Friday, October 24, 2014

Loss

I held nani's hand as her soul slowly withdrew away. Away from her. Away from us. Leaving me holding desperately onto shell of wrinkled skin, grey hair and grandmotherly softness. Did I feel her life slip away? Did I feel the blood freeze in its tracks or that last heart beat that would never complete its neat, predictable rhythm? I'm not sure. All I know is that a thud of celebration and green sparkles in the sky marked the realisation that my nani has left for good. A less-macabre thunderclap; a garish flash of colourful lightning. She’d literally gone out with a bang. While we mourned her loss, the world celebrated with blasts of cracker that echoed one another and ephemeral, neon-hued stars. Every bang, giving sonic form to the end of a certain world for us. Of stories, of family traditions, of soft, starch-scented sarees, of painstakingly fried savouries, of indulgent love. A festive gun salute to the valiant force of nature my nani was. Maybe in retrospect, we might see the poetry in the situation. To have been the eye of mourning in this storm of festive frenzies. But right now, it's just awfully lonely.


**Written for my friend Roop, who lost her grandmother while the rest of the world celebrated Diwali.