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.