Saturday, July 02, 2016

An Ode.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Saturday, July 02, 2016

I've been told that we realize the value of people only after they are gone. I've read it in books. I've watched it in movies.

Five years ago, I've started this blog a month after my grandmother's death. I've always loved her dearly and I needed a distraction from the darkness that her absence brought. Sure, I wrote a lot in notebooks and offline mediums back then, but I needed a bigger avenue that constantly needed my attention and maintenance. I probably never realized her value after she was gone because I completely and irrevocably knew her value even when she was there.

After my grandfather's death this week, I've realized that we certainly do realize the value of a person only when they are gone. Amidst attending to the visitors and keeping a constant check on the family, I found time to mull over everything that happened earlier that day only much later in the night. And when that happened, there was no stopping. The memories flooded me from all sides, and I did not try to put on a brave facade pretending things would be all fine. I'm not sure if it's a boon or a bane, but I can remember things very vividly. Even the ones from when I was a two-year-old. I remembered the times when my grandfather took me for a walk every evening after he came back from work or the times when we went for launch trips over Hooghly. I remembered the place we went for my favourite sweets and the street food we bought together at unrecognizable streets of Calcutta. Those were some amazing days and I don't know why I could barely remember these things when he was with us. Maybe because we barely look back in time when we keep thinking about the future.

Our mind is a truly strange organ. It reminds us of the things we are supposed to remember only when it is too late. I mean, what a luxury it is to tell someone you love them when they are with you rather than realizing it only when they are gone! Isn't it what a human being lives for? The love and affection of his loved ones. This really got me to thinking - should we wait to realize the value of the people in our lives until they are gone someday? Or should we make an attempt to let our loved ones know how much we love them when they are present right in front of our eyes?

And to my grandfather, I don't wish you stayed longer. I don't wish you suffered only because we wished you lived longer. I am glad you've endured a rather peaceful death. I'm glad that you've done everything you've ever wanted to do back in your day. You walked the streets of your favourite cities. You witnessed the Independence of the country. You've been to places, met people, helped so many. You shared your life with a wonderful woman, my grandmother. You might have been a part of so many wonderful stories and you might have been a teller of so much more. But more importantly, the last person you saw and held before your death was the only person who truly loved you beyond everything - my father. What you've left behind isn't just a set of values, but lessons of life that I'll remember for a long time. May your soul rest in peace!


sunaina sharma on 2 Jul 2016, 06:14:00 said...

We often want our loved ones to stay with us since we cannot bear the pain of separation. You are brave enough to realize this and articulate that pain and that desire. Wherever your grandparents are, they will be so happy to see your growth.

Sunaina Patnaik on 2 Jul 2016, 06:58:00 said...

Thank you, Sunaina.


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