The last night he spent on earth, he advised his youngest son to take care of his mother, and ordered his wife not to let go of the house helper. He prayed in the morning one last time and his soul departed from the earth.
Seventy years, that’s all he spent on this planet. The last time I saw him was fifteen days before his departure. He always had a smile on his face, like he is reminiscing a good time he had in his youth. He left us crushed and boggled, he wasn’t suppose to go this way and this soon, I had yet to tell him about my achievements, I had yet to show him my degree that he so hoped for me to get. Oh My Lord, I miss him, I won’t say this to my mom though as it will only lead to her become a crying mess; after all, he was her father first and my Nanu afterwards (Grand-father).
The aching memory is still etched into my hippocampus, how I could hear my mom’s heartbreak into a gazillion pieces and she was reduced to a withering mess, sobbing on the floor. It was the most painful thing I witnessed, after the death of my ever-loving paternal Grandma….. I still haven’t cried on my Nanu’s death…but today I miss him…a lot.
As a brown family, our customs and traditions are a bit different from all those western people, and today I want to share my grand-parents story.
They got married, Nanu 20 and Nani 17/18, it was arranged by their parents, Nanu was ascending towards getting his law degree and well Nani only got the basic education on how to read and write Hindi/Urdu.They had their differences from the very start. Even after their marriage,they were still living apart as my Nanu had to live in a hostel because it was close to the school and my Nani lived in a different city, they used to communicate through letters at that time. Crazy times, I know!…..
So…. Fast forwarding to how my mom and her sibling have described their parents relationship and how I have seen them mostly is that they quarrel a lot. Always my Grand parents house was chaotic. And not those big fights, no, petty fights. My Nani used to say to my Nanu, if he would be looking at her a certain way, to not look at her asshe assumed he was making fun of her and she always had a complain, whereas ,my nanu used to say to my mom to go and knock some sense into my Nani’s head because she was so dramatic. My Nani on the other hand always took care of my Nanu till his last breath; she cooked for him, she followed a strict diet on what to feed him and what not to, when his health deteriorated a couple of years before he passed way, she used to give him her shoulder to lean on and used to talk scold him for eating something weird and stuff. They had this hot/cold relation that I will never be able to fathom but I know this; they loved each other. After my Nanu passed away, my Nani have lost all her purpose of living, her health continues to deteriorate, she hasn’t been eating the same and she misses him like crazy, almost 50 years of marriage, they fought, quarreled, raised the most amazing and a bit dysfunctional children but they loved. I bet that they never told each other ” I love you”, in words but they did feel it and since they were and are old-fashioned, they exhibited it in those petty fights and those love filled actions.
I miss him so much. Grand-parents’ house is not the same without him.
“Forever you reside in my thoughts,
Forever you reside in my heart.”
Your Eldest Grand-Daughter.