Monday, June 1, 2009

Letter to a lost soul...

Please forgive me I know not what to do
Please forgive me I can't stop loving you
Don't deny me this pain I'm going through
Please forgive me if I need you like I do...

Hi Thammudu,

How've you been? Is life (after death) treating you all right? Is there a life after death? I don't believe in one though! Amma says if I have another child, a son probably, it'll be you re-born. So, she wants me to have another child. But I don't want you to be re-born. I know you're happy wherever you are and you've found the ultimate peace you were looking for in vain here. I don't want you to be born again and suffer. I'd rather you live in our memories forever.

That fateful May 31st night still feels like yesterday... I can still see you fighting the pain - was it passing from your heart to your hand? You didn't let me touch your left shoulder when I wanted to lift you up and make you drink some water. Was it very painful? I can only remember the pain in your eyes and the vague expression on your face. And your attempt to grip my fingers with your right hand. I can only see those moments still.

Did you know that we actually made calls from your cell, spoke to the doctor, and rushed you to the hospital in a cab that came to drop a call-center employee at the apartment complex? Did you know that Serish came running down while you were trying to tell me something? He tried to lift you but couldn't. We literally had to drag you into the lift. Yes my bro, you were a well-built fellow. Then why did this happen so suddenly?

Do you even remember that you were in our laps when your heart stopped beating? I didn't waste any time in getting you to the hospital. I still remember the rush, the anticipation, the anxiety, the pain, the frightened look, the honking -- all in just 12 mins on the way to the hospital.

Everything is vague though, and I don't remember much of the journey in the cab. But I do remember a few sights and sounds... the horrified look on amma's face, her silent weeping, the touch of your supple body, your heavy breathing, the foam dripping down your lips, your heart beating slowly and then stopping. Hey, do you know that I was hitting you to wake you up? I was beating you so much that I thought you'll retaliate any moment. It was the first time I hit you without getting beaten up in return. Good no! You fool, why couldn't you beat me back? Why didn't you lift your hand - was it too difficult?

I think it was our last journey together! Oh no, not really. It was the brave me that travelled home with your body - I don't know how, where and when I got that courage in me. Amma and Nanna refused to get into the ambulance with you. I didn't want to leave you alone in your journey onward. I had to hold your hand, and let you know that I'm there - forever and always. I loved you so much no. And so did you, right! Did you feel my love at that point? I doubt it, you just lied there head to toe covered in a white cloth. I didn't know how to pull the cloth off your face. I was only looking for your hand to hold and I was happy to find it finally - cold though it was! Was it the AC in the ICU that turned you so cold?

Memories, memories and more memories... Sitting in the ambulance I had flashes of our times together... of how I would climb on to a chair to move the jhoola while you were sleeping innocently - the baby that you were. Amma would just tell me, 'don't disturb thammudu, just swing the jhoola if he moves or cries'. And that exactly was what I always did. Even that day, in the ambulance, I didn't disturb you... I just wanted you to sleep peacefully while I held your hand.

Hey bro, can you still sing Phoolon ka taaron ka for me? I think you can and I can hear it in my head. Do you remember that you hit me on my head with stones a couple of times? Once amma almost killed you for hitting me like that - there was blood on my head and amma got scared. And you used to give me so many gaalis - you should probably wash your mouth and tongue with dettol. Filthy boy! Where all you learnt those gaalis only you should know!!!

There were times when we fought, and made up in no time but there were times when we wouldn't talk for weeks together. Still, we would convey our love for each other in 100 different ways, right! How are you going to convey your love now? After two years of no see, no touch, no talk? Find out a way idiot, like you always did!

Life's not the same without you. And yes, things have changed in the last two years. And there are things you don't know and you've not seen! You didn't see the Philips 26" LCD TV we bought... And then the Bose Home Theatre system. You really liked the one at your friend's house no! You would have absolutely loved this. And 2 months back we bought another 46" LCD TV - Samsung this time. Yeah yeah I know you like Sony better but the colors look artificial in that. I didn't like it. I'm sure if you see our new TV you'll agree that this is better. :)

But yes, we sold off your favorite Sony music system. And I lost your camcorder in the office :( (but you were the careless one in the house and lost many more things since childhood... your new red toy car, school shoes, hawaii chappals, sweater, school bag, raincoat... the list is endless no...) You can't fight with me now okay, because I just lost one camcorder, brother, and father !!!

