If you are passionate about teaching, then Hackberry offers you franchise opportunities to turn this passion into your profession!
Losing my dad has made me realize that when someone you love dies, you don’t just have to say goodbye to them at the time they pass.
The day my Baba took his last breath, I lost my voice.
I knew he was dying, but I didn’t realize it would be his goodbye. I never talk about my Baba’s death. Whenever I do, I go numb. I lost him when life was going perfectly.
June 7, 2019. It was their 33rd marriage anniversary. I had just scored my dream job 15 days ago, my sister was 7 months pregnant and everything was smooth. But suddenly, this happened.
I was lost, I was devastated, for a long time. I simply could not accept his death. How could this happen? We were so happy, everything was so perfect till yesterday. He couldn’t have left us behind like this. I remember that day at the hospital I told my mother that I’d like to perform the last rites of my Baba. My relatives were supportive, and told me they would not oppose it.
For the first time in my life, I went to the shamshaan ghat – to cremate my father. I did everything that a son would do in our culture. I categorically told Panditji that he must not hesitate in making me do the rites properly. That day I realized Baba wasn’t there anymore to make up excuses for me or help and support me in whatever way possible. He was gone and I found myself responsible in this big bad world overnight.
I had to take care of my mother.
My way of coping was to be by myself and just contemplate on what death was and how I would live my life without a father, going forward.
I still get flashes of him every time I hear someone say “Dada Bhalo!” just the way Baba used to greet people in passing. And when I hear a song that he used to sing, I suddenly realize that the only way I will ever hear his beautiful voice again is in my dreams. Sometimes I’m reminded of the happy, healthy times, but more often than not, I get dreams of the darker days that make me realize that I’m still grieving.
However, this is my reality today. And that’s life. Losing my Baba to death has taught me many lessons. Recently, one of my friends lost his father, and I reached out to share my condolences, which of course consisted of “I’m so sorry for your loss. You‘re in my thoughts. Let me know if you need anything.” But then I thought about what I would’ve wanted to hear when my Baba died and followed up with, “Nobody talks about how much this hurts. We are supposed to be okay and strong enough to handle this because we are adults, but you don’t have to be. This sucks and hurts like hell. I know because it happened to me.”
I’ve come to realize that when someone you love dies, you don’t just have to say goodbye to them at the time they pass. Moreover, you can think about them at every crossroad too. I’ve discovered that there are uncounted firsts and tough moments to get through. Not just the obvious ones like holidays and big events, but many others that are equally if not increasingly challenging to struggle through under the heavy wrap of grief.
My Baba was my soulmate. I’m the youngest one and we had a connection that no words can explain. He knew what was inside my head just by looking at me. I remember him as he always joked about the good and bad things in life.
When he passed away, I felt like someone had ripped my heart out of my chest. I’d never be able to hug him again, or hear his voice or see him coming through the door after a long day, again. I’d never hug his legs again, blush when he asks who my boyfriend was or how many boyfriends I have now or make me give him a hundred kisses before leaving home.
And then there are the stinging moments, those that rub salt on my wounds. The times when I am watching TV and the story line is one in which a character is dying. When I close my eyes to go to sleep at night and all I can picture is the image of my Baba’s frailty at the end. The times when I’m searching for a contact on my phone or on my email and his name automatically pops up. That happens when I typed the number 10. These are the times I keep forgetting to expect. The ones that leave me with a heart-thumping feeling that I’m not sure will ever go away.
Probably the most frequent occurring moments for me since Baba left us have been ‘The Empty Chair’ moments. The ones by which I am startled again by his absence. I think about him many times, everyday, and fall asleep with tears on my pillow almost every night. I talk to him in the car pretty often. That part of missing him has become a part of my routine. But family vacations and holiday gatherings are extremely difficult without him. I keep thinking about how he would’ve loved the things that we do today. The ones that he isn’t here to do – going to the beach, playing with kids, listening to conversations and laugh…all of those moments of togetherness that excite me, except for the fact that he’s not a part of those memories.
What I learned from my father’s death is that life has a way of teaching you exactly what it is that you need to learn. Death is the ultimate teacher. It will allow you to experience life very differently.
Image credit: A still from Piku
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, indivisual posts do not necessarily represent the platofrom's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
We are conditioned to normalise domestic violence out of fear of abandonment. Thinking that 'trauma bonding' is better than no bonding holds us back from speaking up!
(Trigger Warning: This post may be triggering for survivors of domestic violence. This post has been published especially to honour the International Day For The Elimination of Violence Against Women.)
Everyone said my perfect husband was like Lord Ram…. but this is how he took unfair advantage of my tolerance!
My grandmother was very fond of my husband whose name is synonymous with Lord Ram’s name. Every call she made to my husband started with the bhajan “Aaj sab mil mangal gao, Awadh mai, raam aye hain“. (Hail everyone, sing praises, Lord Ram has come in the kingdom of Awadh.) It was a mandatory welcome song whenever she met him or even spoke to him on the phone. Yes, his attributes were like that of Lord Ram. His attitude, chivalry, persona, fair skin, smile, height, physique and charm illustrate the perfect image of Lord Ram.
He was a generous man but she hardly knew much about the investments or their financial health. A couple of times, she had asked him and he had been vague. Now when she thought about it...
He was a generous man but she hardly knew much about the investments or their financial health. A couple of times, she had asked him and he had been vague. Now when she thought about it…
The Muse of the Month is a monthly writing contest organised by Women’s Web, bringing you original fiction inspired by women.
Chandrika R. Krishnan is one of the winners for the November 2021 Muse of the Month, and wins a Rs 750 Amazon voucher from Women’s Web. The juror for this month, Anuradha Kumar commented, “This introspective, quiet, story with its depiction of the relationship between two relatively older people is quite impressive. A lifetime spent together can bring familiarity and still allow for many mysteries and secrets. Also, the structure of the story, shifting from an external perspective to an internal monologue is well-done.”
"If I had the wisdom then, that I have today, I would have convinced dad that you had the right to be the master of your life, ... It took a daughter to explain to me, what a sister must have gone through."
“If I had the wisdom then, that I have today, I would have convinced dad that you had the right to be the master of your life, … It took a daughter to explain to me, what a sister must have gone through.”
Here is the first winner of our January 2017 Muse of the Month contest, Sangeetha Jaganathan.
The cue for this month was from the movie Queen, in which Kangana’s reel granny tells her that instead staying back in the hotel and watching TV and feeling bad for herself, she should go out and meet people, go sight-seeing…who knows she might find someone interesting too!
And then, ma's words rang in my ears, “Do not ever wait for your destiny to shape itself, my child. Do not tarry, do not wait, do not seek.”
And then, ma’s words rang in my ears, “Do not ever wait for your destiny to shape itself, my child. Do not tarry, do not wait, do not seek.”
“You’re to be married to Arindam next week,” Baba pronounces my fate with a smug smile. “Your astrological charts have matched beautifully, you know?”
I take a rattling breath and struggle to speak with my parched throat. It’s been three days since I’ve been locked up in a dark shed without food or water. “Please,” I whisper. “I don’t want to.”