This has been the longest break since I started writing these chapters. The last three months of 2017 saw me fill my plate with work, work and more work and that culminated in an ailing wrist [perhaps, not the best adjective, but for now, it’s alright].
I have a couple of stories planned already and I have been wanting to pen them down for a while now. Today, I decided to wait no longer. So here it is! It is a short anecdote but I assure you it’ll make you smile just like it made me.
At home, we do a puja on certain days where we offer raisins as prasadam. When dadi was there, I always took 7 raisins – one for each member of the family, as the offering. The number was etched in my mind and it was more out of habit. I took it as a given – ‘Always take 7 raisins and more if anyone else was there during the time of the puja.’
The strange part was, since the number stuck on, I continued to take 7 raisins even after dadi’s passing. It didn’t strike me for a few weeks. I kept wondering why I was having an extra raisin left each time when the number was the same even before. Each day I would tell myself, that this time round the math won’t go wrong. But of course, I was left with one raisin. It puzzled me.
And then one day, it suddenly struck me that I never reduced the number even after dadi’s passing. For many of you reading this, you’d see this as a stupid mathematical error. Well, on the surface it is basically just that – a silly mistake by a forgetful person. But I felt a certain kind of warmth when I actually realised this error and I couldn’t stop smiling to myself. I knew dadi was no more but I had continued to take an extra raisin for her unknowingly. And when I finally realised why the numbers didn’t add up, I just giggled and told myself that if I’ve been taking one more raisin on her behalf, then so be it.
Dadi loved sweets and she would be more than happy to see me do this. We both share the joy that comes with having a sweet-tooth and therefore, this one just added to one of those sweet-tooth memories. Ever since this realisation, I just kept the number at 7. No change in it. Sometimes, fond memories can be kept alive in the sweetest ways and they’re a reminder of a phase of your life that you shared with a beautiful person. In my case, it is my grandmother.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the grave misfortune of hearing about many close family friends take their last breath. Some very young, some very old. Some were untimely deaths while others were more expected. And yet, no one is prepared to experience the void that comes with loss. No one is taught how to gather pieces of their life without that person. There comes a time when it hits you so hard that even in the company of friends, you feel lonely.
While the news shook me up, it also got me thinking. I suppose, that’s the thing about death. It comes at the most unexpected moments to remind you of what’s important and who is important. But above all, to tell you that you’ve literally just got the present. No one knows about what’s in store tomorrow. So, while we’ve got today, it’s wise to be the best version of yourself. For one day, when you look back, you’ll have a bunch of happy moments to treasure rather than a bag of guilt and regrets.
As for me, I’m grateful to God for keeping me so attached to dadi dearest. The strong bond ensured that we’d look out for each other and keep our treasure trove of memories alive until the end of time. You never know when the same memories can show you the way when you’re lost!