Letting Go; is it easier said than done? May be yes! Yet, that is the best way to move forward in life. We can all do it, provided we choose to…
I still remember that night all too clearly. The world seemed to be fast asleep and nothing stirred in the house. Daisy, the kitten, slept comfortably curled up in her basket. The wind howled outside with the heavy rains lashing against the window panes making little streams and patterns. I was studying aloud, to shut my mind to all the thoughts, trying to make their way in. I kept on revising all the formulae loudly, to shut out my Dadu’s voice, ‘Maa! Maa!’ My maternal grandfather, my Dadu, lay in the ICCU of a hospital, thousands of miles away. He was critically ill and I was not there with him. Not just me; even my mother, his only child, could not be by his side for my father was bed-ridden with a badly fractured back. I had my engineering entrance exam the following day and I had to crack it. I had my tickets booked for the same evening to be with my Dadu.
The telephone rang. Its shrill tone sent a chill through my spine. I heard my father say hello, followed by complete silence. I waited till I could no more, and slowly walked to my parent’s room. As if in answer, my mother lay there, sobbing uncontrollably in bed. She had just lost her father, and I, my Dadu.
My Dadu had been suffering from Alzheimer’s for the last seven years. I had seen him, right in front of my eyes, gradually go through the process of age reversal. For the past few years, we would spend most of my summer vacations with him . I was his friend, his play mate . What fun we would have playing Ludo and Snakes and Ladders! Every time we caught him cheating, he would try and get away with an impish grin. And if I got angry and threatened to walk out, he would innocently plead for forgiveness and solemnly promise to not cheat again. Then there was Hide and Seek! Once he hid inside a cupboard and almost fainted due to lack of oxygen. Oh what a scare we had!
He sang beautifully, and many a time, he would get up and start dancing as well. He would be transported to some Divine world, a world of his own where he would be filled with pure joy. Often, he would hold my hand ever so gently, and take me into this world of his. Each time as my vacations came to an end, it was heartbreaking to leave him. ‘When will you come again, Maa?’ his question still rings in my ears, again and again, again and again. Now there was no Dadu.
It has been just a couple of years, but seems like ages that Dadu left us and at times, I still can’t forgive myself for not being there when he set out for his heavenly abode. His memory still evokes unstoppable tears streaming down my eyes, and I still can’t bring myself to speak much about him .
I was home last weekend from my I.I.T hostel, and was sorting out my clothes in the cupboard, when I stumbled upon an album. I froze and remembered. This album had pictures from our last trip to Dadu’s house. My hands started trembling, and with tears streaming down my eyes, I turned the pages of the album. There I saw my Dadu, in various poses and acts. Each picture was vivid in my eyes. I could almost hear his infectious laughter. There he was clapping his hands in glee, dancing to his own beat and hugging me so tight.
A warm hand touched my shoulder; a touch I knew so well. I turned around and saw my mother, tears streaming down her cheeks. I took her into my arms and we broke down together. Shortly after, I found myself caressing my mother, wiping her tears, kissing her and without my knowing, at that moment, I had become her Maa, her mother. We sat there for a few hours, talking about the person who we both loved so deeply.
I felt a lot better afterward. That day, I really embraced this eternal truth of mortality. It dawned on me then, how important it is to love our dear ones to the fullest, for the time we are together. If we can love like there is no tomorrow, our days would be so much more beautiful!
Dadu danced in front of me. He was calling for me to join him. His face was glowing with joy. All these visuals and so many more, filled me with an overwhelming love. I understood that when we celebrate togetherness every moment in our life, letting go becomes a little less painful. The memories keep our loved ones alive in our hearts forever.
Both my mother and I, could now let go of Dadu, in the truest sense.