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Archive for March 20th, 2012

Dear GMIL,

We’ve all heard of quotes which say that time heals. Or that time passes by so fast. Its more than 10 days since you left us and it seems like just yesterday that we stood sobbing besides your bed. We don’t sob much now, but the dull ache is still there. Everyone who visits our house these days mentions how very vacant it appears. Its because you used to fill it with your personality. With you gone, it is indeed empty.
This last week was spent in a lot of introspection. We’ve been going over and over again on what we must do versus what we are doing. Me? For starters, I’m trying to recover from my killer-fingers syndrome to tend to your beloved plants. I’m no green thumb by any measure and if the plants survive my care, I’ll be grateful to the lord above 🙂
The next on the list is pickles. I know I should have taken down the recipe from you ages ago….but procrastination, my age-old weakness, didn’t allow me to. So I will now have to rely on memory, of images of you sitting in the kitchen, carefully chopping up raw mangoes, wiping them clean and dry, preparing some spices (i’ll really have to try hard and remember which) and then tossing them all together. Yes, I plan to do it all, just to keep alive those little traditions that were sacred to you, but to which I never paid any heed earlier 😦
Do you remember all those times I used to look ticked off around you? Well, I’ll confess now that it was because you always made me feel lacking. Nothing I ever said or did, was good enough for you. I think your biggest grouse was that I rarely ever consulted you for anything. It is true that you held a treasure of experience…..from cooking, to housekeeping to being a good host (For the life of me, I cannot imagine how you managed to remember the likes/dislikes of EVERY single member in your large, extensive family!! I mean, you even know that the MIL’s aunt’s daughter’s son doesn’t like rice!! How??!)
Me, I was insecure.
I wasn’t used to the cocoon of a joint family. I wasn’t brought up to believe that men have to be put on a
pedestal and pampered. Probably the reason why you felt that the BF drew the shortest straw when he chose me to be his wife. I never served him tea on a tray as he left for work. I never held out a freshly ironed, white handkerchief at the door as he left. I never bothered to make a separate dish for him on days when the dinner comprised of stuff that he despised. Frankly, I didn’t wait hand-and-foot to serve him. You were doing it all till the time he got married. Probably why you thought of me as lacking 😐 . You knew you shouldn’t be doing all that now, since he was married, but it hurt you to see that your favorite grandchild was just not being pampered in the way you used to pamper him!! This did lead to so many altercations between us. Many times, I would keep quiet in your presence and then blast the BF in the privacy of my room. I think he had it hardest then, trying to maintain peace between a doting grandmother and a fiery wife!!
Somehow, my squabbles with you seem so petty now. What was I trying to achieve? An upper hand? What of it even if I did get it? It isn’t solving any of my problems now!! The BF still expects his tea, but doesn’t get it. I’m much too rushed in the morning to do his bidding. His only loss is that there is no one to notice this as you used to.
The BF used to joke that your mind moves faster than a fish in water. He always rued that you weren’t educated, because if you were, you would surely have touched heights. Even with your ‘illiterate’, village background, you had a deep rooted common sense that was rare. You weren’t educated, but you knew a lot. You knew how to dote on, how to care, how to excel, something which I got a first row view of as I saw you tending to the twins. Frankly, since the time you suffered that fracture, the kids aren’t what they used to be. When you used to look after them, they were chubbier and their cheeks were rosier. Now they both look severely undernourished, with lack-luster hair and irritable moods. When you used to looked after them, I never had a worry…..but now that I have to, I realized that I should have learnt the ropes from you when I did have the time. Alas…….
You took care of my children just as you did all those years back for your grandchildren. It isn’t far from the truth to say that you were more than a mother to the BF and his siblings. The BF was your favorite, being the first-born. You left no stone unturned in caring for him. He, in turn, would never talk back to you or raise his voice against you (The only time that he did, was for me and I feel guilty about it now. It made you cry …..just because till then, your most favorite grandchild had always, ALWAYS taken your side, no matter what!)
For the past few days, he has clammed up. He won’t talk, he won’t express his heart. He changes topics and desperately keeps himself busy. The man who was once stuck to his blackberry, now just tosses it on the table and walks away. The one who used to do overtime at work everyday, didn’t go to office for an entire week. He stayed back home and spent ALL his time with the kids, playing with them, teaching them stuff, feeding them, putting them to sleep (though he tries, the kids claim that their Abbu just cannot tell a good story 😦 ). The only time I saw him with tears in his eyes was when he recollected how you used to sit besides him throughout the night when he used to be ill….and how during your confinement to the bed, he never spent an hour besides you. I know he tried but couldn’t, because he couldn’t see you like that, but for him, it isn’t reason enough. It hurts him terribly to know that he wasn’t besides you when you breathed your last!!

With that, I just want to say, I’m sorry. For causing you whatever little grief that I did. I swear from the heavens above, I never meant it. I didn’t even realize that I was wrong, until now. I know you will forgive me, but I have no means of knowing it 😦 . Frankly, I’m not sure what I expect here for myself….but if there is any chance of you appearing in the BF’s dreams, then here’s a sincere plea…put him at ease. Let him know that you are content where you are, that you will always be there for him, around him as you’ve always been. Let him know for the last time, that you love him.
Yours Forever grateful,
GDIL.

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