I went to sleep on the night of May 18th of 2021 with a lighter heart. After more than 2 weeks of struggle, baba seemed to have turned the corner. His numbers looked good, he finished his meal and even had a little appetite. Although he had oxygen mask on, he wanted to say a lot to Sahana when she came on the video screen to talk to him. He died the next day, May 19th, 2021. Like my mother, his death was peaceful. He slowly fell asleep and in his sleep he stopped breathing. Everytime I think that they are dead, even after a year, I get a jolt. How is it possible?
Baba liked to get things done. If there was a problem, he had to solve it. He would not rest till he solved it. He loved to talk about astronomy, watch martial art movies and when his eyes were good, read trashy paperbacks. He was no connoisseur of good literature. He loved Bollywood music and loved to watch ‘keora nritya’ during Durga puja’s bhashan. And he loved animals. He was the protector of all the strays in our neighborhood. If any of them got hurt, he arranged their transportation to vet hospitals, made sure all of them got fed. We were wary of our clothes if we got dressed up to go somewhere and baba was with us. His animals crowded around us and jumped on us too to show affection. Ma, of course, screamed at him – “joto adikhyeta!” Ryan loved it.
There is so much to write about him, about my memories of him. But today my heart is heavy and I will keep the words within me for now. When the words come spontaneously, I will write a bigger blog then. Today, on his one year death anniversary, this disjointed blog will have to do.
All these months, I have coped with my grief by giving them a release in my blogs. It really helped. But words did not flow when I started writing this blog. I wondered why. I think the desperate fight to keep him alive, the brief hope followed by brutal, merciless, unbearable pain is something my brain does not want to revisit. If I think back on those days, I start going back down a deep, dark chasm and my brain is perhaps protecting me from revisiting that dark place. Baba was mostly a happy person who liked to live life at large. My homage to him would be smiles, positive thoughts, hope and food – always food.