Monday, May 11, 2009

Lemonade Days - III

And sometimes, the lemonade drink just doesn't taste as good as it should. In an otherwise bright year that was so full of wonderful events and happiness, there was a family bereavement too!

The sad demise of Dadu.

Death. It never makes me a frightened man.. frightened of life.. but at the same time it makes me realize that it's the inevitable conclusion! I particularly dislike the vacancy created by the demise of a person, and the toll it takes on the most intimate of realtionships akin to that man! For one, I have seen how my Dida lost almost half of her life-force after my maternal grandfather's death. Though Dadu was bed-ridden for almost 20 years, and couldn't manage a thing by himself, his very presence seemed to motivate Dida to do all the chores, be very enthusiatic about everything in life, and be the very vivacious person I had always known Dida to be! But things changed gradually after his death. Though Dida was never a person who would be seen crying in public, we could make out that she grieved more than any amount of crying would ever justify it.

And this time, it was my paternal grandfather. Surviving purely on injections after repeated kidney failures and regular dialysis, the man ultimately gave in at the age of eighty in December. For the last two years, the time Dadu had been suffering, whenver I went to Moyna, I would make it a point to look at Dadu's fragile frame with all the affection I could muster. For I believed that the man would give in any moment. And everytime he proceeded to say to my Dad, "Khokon, tui chole jachhish... mon ta khub kharap hoye jachhe re..." when we were about to make the return journey to Kolkata, i would say to myself, "Subho.. Dadu'r pashe giye ektu bosho.. aar hoyto beshidin noy...!" If Dadu could have been made to survive a little longer, that he was! For my Dad gave his heart out to provide for every possible treatment that Dadu required.

The man left me a humble person! I believe I was the most notorious of all his grandchildren. From challenging his marital status with my grandma in early childhood (for his name was Vivekananda, and throughout the early school text books I had learnt that Swami Vivekananda had never married.. so.. ) and embarrassing him in public with the innocuous "Dadu, tumi ki bibahito?", to putting Fevi-Kwik on his pillow so that his head would get all stuck when he would try to raise himself from it, I have always had something or the other to do against the old man! But after he died, Thamma discovered a small poem from one of the books in his shelves in which he writes how glad he used to feel to play cards with me.. and how it always disheartened him to see me lose in a game with him.. so that he would always make it a point to play another game and make me win at it just to see me smile..! "Subho has a bright smile", he wrote. :) That's humbling! And a guilt-pang or two! :x

And his death made my Dad cry like I had never seen before!

1 comment:

Geek in the Pink said...

It cripples us when we see our parents cry. I pray you never see that day again.