Khushi requested that I bring her a school bag when I go to Kolkata. Instead of waiting for that long, we ordered a school bag, a set of pencils with a cool (I think) looking pencil box and a water bottle for her from Amazon India. The packet has arrived at our apartment in Kolkata. However, I told Gouri and Breshpati (Khushi’s mom) to hide the gifts till Christmas and give them to her as a Christmas present.
Gouri planned further ahead. She asked Breshpati to keep the gifts next to her when she falls asleep on Christmas eve so she wakes up on Christmas day to a surprise. Supposedly, baba, Khushi’s adoptive grandfather, bought several gifts for her every Christmas and asked her mother to hide them and put them by her side on the night of Christmas eve. Gouri wants to continue that tradition that dadai started.
I listened to Gouri’s excited voice and felt so intensely sad about all of it. Not the gift giving, of course, but the fact baba is not here to give her the Christmas joy. Gouri plans to have someone write a note saying the gift is from didiya and dadai. I wondered if that will scare the little girl – receiving gifts from dead grandparents.
As I cried after the phone conversation, Sahana explained to me that the idea was brilliant and Khushi will not be scared. She will understand that this giving of gift is simply a show of love. Despite death and tragedy, love flows uninterrupted and that is the beauty of living. She said, if Khushi thinks didiya and dadai are haunting her, it is a kind of happy haunting. She won’t mind. 😀