My Day 1 post was about my Aaji. This is what I wrote in the very last paragraph.
I wish I could have had more time in her company. I miss her. I don’t even have a picture of her. The only photographs there are, are with my uncle. But this photograph was enough to trigger a host of lovely memories.
My cousin read my post and immediately sent me this picture.
Yours truly is eight years old in this pic and standing next to her lovely Aaji. It was my cousin Smriti Tai’s (in yellow saree behind me) engagement with Giridhar jeejaji (in white shirt to my left). My brother is standing behind my Aaji looking terribly bored. My mother is the beautiful lady (in glasses) standing behind my other Aaji (in yellow saree). Standing behind my mother is my Granduncle (Aajoba). My Aunt (Aatya – my father’s elder sister) is in the blue saree. She is Smriti Tai’s Mum.
Is it strange that three people from the picture have already passed away, untimely and two out of three died in road accidents on separate occasions? I find it strange.
My Aaji passed away on Independence day not too long after this event. She died in a road accident. She was bringing my cousin from his school, and crossing the highway. She was waiting on the divider for the signal to change. A drunk truck driver rammed into the signal post and the heavy post landed on her head. She died on the spot. It was a devastating time for all of us. I still remember the day when it happened. I was at home because of the national holiday. At around 10 a.m. the phone rang. My mom answered. I don’t remember her words but I remember the look on her face. She ran to my father and the sound of her sobbing still reverberates in my ears. I didn’t understand the meaning of death at that time.
Fast forward to 2009. I received a call from my mother at 8 in the morning. It was three days before my birthday. There was panic in her voice as she told me that my brother had met with an accident. He used to travel in an office car to and from work. He was coming back from his night shift when the accident happened. The same devastated look, the same look on her face and the same sounds of sobbing. My mother has been through a lot of hardships in her life. I can’t even begin to recount everything that she has had to suffer. She had singlehandedly raised the two of us. She got me married in the best way possible. Yet, the loss of my brother is something she will never get over. She will never recover from this. He was her friend, her companion, her son. I can only try to fill that void, which I know is not going to happen. Yet, I try.
My Grandaunt… in the yellow saree passed away a couple of months ago from pancreatic cancer. She was too young to go. Her illness didn’t last long. She died within weeks of being diagnosed.
On a happier note, the picture was from good times. Me being a clueless young kid and my brother the restless teenager. We sure had many fights, which ended only after I got married. Such fun those fights were. I miss them. I miss them all. However, there is no more sadness from looking at this picture. I have moved on. Only a sense of acceptance.
Such is life.