpectedly. Dodappa along with his friend picked up Papa from the airport that fateful day and paid for all expenses during the tragic time. Papa’s friends from the Railways, Shekhar, Raghu, Srinivas and a few others brought a car and dropped us to the airport. It didn’t feel like that they hadn’t met each other in a long time. These are true friends indeed where it doesn’t matter how long you haven’t met or spoken to each other but stand by your friend in their time of grief.
Avni brought food when she realised how alone we were and were eating three meals a day from Udupi. She comforted me and repeatedly offered unconditional help, which she actually did. And Suhas, he was there all through. I am grateful that I had the fortune to meet all of these kind samaritans in my life time. I’ll be eternally grateful to each of them and pray that my share of fortunes that has been denied to me be passed on to them.
Aish, I have lost all faith in God. I discarded all pictures of gods that we had at home. How can I prostrate before anything that did not respect and protect your young life. I often wonder, was it the wrath of Urukunda swamy of Mantralayam that in spite of reaching his doorstep you did not enter his shrine to offer respects, did it anger him? I’ll never know.
I have no one to talk to. Our grief is unimaginable and inexplicable. No one knows how to console your Papa and me, so I decided to share my thoughts with you. I shall do so everyday now.