And just like that he has been gone for one month. And just like that one month will turn to two and then a year.
Baba had a zest for life. Although his knee hurt and then his hip, his hands shook and his pace maker had to make sure his ticker was ticking at the right speed, he never gave up his love for life. He got bored, sure, but then he found ways to stay engaged. He loved to read conspiracy theories and expounded on those with an impatient me and more patient Sahana. When Ryan was with him, the two of them egged each other on about who could bring up the craziest conspiracy theories. He loved martial art movies and especially Bruce Lee. And he loved cricket. He found the funniest posts on social media and reposted them. Then he liked his own posts, always! He learnt the basics of photoshopping and made collages and was mighty proud of them. He was always eager to learn new things, go to new places and try new dishes. Most of all he loved to eat and he loved to feed people. I can not believe I am writing about baba in past tense.
Since he loved to live, he gave Covid a valiant fight. He held on for 9 days after ma was gone. In fact, the nurse who took care of him was convinced he will get better. His vitals were improving and although his lungs were shot the doctors thought his chances of survival were over 70%. They warned me recovery would take time and there was a long fight ahead of us but he would, most likely, make it. He gave me hope.
In fact, I went to bed somewhat happy on the night before he died because his vitals were really good. Sahana had called him that day and he was so excited to talk to her that the nurse had to intervene. He knew Sahana was graduating from college and he wanted the link of her virtual ceremony so he could watch it. When Ryan came on to the camera to say hello to him, his face lit up even when he was strapped to oxygen.
He fought hard against Covid and many of us were his trusted soldiers. So many of us fought to keep him alive but we lost. This deadly virus ravaged this man’s body whose zest for life kept him going as far as will power could go.
I did not see my ma’s dead body but I saw baba’s face after his death. And I have to remove that face from my mind’s eye to see his regular, living, smiling face. Every morning I sit in front of both their gorgeous photos for a while before I start my day. In the photo, he has a smirk. I like to embed that smirk in my brain to remove the vision of his lifeless face. I also see so much of him, his big eyes, his mouth, his sense of humor, his love for food, his love for animals in his grandson. It is wonderful that he left this imprint for me.