You’ve been gone for many years now so I guess you are wondering why I am writing to you now of all times. This time, it’s not your legendary curry or your love for fish that has brought all your memories to the fore. It’s the birth of your great grand-son, M. Thanks to him, life has come full circle and I once again have a Mamaiji in my life. Except, this time it’s your daughter that has now become a Mamaiji.
The two of us thought of you when M was just a month old. He used to wake up at 2.30am sharp daily as if he had swallowed some kind of alarm clock. My eyes would be full of sleep as I struggled to learn this breastfeeding business and your daughter would wake up with me everyday and keep me company for the 40 minutes it took M to finish feeding. I’d keep telling her to go back to sleep and she told me that you did the same for her when I was as small as M and spent many a midnight trying to put me to sleep. I don’t remember this of course but hearing mom said this made me feel like you were in the room with the three of us blessing my baby boy.
The two of us thought of you when M was four months old and he went to stay at his mamaiji’s house. Mom would play with M as soon as she was back home from work and messages on her phone would go unanswered while she just revelled in her grandson’s antics. She was the one to give him his first bite of food just as you were for me. And, for two months straight she was the one who read him his story at night and gave him a massage just like you did for me. Once again, it was as if you were there with me holding my hand as I drifted off to sleep as a small baby.
The two of us also thought of you on M’s Besna in New Zealand. Mum told me how you were so proud when I sat on those peda’s by myself and how you spent many an afternoon righting me up when I was learning to sit and kept sliding down or falling backwards. Your daughter was so anxious that she be there for M’s besna that she spent many a afternoon doing just the same. Once again, it felt like you had never left us.
When you went away, I used to miss you for a thousand selfish reasons like your vat (stories) that you used to make up for me, for the household things like making flower garlands that you taught me and of course for your curry. But now that M is here with me and mom seems to have transformed into some replica of you, that loss is still there but the pain isn’t quite as sharp. I know that she will be for my son what you were for me – my anchor to all good yet simple joys of life. Your curry of course remains unmatched.