Thursday, June 11, 2015


How do I lighten this load of an absence?
Is it grief, or fear, or both?
Grief, missing her in so many ways;
so many things remind me of her presence: her many many presents!
The tulsi plant, the flour scoop, the click-shut kitchen boxes,
the snack bowls Dad and I had bought
at Cottage Emporium long years ago
which she insisted that I keep
the embroidered hand towels,
and the small hanky sized ones for my morning walk.
The book she decided that my husband would like.
The Tanchoi the colours of our mother's wedding saree
The yellow silk saree that she wanted me to wear on Basant Panchmi
The Kota she couriered to me in Kolkata.....
The block print that was exactly my type of saree
the bed covers, the cushion covers, the generous presents to all my kids,
the presents that came in handy for giving away, too.....

And the landline, that hardly ever rings now,
it was like our exclusive, personal, sisterly phone.
It hardly ever rings now.
Its silence underlines her absence.
I miss her calls, all the family news she gave me.

Soon before she left us, I noticed her wonderful dark eyes and lashes
that looked kohl-rimmed, but never were.
How had I never noticed them before????

We were so different but so similar too that it scares me:
Our voices apparently similar, or maybe it was the way we spoke.
We did resemble each other, apparently, although we didn't always want to!
Both my siblings gone before sixty two. A very scary fact.
And yet pointless, this fear.
Each day has to be lived
the best it can be, whether there are just a few days, or many.
Who knows? Not me.

But how, pray, will this burden of an absence be lightened?