Simply Me

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Strength of a woman

We were all afraid for bapama when ajju died... It was quite weird really... When ajju stumbled, as they picked up ajju and got him back to bed, as they called the doctor, as they called all of us; bapama slept... while ajju lay right beside her... And what was stranger was the fact that many people pointed to; the radiance on bapama's face... Sohananna said it almost felt like Ajju was saying goodbye to her in her sleep, telling her that it was all ok, asking her to stay calm... Vatsalakka while in tears at the loss of her father wondered how bapama, her amma would take it. She slept for almost an hour before she woke up... when she came to know of his death, she calmly asked why she hadn't been woken up earlier...

I can honestly say that I didn't know how to talk to her... so when I picked up the phone telling amma I don't have the courage to talk to her and wondering what I would say to her, amma said, talk normally... She's the one who is most emotionally stable among all of us...

As I started to speak to her, it was so difficult to not let my voice break that I ended up just muttering 'hmm' while SHE kept consoling me... She said that it was good he didn't have to suffer, that he had lived life to the fullest, that I should consider it a blessing and not a sad event because he had spoken to me in the morning and wished me on my birthday... She said that I usually asked her not to cry and today it was her turn to ask me not to cry.

The lady whose eyes would fill up just as ajju's did when we would go to their room to touch their feet before leaving to Pune saying those words to me made me pass the phone wordlessly to amma were I to obey amma's loud whispers admonishing me not to cry.

As we spoke to other relatives, my cousin, my aunt, everyone maintained that she kept consoling them. How hard must it be to lose your companion of 74 years... The person who worried about you constantly, who could hear your tiny voice, who could still see you as the young girl he married in the 89 year old you are today...

Of the only two times I saw her cry when we went to Bangalore, one was when I went to sit by her on the 12th day, the day before we were to leave... I had had my lunch early and she was alone in her room... "What do we do," I asked. "Do I tell you a story?" "Why don't you sing Priye Paha," she said. "I don't remember it after all these years," I say. I start singing the few lines of the few bhajans I do know... "If only you could have sung for him," she says. "Who knows... It might have been different... He kept singing Priye Paha too... would talk about you all the time. He would keep talking about your birthday. Accusing everyone of not informing him when your birthday had passed. After convincing him that your birthday was yet to come, he would calm down for a while and then after a few hours, start off again... What is the day... what is the date... why didn't you tell me when it was Tejaswini's birthday."

It is difficult to not cry... It is difficult to follow Ashwini's words telling me not to cry in front of amma or amma's words to not cry in front of bapama or my akkas.

Losing the people we all loved... still love, is difficult... it is a terrible experience to go through... but sometimes it is the one pillar of strength that you need to lean on... but sometimes you need to understand that the shoulder you cry on might be falling apart from within... They too sometimes need the same consolation that they give you...

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posted by Tejaswini Shenoy at 6:35 PM 3 comments