I still remember that dreadful day.
5 years ago, this very same day when the entire city of Mumbai was preparing to welcome their beloved Lord Ganesha, me and my family were mourning. We lost a person who was our biggest strength.
My dad lost his mom, my mom lost her mother in law, my brother and I lost my Grandmother Mrs. Raji Mani who my friends and I lovingly refer to as Rose.
Being a child of working parents, I am not ashamed to say that I spent more time with Rose than with my parents.
In fact, I can proudly say whatever I am today is because of my granny.
The values such as respecting my elders and being sensitive to other’s needs, the deep rooted love for classical music and of course my floral decorations during poojas, everything indicates just one thing.
My Granny’s influence!
And if you think my granny is just like the stereotypical grannies, then you are wrong.
Yes my granny was superstitious and orthodox. I used to fight a lot with her as a teenager as I could not accept some weird practices such as not touching the pickle bottle when you get your periods or not cutting nails on Tuesdays and Fridays.
But having said that, she was a ‘modern’ paati (granny) tooJ!
She used to speak English so fluently that she was considered ‘cool’ by my friends. They absolutely loved her!
In fact, she would read every word of Times of India. So vast was her knowledge, that she could give you solution for any damn problem.
And yes she loved cricket too!
She had a soft corner for Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. In fact, on that fateful day (she passed away in the evening around 7.30 PM) Rahul Dravid had stepped down as the captain.
She was empathetically discussing with me about his decision in the afternoon (surprisingly I had not gone to office that day).
Little did we realize that it would be our last discussion on any topic L.
In the evening when I was yahoo chatting with my college friend, she complained of uneasiness.
My mom gave her jeera pani and went for shopping as the next day was Ganesh Chathurti.
She had the pani, said she felt relieved and started reading a book (she was a voracious reader).
Suddenly she again felt uneasy, I casually asked her to go to bed and sleep. Just as she stepped on to the bed, something happened to her.
She gasped for breath, I went to her, and helped her lie on the bed.
I called my dad who was praying inside. He rushed to her side.
My granny vomited and that was it!
She was gone.
I screamed, called out Rose respond, Rose respond…
But there was no response. I cleaned her mouth, tried pouring water on her face but no response.
Doctor was called and he confirmed what I did not want to hear.
She was declared dead.
For the first time in my life, she hurt me very badly.
People said I was lucky to be with her in the last moment.
I did not feel lucky or good about seeing her die. How can a girl who has always seen her grand mom active (my granny had even washed her clothes that day, like always) feel good about her inertia?
The incident still depresses me.
That day when people were getting ganeshji’s idols, we were preparing for my granny’s visarjan.
My granny might not be there, but her memories are still there with me.
I could not do even 0.5% of what she has done for me. There were days when I completely ignored her presence because I was ‘busy’ studying and working for pocket money.
I have been rude to her many a times when I was ‘busy’, but little did I care for her feelings.
Today I feel very guilty of my behaviour. I weep, I say sorry but I don’t even know if my message has reached her.
The incident taught me an important lesson: Never take anybody for granted especially those who have sacrificed their happiness for you.
Sad I learnt it late.
On the 5th death anniversary of my beloved granny Rose, I would like to tell you that if your grandparents and parents are alive, please take a vow to spend at least 10-15 mins with them daily.
The happiness on their face is more than what you earn for spending 15 hours in office.
Trust me, you will feel good about this….