My last post was left unfinished because while I was doing the last few lines of the tag, I received news of a bereavement and I was no longer in a mood to write any more. My oldest Uncle in my Mom's family passed away on Jan 18th. He was 84 almost, and had been ailing for sometime, so it was not unexpected, but still death always creates a vacuum....
Its funny, but I had been reading about Usha's earliest memeory of death, which led me to remember mine, and now I have Sonny boy's first brush with a death in the family- where he is old enough to realise something is wrong, but he's not quite sure WHAT is wrong.
This was the Acchacha who was so frail, that once last year, when both of them were on their feet, Sonny boy gave him a hug, and he nearly keeled over. Ever since, Sonny boy has been careful with his hugs and kisses to this Achacha. But they used to be given unstintingly, on every visit and goodbye, although he used to be a bit stingy with them as far as Aunty was concerned.
This time, on seeing Uncle lying so still and not opening his eyes, he asked
"What happened to Achhacha?"
And then he looked around and assimilated the generally upset atmosphere.. and asked again, "What happened to Achacha?"
I took him aside and told him that Achacha had been very unwell (which he knew) and had a lot of pain, and so God took him away to take better care of him. There were more questions brimming, but he was shushed and then he wandered out to play in the open grounds that were so commonplace there, but are such a luxury in Bangalore.
We were there for the weekend and he had a good time there with all the relatives who had come. There were no more questions about Achacha. Not to me and not to anyone else.
On Sunday, while hugging my Aunt goodbye, she was trying to keep the tears at bay. Sonny boy gave her the unstinting kisses and hugs that he used to reserve earlier for his Achacha. And my Aunt was blessing him, when he looked directly at her, and asked,
"Where is Achacha gone?"
As if she, who had been the one who looked after Achacha so well and put his needs ahead of everything and everybody else, should be able to answer his query.
Where is Achacha GONE?
8 hours ago