Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Joyful ears!

Today I'm the girl
with flowers in her ears,
stars in her ears
Flowers like stars,
emerald and ruby,
star like flowers,
flower like stars
Happy stars
Farewell flowers
Embedded in silver
navaratna stones
and tiny black roses
Happy floral ears,
happy stellar ears
a tourmaline necklace,
so subtle, so fine...
I couldn't resist it,
it had to be mine,
Gifts from this city,
my love of seven years
I lived a great life here,
rich in much that I love
(I'm nearly in tears).
But no, I'll wear these flowers
with their magical powers
to restrain my fears,
and dam up those tears
with sparkling and happy
stars in my ears,
flowers in my ears,
the chimes of the future
alive in my ears.......

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Farewell, Kolkata

After a sudden turn of events and a fairly tumultuous August, the SRE and I have decided to leave Kolkata and relocate to the NCR.
The gods seem to be looking favourably on this move.
We found an apartment that we liked on the very first day, the fourth one that we saw.
It helped that our older daughter had put us in touch with an excellent property dealer, and had already told him of our basic requirements.
It helped that it's just the two of us, who need a place to rent for the next couple of years, while our own apartment is completed.
(When I went through the thirty-five or forty odd apartments I'd seen in Kolkata, finding something that also met my parents' specific needs was very high on my list of priorities).

It is located mid-way between the homes of three of our children, which is wonderful.
I can see us being thoroughly spoiled by them!

Kolkata blessed me with some amazing friends, both old and new. You know who you are..........

Kolkata was from where I travelled extensively (for me), both within the country and abroad.

Kolkata was where my parents spent their final years.....
Both of them died peacefully at home, within three and a half months of each other......
Their room is still known as their room, though many many visitors have stayed there since they left us.
I spend many restful moments in that room, imbued as it is with a peaceful atmosphere, which feels like my father's gentle hand upon my brow..........
My mother would smile and wave from their balcony as I returned from my morning walk.
I try and forget the extremely painful images of the last few months of her life, especially those weeks after her stroke when she was fed through a tube inserted into her nose, unable to speak, her eyes following us,  my sister and I, whenever we left her bedside.......
My father slowly fading away, growing weaker by the day, despite all investigations and treatment, broken -hearted when my mother returned home from hospital, a shadow of the woman she was........
The crematorium at Keoratala, their ashes kept in the nearby gurudwara until it was time to immerse them in
the Hooghly, from which their mortal remains would have long washed out to the sea.......

Much joy, too!
When we moved to Kolkata, our older son moved too,
to Columbia University, New York, for his doctorate.
He's completed it and moved to his new life in a new state, as an assistant professor.
Last summer, he brought his wife to this home of ours for the very first time..........

The younger son, who'd been, of necessity a boarder from an early age,
obtained his law degree from Kolkata!
Though he stayed on campus, home was for weekly visits,
sprawled on the leather couch, often with friends who, as many youngsters have done, enriched our lives......

Both girls came when they could, and we enjoyed so much of my Kolkata together.........
Kewpie's and sarees and of course New Market, footwear and silver jewellery, Thai food at Benjarong,
and lycra blouses from Jhil Mil, requested by so many of their friends.

I know I will miss so much of this city.
So very much...........

I was so happy to be able to attend my natal Satsang here, each Sunday evening, after a break of several years, because of living in far off places. Even if I dozed off, I would be glad that I went!

Movies, concerts, theatre, exhibitions, ceramics, book launches and Lit Fests, the fabulous Akatha Kahaani which I was privileged to host.
Dover Lane- I will miss those wonderful night long performances which both exhausted me and enchanted me!

The trees I had grown to love, near our home, on my morning walk route, and all across this verdant city.
Good old Tolly Club with its sweeping green, and trees, birds and lurking jackals, as well as some fabulous meals. I never swam there as much as I'd hoped to......
The SRE learned to play golf here!

My trusted driver, who has served us so faithfully all these years.
My maid, who has helped me from the very day our luggage was unloaded.
The girl in the courier office who shed tears when I told her of our imminent departure.
The people in my building, and the little boys next door- two small acrobats!
Their mother and I have been planning a coffee date since forever......

The wonderful people who visited us, and all those who came and stayed.....
The huge beds that came with the house, and the nice sideboard and the monster sideboard!
I will miss you all.

It was a great chapter in our lives, closing now, as a new one unfolds.....

May God's blessings be with us, and with all of those we leave behind.......