The Grand Loss
I remember her writhing in pain silently, so that we don’t not breakdown
MY GRANDMA BY MUHAMMAD KAMRAN SHAMSHAD
It was October 28, 2006 afternoon. I was having my lunch when the telephone bell rang wrapping shock and numbness in one ugly package. My aunt lunged towards the phone only to wail that her ‘mother is no more.’ I know it was her big loss and the most painful life experience. But it was far worse for me as the deceased was more than mother to me; she had got two tags: ‘grand-mother’ whom I and my other cousins would call ‘naani-maa.’ So it’s obvious how much her death would have shattered me. I remained numb by the grief. The grief engulfed the house soon. Her daughters were wailing, pulling their hair, slapping their face as they knew they have lost the most important part of their life. It has been beautifully put by a Kashmiri poet, Habib Parray “Gasni rawun mol ti moji, tim chi asan sir boji.” They knew that the most important chapter has ended unexpectedly in the book of their life, forever. They were trying to console each other but they knew they had lost the only person who they can confide in their secrets. They knew they had lost the person who will encourage them at every step. They knew they had lost the person who will listen to their anger calmly. They knew that had lost the shoulder to cry on. They knew they had lost the person who will wipe their tears. They knew they had lost the person who will give them good advices. I, numbed and shocked, somehow, mustered my courage to call and inform all the near relatives about the sad demise of the person under whose shadows I had grown up.
‘Naanimaa’ had been diagnosed with Oesophageal cancer few months earlier and was battling for her life in hospital. Her dead body was brought in a snow clad cloth with many people shouldering her to home, the place she had entered at the tender age of 13 to spend her entire life. But why Almighty Allah had fixed only 63 years as her entire life? Why Almighty made her leave this world before soothing her eyes watching her only son, the youngest of the five children, in a bridegroom dress? Why Almighty snatched her from her daughters, her son, and me when we all needed her?
Now four years have gone but her death still hurts badly. My mother always laments “why I was not with her when she breathed her last.” Her death gave me a jolt. It’s not that I had never seen the deaths before. But Naanimaa’s death turned me to stone, no demise making me sad anymore.
Some random memories are flashing my mind right now. Like I remember when you would take me market holding my hand with extra care and love. I remember when you would regale me with the stories. I remember when you would call me home to savor ‘firni’ and your warm presence sitting near the window would give me more pleasure than the desert. I remember when I would not listen to you, when I would make you angry and you would say nothing. I hate myself for being so rude! I remember you writhing in pain silently, so that we may not breakdown. I remember when you would walk up the corridor asking me to support you, and me translating the beautiful lines in Kashmiri for you “Muhalle ki sabse nishani purani, wo budhiya jise bache kahte the naani” and you would smile and tell me “Bi ha banaewnas bemairi bidi” (My ailing health has made me old). I remember when we lowered your body into the grave, leaving you alone there forever. I hate myself when I walk near your grave, not ceasing there for a minute. May Allah rest your soul in peace!
(Writer is a student of Asian College of Journalism, Chennai and can be reached at email@example.com)
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 Nov 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 Nov 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 11 Nov 2011 00:00:00 IST
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