It has not been long since she passed away. So I remember her voice clearly, her laughs, the way I could tell, when I used to call her, that she says my name with a smile on her face to confirm it was me. On my birthdays, when I was with her, it was a ritual, if not first then second, going to see her and letting her know it was my birthday. She’d bless me from heart, and yes give some money too. At that point, perhaps, it was the money that got me excited, but now I know it has been more than that. After I moved to USA, I’d call her on my birthday, and she'd genuinely me bless just like before. I remember the exact words she'd say and her blessings always felt so assuring, like it’s just her prayers themselves, that would keep me off trouble, sadness, and hardships for the coming year. Today she’s not here. My first birthday without her. I know her blessings are always with me, I just wish I could call her, and she’d reassure it. A memorable moment with her:
There are certain people who are always in my prayers. This person is one of them. My biggest regret till now is, I was not there to see him when he passed away. Though I know how much my presence would have meant. I cannot place his voice at all, I remember his facial appearance. I remember how, when he used to walk to our house, first place he'd be was our apartment to see me. I remember him walking with his stick. I was too small to say anything to him, to say how much he meant to me, or to say how much his presence used to brighten up my day and made me feel special. My fondest memory:
I remember he used to take me to school sometimes. While in the rickshaw, he would sing Urdu songs (being Bihari, his Bengali was weak). Those songs were meant for his wife. I remember, I used to shy away when he categorized the songs, one song for when she's angry, another for something else. Here was this man, with grey hair, grey beard, who walks with a stick, singing songs for his wife. I thought that was the sweetest anyone can ever be. He'd forever be special to me, someone whose name'd forever remain pinned down in my heart. Yes, I wish I could see him one last time. I was told he longed to see me too.
Just two years back I was devastated after I heard he was no more. It was unexpected in every way.I never thought I'd lose another close friend so soon. Also, perhaps because it was not that long ago, to some extant I can still relate to the pain. I didn't know him for too long, but the few months I knew him, were enough to know what a wonderful person he was. He never told me about his sickness, never told be his life was unstable. Never told me he was admitted in the hospital, aware, that it'd shatter me.