Happy birthday. For a change, a series was dedicated to you and you weren’t there to see it. I couldn’t stand in front of the images for even a minute, everything rushed back and made it difficult for me to remain steady. But this should bring me some closure and hopefully, I should let go, of everything before, I get very sick. Hid behind my mask, the way I hide behind my camera, deriving comfort from the distance it creates between crowds and myself or the way SC hides behind SB. If they thought my walls were fortresses earlier, they should try talking to me, now.
I miss you…miss your body more than you can imagine, not in an incestuous way. Incest makes me digress but this is hilarious. I was watching Badhai Do, with Dad and Rajkumar’s character is gay, so to avoid marriage he tells his parents-‘I’m in love with a Muslim woman’ , playing on the prejudice of his family. So Dad burst into peels of laughter and asked me, ‘are you sure, you don’t like women, that’s why you’re not getting married and these Muslim boys around you are all just to keep us distracted because you think no one will agree? I’m agreeing beta, you bring anyone!’ It’s like no one understands that living with someone scares the shit out of me, whether he’s a Sikh man or a Muslim man or even a woman for that matter, ewww, to constant physical proximity…no can do!
Anyway, back to the point. I miss your hugs, your kisses and lying on your tummy for hours. Why don’t men feel like you and your son? But your sister does! She came down especially for us, it was the sweetest thing and I wanted to hold her forever but I was worried she would get freaked out. Had an amazing time with her. Missed you at dinner the other day. It would have been nice if you had been there, too. Masi gave me some mothering, not like you, you were a bit of a baby but like two adults having a conversation about life, what’s it like to be a woman, sweet at times, encouraging and yet stern. She said the kindest words of encouragement. She told me stories of you about Tullika. I always forget the other doll’s name and how you loved to dress me up just the way you dressed up your dolls. If you were to see me these days, you would immediately disown me. Went to parlour after many months and got fired by Kalpana didi. ‘Mama ko dekha tha na apne kitna dhyaan rakhti thi!’ She said the sweetest thing after that- ‘ Ma’am you’re a very lucky woman. Only sons get the privilege of taking care of their parents. God has blessed you, that’s why you got so much time with your mum. My mother had two daughters but it was my sister who got that privilege because I was in Delhi.’ She always talks about you and I’m a sucker for anyone who does that.
Oh PD, had such sweet things to say about you, as well. How you took her shopping when she was a teenager and then SK showed me the first gift you gave her. Of course since morning, I’ve been getting such lovely messages for you. Even before I woke, there was a message from RB for you on my phone and NB, sent a message a Facebook. Then umpteen messages from your nieces and nephews. Acchi thi na tu. Me? The world will forget in two hours. Dad keeps telling me I will rot in my basement alone and I tell him, the plan is to die on the highway to Kashmir, after the Banihal tunnel, when there’s a nip in the air and the music is right, death can take me anytime it wants and strangers can bury me. My favourite people will be waiting.