My big fat Bengali family is partying hard somewhere…


Elizabeth Kubler Roth On Death and Dying has written, “The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”

I will take time off from my usual grief journal and write about a scenario which could be happening behind the veil, who knows? My aunt died yesterday in her sleep. My father died a few hours ago. The death march in my family continues. Anyway, I think all my family members over the years who have said sayonara are having a raucous get together somewhere without us who are still limited in our physical being. Although I was an only child, I grew up in a loud, boisterous family with grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins. And when we got together the decibel level generally reached an unacceptable level for neighbors. In a middle class Bengali family, there was always a lot of food, sweets, snacks along with more than a generous amount of teasing, shouting, loud conversations about who can eat how much and laughter. My aunts did the cooking, my mother held court in a semi languishing posture because she was self proclaimed lazy. She provided the entertainment.

I think all my departed family is together now, partying hard…..somewhere.. There is the same raucousness, same loud teasing, same laughter. Food? I don’t know.

Sahana was waiting for her final grade in college. She was on tenterhooks because this grade was going to determine if she would graduate with magna cum laude. Well, she did. Because of the tragedy in our family, her achievements have not been celebrated like they should have been but she knows we are immensely proud of her. When she found out she will graduate with a magna cum laude, she said, “Oh mom! Can you imagine how much bragging didiya is doing up there to her family? Oh she will be obnoxious about it. She was always so proud of my academic achievements and talked about it to anyone who would listen.” When she said this, dadai was still breathing. But I am sure baba will look on with his usual beaming face as ma tells everyone how brilliant Sahana is.

It was a happy vision – ma with her youthful energy which she had lost towards the end, talking to her siblings, aunt and parents about her grand daughter’s achievements as her siblings try to pretend that they are as interested in it as she is. 🙂

I wrote this before baba joined them. Now everyone is welcoming him into the party.

“Arre Gautam, esho esho.”

2 thoughts on “My big fat Bengali family is partying hard somewhere…

  1. Piyali,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your parents. Words can’t express the feelings. I stopped by your house to give you flowers and some chocolates (ok, it was just peanut M&Ms) to give you a little beauty. I hope the M&Ms didn’t melt too much! And I hope you smiled because it was a little silly. I put the little bunch next to a beautiful flower arrangement that had been delivered earlier today.

    Congrats to Sahana on her graduation. She did an amazing job, especially with how crazy the world has been this last year.

    With love, Mary, Art, & Kahlan

    Liked by 1 person

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