As I left for the railway station, Pappumama's words kept ringing in my head (however melodramatic the ringing idea may seem), "kewal itna kahenge ki jis hak se nana nani ke samay aate the, usi hak se aate rehna" (all I will say is that keep coming with the same feeling of right as you used to during Nana-Nani's times). Will it ever be the same, I kept asking myself and despite the assurances I gave to a crying pappumama, I could not bring myself to believe that it will ever be anything close to what it was.
What it was, had been my childhood, the entirety of it. From the age of 4 when things had just started registering themselves till the age of 16 when I was just about ready to spread my wings and soar into the sky, my life was centered around Nana and Nani, or should I be saying that their lives were centered around me? The simplest and most complex of my wishes were commands for the two, who had taken up the responsibility of raising me, their grandson.
With Buxar not providing the best of facilities and institutions in terms of education, they (and of course Maa and Papa) believed that I would have a better chance at succeeding in life if I get a good start. And what a start it turned out to be! Right from making sure that I get the best of schooling to trying to inculcate the best of traits in me, Nana and Nani had not left any stone unturned. If I have reached any stage in life, I owe most, if not all of it to Nana and Nani.
When Nana passed away three years ago, I was working at Infy and it was about the time when I had started writing this blog. I still remember what I wrote here and the condition in which I was when I wrote it. It was the first death that I had seen up close and that too, of someone who was probably the dearest to me. All the same, things soon changed from the feeling of utter loss that I had started to feel to the absolute need of keeping up the facade for the sake of Nani. The facade soon turned into a notion of sanity and truth from the farce that it had been during its inception.
It was very clear, not just to me but to the entire family, that Nani deserved much more than a life tormented by memories alone. For me, in particular, it meant all the more to make sure that I was able to express to her all the love that I missed out on when Nana was still alive, having taken things for granted. Someone who used to cook snacks for me and keep it in the fridge everyday, long after I had left Patna for good, deserved all the expressions of love that I could manage and even more.
And so I was, still a child for her, reveling in sitting close to her, snuggling up to the warmth of her blessings, and generally chatting away with her as I probably wouldn't have done otherwise. Today, thus, seems an end of all that childishness. As I think back on the events of the past week, I know now that it is not going to be the same. I can no longer treat myself as the youngest son of the family. The relations will change, sooner or later, since the facade is no longer there and since reality, in its whole self, seems an illusion after all.
Posted at 04:36 pm by Nitai