There is an art to waiting, to being present in uncertainty when moments are only whatever it is that they are until the next moments arrive.
Today writing terrifies me and saddens me. It terrifies me because of the way these stories last, the way we tell ourselves stories in order to be who we are, to become who we are becoming. It makes me ache, to see the small uncertain snapshot of myself as I am right: here at the dining room table, overlooking the city skyline and the sky above it overcast; there: as a schoolgirl in starched red and white and a ponytail.
Am walking back to the junior section to pick my sister to go home! It’s dismissal time and the entire campus has that hubbub of “going home” urgency about it. I reach in front of her classroom and bump into this high-school teacher.”Oh, you’ve come to pick up Soma? You know, you should probably take care of her more. She is so fragile!” This was the time, when mom had been transferred to a different city and it sorta had taken a toll on the youngest of us.
I was surprised, floored, overwhelmed. A junior high student, not only gets addressed by senior school teacher, she also knows both of us by names. And, is actually concerned!!
That was Rekha Mausi (Aunty), her niece, was one of the closest classmates forever. So, she was Rekha Mausi to all of us!
I just spoke to her the other day and didn’t want to know the graphic details of her illness.
I knew, we knew! The end was perhaps here. Perhaps merciful! Who knows, who decides! All of us have a deadline to meet!
But, I wanted her to be the same smart, chic, lotsa panache; the silk/chiffon sarees, the unpleated pallu, big bindi and a walk which could show those FTV folks a thing or two; a diva to all our impressionable minds. A role model of grit and fashion!. A combination so awesome! And, the gorgeousness she was. Fearless and a fantastic teacher!
A few generations of us, looked up to her for inspiration, compassion, courage and a certain elegance that defined her!
She left us.
To rock those angels with her belly laughs and giving them a lesson or two on virtues of being a girl, in that husky voice of hers!
“Rekha Aunty, you were always my hero! And, am glad I did tell you this on farewell! Am glad to have been your student and to have been enriched by you!”