Straight from the heart...

Last year in the month of May my grandfather died. It was just another busy day in office - me burning those CDs - when my mother made that STD call with a frail and quivering voice and broke to me the news.After i hung up, i went back and burned the remaining CDs.

I wasn't sure of how to react. I had just heard about the death of the person who had brought me up.Who had firmly held my tender hands when he did lead me to those vast green fields adjoining the railway tracks as i gaped in wonder at the whistling train that whisked past us. Who did keep me in awe of those huge shelves filled with books and the number of hours he spent with them. Who did scare me at times with his stern looks that kept me from cribbing when i was loathe to go to school. Who did comfort me when i got punished in class for playing stupid pranks. Whose pride did glitter in his eyes when i happened to bag the first position in class.Who did understand my despair when i couldn't...who was my friend when we sat in that long verandah together discussing my best friend's new boyfriend and also my teacher who taught me "world affairs" and "the meaning of life" alike. I had just heard about his death.

The news made a world of difference to me.Only that i faked(??) a smile when my friend was clicking a group-photo the same evening.Only that when i broke the news to a close friend , i was severely reprimanded for my lack of emotions or way of exhibition.

It had been seven months since. All this while i led a happy, normal and comfortable life - slogged it out at office, partied with friends and all. There were only a few nights when i felt guilty. At least i fought it hard to believe that they were a "few". Guilty because i didn't know how to react. Guilty because i was incapable of accessing my own emotions. And also, guilty because i didn't call up granny. It had been seven months since i had heard her voice or had made any effort to do so.

My granny is to me as "mother" is to many. If granddad was the torchbearer, granny was the homemaker. If graddad was the preacher, granny was the pamperer. Mom had told me on the phone about how granny had cried at the funeral. About how lonely she was now. And i had not called her. I don't know what it was that kept me. Might be i was plain scared to hear the pain in her voice. Might be i was scared that i would feel guilty again for my inability to react. Might be i was scared that i would make granny think that things didn't make an iota of difference to me.They did. They did a lot.

Work brought me to Kolkata last week. As i walked down the streets of "Lake Town" i tried to fight this strong yen of mine. I didn't succeed though and i found myself swiftly pacing towards that quintessential red building. As if i was making an effort to put seven months behind me. I rang the doorbell and waited in uneasy anticipation. For a second i regretted my hasty decision to come out of my comfortable cocoon. I even toyed with the idea of walking back and staying with that unknown-fright and known-guilt for always. All such thoughts weighed heavy upon me and the door opened. I saw my granny standing there. A little bit of wonder, a little bit of relief and a little bit of fright in her eyes - the same as that in mine.We stared at each other for a second and that did it all. Then i was hugging her and she was holding on to me. For the first time in seven months i didn't have to think about how to react. I could feel my cheeks wet with tears...tears that came straight from the heart.


At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

twas a nice one.Take it from one who suffers asimilar problem of exhibition.u do good writing.keepgoing.

At 12:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i beleive mourning too much over the dead is an insult to the spirit of life...its paying death more attention than it deserves. we should be happy tht the person has lived a good life. indeed in several religions funerals r accompanied with festivities and ppl celebrate the "day of the dead" - it's the only way of showin man's superiority over death - celebration of life!


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