Hey, you've not seen my nose ring either. Yes boy, I got my nose pierced and I've a diamond nose ring. I bought a nice diamond nose-ring for amma also. I don't know if she's happy with it but she called up all her sisters and told them about it. Yes, yes, she's still the same. We got her eyes tested last week and got her new spectacles. And yesterday she was cribbing about them. hehehe! But I want you to know that I'm taking care of her - and I'll continue to do my best to keep her happy. Trust me I'm keeping my temper under control when I'm around her. I'm not fighting with her much anymore.:-) Are you happy, and proud of me?

And yes, you've not seen our new flat. It's done up nicely. You'd have loved it like all my friends did. Your tastes and mine are more or less similar, right. You remember that Kamal Hassan movie Guna which only both of us liked and all our cousins thought we're weird. Probably we were na. And yeah, you've not seen amma's new flat either :(. It's in the B Block of the same Tirtha 4 Seasons complex that Subbu and you wanted to buy a flat in but ended up buying a plot of land instead as that Tirtha fellow was quoting a lot, right!

BTW, we sold that plot of yours - we didn't have a choice you see, nanna was in the hospital and we needed money. Who'll know it better than you that I didn't want to approach anybody for money. But I couldn't save him either thammudu. I hope you know I tried - I really did but couldn't. So, now it's just amma and me, and you both in our memories...

Oh yes, I have to tell you this. I'm moving out of Hyderabad next week. No no, not to New Zealand - not without you. It was your dream to immigrate there right! Do you remember the school for rural children dream that Serish and I had? Yes, we're going to execute it now. I don't feel like staying in Hyderabad anymore... these memories are haunting me. I'm planning to start an educational trust in your name -- the girl who lost her dad when you joined Infy and whose education you sponsored for 6 years saw your photo in the obituary ad in DC and came to the place where we were doing the ceremonies. She cried a lot, you know! That's when I got the idea of starting a trust and giving a scholarship every year to needy deserved students. You like the idea??? My instinct says that you do.

And you better know that you're still alive... each time Little S looks at a plane and screams 'Bye Mama' waving out to the unseen passengers (she thinks you're in America), we know you're alive; each time she eats something because her mama likes it, we know you're alive; each time she says 'Ice Ice Baby' and demands for ice cubes, we know you're alive; each time she croons 'Thanda thanda cool cool' while we apply powder on her back, we know you're alive. So what if you're not with us right now, you're with us in our thoughts and memories forever, and ever and ever.

So long farewell.... Be good and be happy!

Lots of love,


Bhavani said...

I don't know you at all Bhayya, but I still remember the subtle smile you had throughout when I was giving gaalis to all those stupid fools on the road. I can still see that smile, the pleasant look on your face, may be that's the only thing I know and will remember. Wish you loads of happiness wherever you're.

Akanksha said...

just stumbled upon ur blog. its beautifully written. cheers!!

Suchitra DEVI POTSANGBAM said...

Dearest Shanti
I'm not a regular visitor here. But am fated to read this one. Was just trying to find your phone number.
You told me everything and I had grieved. But after that I began thinking, during moments of remembrance - of those days together and indeed we have lots to reminisce - that he's still around, my ever dear BALMIKI! It's like a cruel joke but then he is such a beautiful memory. May be he was too good for our world! Am also sure he's very happy wherever he is. I am very proud of you - of what you have done and how you have carried on after all these. love you.

kaivalya manu said...

Hey shanti,

I also remember him every now and then. Remember the story of he leaving Sudheer in a hotel after eating stomach full of idlis and dosas to realize they don't have the money to pay. His quick thinking to get money from home while Sudheer is eating one more item is appreciable :).

Remember the time we spent @vizag with you guys. Beach, dolphin hotel etc etc... Remember the time he happily said,'I got a job in infosys'. Remember the time he happily got married .... So many happy days and times...

Also remember the day when I went to visit him,as I needed help with srikar's visa papers in infosys. He sat right next to me and asked to touch the nerves on his wrist right under the hand. I felt a strange flow of blood, flowing super fast and he explained what was happening inside. All through that one to two hours my only thought was ' how did this happen to My Cousin?' . How could this happen to a happy, healthy person?

That same thought still lingers in my mind ....' how did this happen ?' why did this happen ?