My Chottu,

Sweet desire, called up, to say that I need to let go of you. I’m holding on too tight. You know how good I am at letting go. Not!

This is fourth time in the past twelve days, where I have woken up completely out of breath. Gasping for air, I quickly grab the oxygen can next to the bed. Panting, I make a call to the one who keeps saving me. It’s 5.55 a.m here and unearthly hour, there. ‘You have an infection, go to the loo and try to take out the mucus.’ I quickly apply some Vick’s, grab the toothbrush and go at it, back and forth movements till I start coughing. It’s quite poetic, a dog howls infront of our house, like it did a day before you passed away.

While I cough incessantly and the boy watches, (thank God for Whattsapp video) Bhaskarji rushes up, from the kitchen. The boy instructs, ‘sip on hot water, very slowly and then take a steam.’ Bhaskarji does the needful. I’ve survived another day.

You’re missing me, na? I can feel you calling me, I can feel it in my bones, ‘Diya, mera gheeya, please aaja!’ Not now, darling, not now! Just wait a little. I have to somehow muster up my strength and do something very important before that.


Dear Love

I miss her so much, I can’t sleep. It’s hard to believe no one will ever say, ‘I love you the same.’ Maybe we will be united sooner than I know.

Running a temperature and the body hurts. I have caught something, hope it’s not the virus. Firstly, because there were people at mom’s bhog who might have caught something from me ( that’s of I have something) and secondly, I got to have my own back.

The boy who saved me yet again, calls repeatedly to check on my wellbeing. ‘Have this medicine, do this, do that’ he instructs. SC comes out when she hears his voice…someone knows how to soothe her nerves..someone who has never left her side, through loss, depression, heartbreak, despite SB’s tongue and inspite of SC’s silences. ‘Renew your passport and just come, here, otherwise you’ll loose your mind.’ he tells her, always wanting to protect her from the darkness within.


Dear Love,

Somehow I got my shit together and went on the attack. Our poor mother must be turning in her grave. ‘Oh just shut up, yaar’, she would have said hearing us go at it. But I ain’t in the mood to take it lying down.

A friend was kind enough to get Mom’s prescriptions checked from a GP. I heaved a sigh of relief when he said, under the circumstances anybody would have recommended keeping her home. If she would have passed away in Apollo last year, I would have been mentally prepared. Or so I think. Just suddenly fever one day and death the next day…I just can’t wrap my head around it.

But I think she knew. She was tired and the way she would tell the one who has saved me many times ( and is trying really hard to save me from myself, even now) to take care of me, again and again, I should have known. ‘Tu meri Beti ka Dhyan rakhna. Rakhegana?’, she would ask him each time, she was in his arms. There are two men she loved, besides my Dad and Bhaskarji-one who took care of her in the hospital and the other who thankfully came for her cremation. She asked for him, many times, all these years.

I think somewhere, I had an inkling too. I kept saying since December, ‘I can’t travel because something doesn’t feel right’. I kept telling her family and friends, too. She was left with nothing to give. So nobody came…neither friends nor family, she had showered love, affection and gifts on. I think it broke her, a little. Not the meds, not the longest period of illness, just the lack of affection, she had been accustomed to her entire life. Unlike me, she loved people and she loved being loved. As long as she had her entourage, her people, affection she would recover. But irrespective of how much I tried, I never did manage to fill that void. There are people she asked for till the end. But such is life.

Anyway, since everybody else is too busy, plotting what not, one decided to have a drink with the help. So our Mummy’s Bhaskarji ( I hope she is not yelling out for him from up there) the Nursing maid and I, said cheers, remembered our mother and drank to her. Bhaskarji toasted, ‘ Mataji ke liye.Ab mujhe kaun subah, shyam bolayga?’ It was quite sweet. The three people who were there with her, drinking in memory of her, definitely is a moment, she would have appreciated.