12 Dec. 12
It has been two days since my grandfather passed away on 9 December. To witness a dead body and that too of someone close was a really dreadful experience for me such that I almost laughed, I felt too sad to cry, seeing my near and dear ones surrender to grief. Though being true to you reader, not a single droplet fell down my eye. Later when I tried to reflect on the reason why I was unable to cry even though I was very close to him, I came upon this conclusion that I had accepted the fact that he had to go one day. According to me he had seen enough of life and its colours and now wanted peace. The lines “the soul is immortal “echoed through my head when I reproached myself for not crying over his death.
When everyone in the house was sobbing over him (which I felt strange because most of them were hardly close to him as I was), I contemplated on his life, his achievements and his failures. My grandfather or my Dadaji, as I called him, was my first tutor of English. In summer holidays when whole of my clan got together at Baraut he used to take our English lessons. He was a dedicated Arya Samaji and had vowed to perform havans every Sunday which he kept till his death. Though he was a little eccentric sometimes, he was a very affectionate man in his heart. He had sacrificed whole of his life teaching maniacally to raise his extended family. And now when he would see his children happy and successful his regrets from life suddenly disappeared and his chest infused with pride.
Being his granddaughter I too have inherited some of his habits. I, like him, have a fascination for the morning newspaper. Dadiji told us that even on the day of his death he insisted upon hearing the news (his eyes were too weak to read thanks to glaucoma) in the morning. Interest in politics is one another example. I remember the times when we would debate over who would be the chief minister or which party would win. I would pretend to be a news reporter and ask him questions as if he was some politics expert and then we would record our voices. Those moments still bring a smile on my face.
I remember the day clearly. It was the usual Sunday. As usual after the Sunday brunch comprising of the absolute combination of newspaper and Allo Paranthas ,I had finally taken the bath and was combing my hair when i heard mom manically screaming for me. I ran in the other room only to hear about his demise. It was a unexpected news for me as I, Lakshya and Pitaji had visited him yesterday and though he felt weak we couldn’t have imagined in our wildest dreams that it would be our last tryst with him. Panic ran down the house. As Pitaji had already left for Baraut after hearing about his deteriorating health the very morning, I was summoned to ask our neighbour Khatri uncle for help. Soon our clothes were packed and we were on our way to Baraut with Mr and Mrs Khatri in their big black SUV. The journey felt short to me as I was eager to reach the destination. As the trees whizzed past me images of my childhood started clouding my head. When I reached Baraut I automatically tuned to the somber ambience of the house. Relatives and known people had started pouring in and Dadiji was moaning ceaselessly. I was totally unprepared to deal with such a situation as it was the first time I had seen a death so I crouched in a corner among the ladies. Off late my cousins too arrived. We, instead of crying, reflected on his life.
Next two days were spent in Baraut where known and unknown relatives kept showing up expressing their condolences.
From this incident I realised one thing- the effect of loosing someone close is significant in our lives. What remains afterwards is just profound emptiness. We should realise that the end is bound to come and should accept it gracefully. The challenge for each of us is to live each day with the end in mind, attending to what matter most – family, faith and love.