It's been seven years since she left us so suddenly.
When I think of her, I think of this beautiful song, Gori tore nain, kajar bin kaare kaare kaare
She had beautiful dark eyes and eyelashes, and never used kajal (kohl). She never needed to.
And this was something I noticed perhaps the very last time I met her, after knowing her my entire life.
I am so glad I went with her that time to see the flowers blooming in her garden.
I am so glad we had that brief period of living in the same city.
I am so glad we were back from our road trip to Amritsar, barely a week before she left us.
I am so glad she was able to come to Kolkata as often as I needed her to, despite her own health issues, to help take care of our parents when they were ailing.
I am glad that after she left us, I could take her precious gift to our sister-in-law in England.
I am glad she was not here to witness the devastating loss of her son last May, when Covid's malevolent second wave wreaked havoc in so many homes.
I am glad that I have wonderful memories of this immensely talented and determined person, who cut and sewed a beautiful frock for me when she was barely twelve. She was the one who plaited my hair, who read to me cuddled up in our brother's bed, when he was away at college. She taught me so much. We argued and we quarrelled, we loved, we hated. I was jealous of her privileges, she was jealous of the pampering she thought I got, as the youngest child, and of my shapely finger nails. She was immensely hard-working. She had beautiful hand writing, and would send beautiful cards for every birthday and anniversary. She sewed baby clothes for my children. She was immensely generous.
Where do I begin, and where do I end, dear sister?
When you left, you took away my childhood, our childhood.
There's no one left who shared it with me...