My *Nani Jaan!
Never thought I’d discover so much all at once. Again, through you.
What does death really look like?
It’s that empty sofa staring back at me with your lovely memories. And your motherly scent in the dress that now belongs to me. It’s that loving voice that I miss, calling me, “**Nawaasi Jaan!” It’s the lonely bed in the lonely room. It’s your uneaten favourite food. It’s the grief-stricken faces around us. It’s the tears imprisoned within the heart. It’s the coconut trees’ silent mourning as it moves with the wind in your courtyard, weeping and weeping. It’s the walls of your house that hold the days of laughter and smiles. It’s a heartbeat here and a sob there.
It’s the Alladin’s lamp in our shivering hands that keep safe all your simple words, and the memories that console me, and the love that makes me me.
It’s all those moments snatched away from the embers of a fire that had been put to sleep. It’s the eternities pretending to be the seconds that remain till we are reunited in gardens under which rivers flow and flowers bloom and where the cool breeze is forever dancing, forever happy. It’s also the anticipation of a tomorrow without your blessings, carrying on under the shadow of the old ones. It’s the empty casket from the dream that didn’t let me go back to sleep. It’s that feeling of unease that had been nagging me a day shy of ten. It’s the quick-sand that threatens to unsteady me, forever. It’s my soul beginning to grieve before we even said farewell. It’s the last glimpse you didn’t have, the goodbye we never said, the hand that I can now never hold.
That is death. Isn’t it?
** Maternal granddaughter