It was a happy family. Middle class. Perennial problems. Difference of opinions. Arguments. Silly jokes. Hopes. Dreams.
It is my incapability to come to terms with certain incidents or the magnitude of devastation is such, that right now I can’t say “Life is beautiful”. Instead, “Life is unfair rather cruel”. The word “loss” brings in fears, uneasiness, depression at various levels. For a family that has been encountering difficulties for a long time, loss or sink at economical or social standards wouldn’t have bothered much. Of all the losses, death is annihilating. It is a loss that pushes you from sloppy to arid, hope to despair, light to darkness.
Death of a blossoming family member not just left us shattered but threw us into the unfathomable abyss. Loss is more than the missing fourth plate on the dining table and a pair of footwear outside the door. Profound and intense. 27 years of love and affection, and maybe another 50 years of dreams are stolen brutally in few minutes. Our dreamt future of his pride photos on our walls, awaited news articles, hanging black coat in the office room, his family life and thereafter is killed ruthlessly. This is a tangible and an intangible disaster. Neither my incessant tears nor bleeding heart can do justice to what we are undergoing. Our retina layers can’t wipe off his smiling face and neurons can’t erase his memories. Not until we breathe.
This morbid act of cosmic forces left us incomplete. The family is now like an odd set of glassware on the shelves. It no more holds beauty and will abruptly fade its shades sooner than supposed. And I am like an hourglass that is forced to balance spurting liquids on its cracked base. Being a lone sufferer that I am, it isn’t an agony for a period of time. Solitude walks in the serene woods, sunsets, silent afternoons shall make me sob for a lifetime. Terms like law, legal, football, signboards of advocates shall induce acute pain consciously or subconsciously. As for the parents are concerned, they are breathing pieces of flesh sans life.
People can scorn my evil and selfish wish when I say perhaps an amnesia attack will lessen the bitterness in our lives. Because I cannot think how the mother would weep wiping the layer of fine dust on his photo daily with the edge of her saree pallu, how she would madly gaze at the door and thinks her son will come and give a hug. Because I cannot think how the father wouldn’t sleep the whole night and take his son’s name even in catnaps during the day, how he would look at his son’s belongings a thousand times in a day. Because I cannot think how their stomachs would make an odd noise unpacking the stuff from his bags. Because I cannot ever talk to him despite his name being first in my contact list. Because it was “A life that mattered to us more than our own”.
I dare to question the master planner why he hasn’t considered imposing on us a punishment at skin or bone deep. A pain that shall deteriorate with time and not the one that multiples as days progress. Every smile, tear and morsel of food in times ahead will feel the voidness. How I wish for a minimalistic destruction. How I wish
if only pain didn’t touch our hearts
if only pain didn’t leave us in apathy
if only pain didn’t suppress our thoughts
If only pain didn’t shatter our dreams
if only pain didn’t force us to live lifeless
Our superficial smiles and incomprehensible musings are what we are left with. Yet, in our insignificant lives we let him be immortal through the memories, words he uttered and through the souls he touched. I hope to live in the delusion that he is alive elsewhere and occasionally checks on us. Next time people enquire me about my siblings and family, gulping the dryness in my throat, blinking my doleful eyes, I will say “We are four. One is a traveller”
It is a mere family now. Middle class. Ordinary. Grief stuck. Waiting for miracles. Praying ridiculously to all gods to return him back to us.