Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Collateral Beauty

A wish to speak to Badshah Khan
Granted with the Twitterverse coming together like never before.
A desire to ruffle the handsome, young doctor’s hair
Fulfilled; with laughter all around.
A request for a better view,
Position of the bed changed.
Surrounded by her children,
Hopefully, painlessly, she breathed her last.

Friends, family mourned her passing,
Stories in their hearts, tears in their eyes, smiles on their lips.
In her final years,
She taught everyone she interacted with
How to live—love, laugh and learn.
Her last act of mothering,
Maa put a magnifying glass
On the collateral beauty around us.

Over the last two decades, Maa and I had started to believe that everything happens for a reason; everything happens for the best and everything happens only when we are ready for it. Maa passed away on 24 October 2017. Days after Diwali, saving the festival for all those who loved her—her last act of kindness towards her friends and family. 

I think I was ready to begin the process of healing, when one day I saw the thumbnail of the movie Collateral Beauty starring Will Smith on Amazon Prime Video. I proceeded to watch the movie. The movie made sense to me on many levels. My first reaction of course was that I should call Maa and tell her about it. I did the next best thing. I told Vivek about it and he watched and liked the movie as well. And I hope that Akshat will see this movie too, whenever he is ready. 

The online reviews for the movie are not that flattering. But for me, it came just at the right time with just the right message. I am celebrating more than I did normally. I am celebrating events, people and each day as they come. Almost as if I need to celebrate on her behalf as well. Over the last two months, I have drawn and painted more than I ever did before. I keep myself as busy as I can.

The fact that I read blogs of friends after years today and the fact that I am writing again today, gives me hope that the process of healing has begun.

I hope that I will be strong enough to do a yearly review this year as well, knowing very well that Maa would not be the first to like it and share it on her Facebook and Twitter timelines. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Mumma, I really miss you!

Dearest Mumma,

A lot of people have been writing really nice things about you. Words failed me completely till now. It's after a week that I am writing to you because I need to pen these things to be able to breathe better.

It has been 7 days since you went away. Since then, 70,000 people have tweeted about you, including Shah Rukh Khan. Since then, I have spoken to 700 people who have told me in 7000 ways of how they will now see you through my smile. Since then, I have shed more than 7 million tears; sometimes to overcome the unbearable pain of facing the reality that I will never hear you again or have your hand lovingly caress my cheeks and look at me lovingly; sometimes through smiles, remembering all the goofiness we have enjoyed together and some of your solo antics.

In the course of the last 7 days, I have had panic attacks, sleepless nights and day-long sleeping sessions. I have binge-watched comic shows in an attempt to laugh without guilt. I have also sat with a Harry Potter book for hours trying to find solace. Completely out of character, I have gone on walks in an attempt to tire myself out before bedtime so that the images of your last days in the hospital would stay at bay. I have succeeded in some ways but I have a long way to go in others.

Even as I type this, I know when I share it on my blog and then the link of the post to Twitter and Facebook, yours will not be the first comment, RT, heart or like to the post. I know you won’t call me to tell me to stop crying and to assure that everything will work out for the best. I know you won’t tell me to come and meet you over the weekend and hug away all my worries. I know it all but I still hope against hope that I will get the notifications that always made me smile earlier and the phone calls that made the world better.

Friends have been calling me to check on me. But never again will I pick up the phone and say, ‘haan, mumma’ and never again will you reply, ‘haan beta’.  Vivek remembers this part of our daily video calls punctually at 8:30 pm everyday since you left.

Vivek is constantly on high alert trying his best to be strong for me. But he misses you a lot too. He has the right idea of coping with the loss though. He has decided that we will try our best to go through life thinking at each crossroad ‘what would Aruna P. Khot do in this situation’. In the last 7 days he has picked up after himself without a reminder from me. He has praised SRK thousands of times. I think he has already started implementing the new life philosophy. I hope you saw all this and smiled at us.

You know I am a crier. The frequency of tears is reducing gradually. But I can’t promise that the floodgates will close completely anytime soon.

Mumma, I really miss you!