Ma remembers her as the girl with gray eyes, filled with poignancy and a beautiful almost mystical glow in her eyes. Even when I look at her these days, I want to immerse myself in those gray eyes. They speak volumes. When ma went to Jaunpur after marriage, she was still there, with her two younger brothers. Ma recalls all of them to be her source of joy.
She was especially ma’s only friend, despite the age difference they had. A newly wedded Indian bride has much to keep herself occupied, doesn’t she? These three kids brought a twinkle to her eyes. After those lengthy, monotonous, days, she would lighten her mood with the innocents smiles and sometimes gasps as my mother, the master story teller that she is, always had something to tell them. Up to this day, when they meet ma, I see the close bond they have. Its something I feel enamored of, and almost scared to penetrate. Yes, they’re that close. The beauty of their relationship stirs me, and I see how ma’s face totally lights up when one of them calls and says, “Chaachi .. “ (refers to one’s father’s younger’s brother’s wife)
She got married to a Army man. He was one of the most pleasurable people to converse with. I've only met him once when they were staying in Ooty, and I remember how very well he took care of all the guests. Their house was located in a beautiful place, lush green hills, incomparable, astonishing beauty. And we were guests to beautiful people too.
They had a son who was one year younger to me. He was obsessed with video games and PSPs. Still is. And he always beat me at it. Technology and I have the most complicated relationship.
Anyway, I have only met her husband once, and sadly, that was the last time. The last I remember is my parents weeping through the phone when her husband’s death was announced to us. He had battled cancer and had sadly, lost his life in the battle. I cannot fathom the sorrow of someone who loses her/his spouse. How do they feel when they walk into an empty, silent house where at a point of time the sounds of someone’s loving words echoed? How do they feel when they look into the wardrobe and realize half the clothes hung in it, will never be worn?
But I have something to tell you beyond the innumerous questions lurking in my head. She is still strong as a pillar. Even today when I look into her eyes, I only find hope in her eyes, exclusive to someone who has not lost life’s battle. She has not given up, she has not turned a loser, she has not let despair, depression, gloom, misanthrope, or an eternal sorrow seep into her life. She is full of life, and even when you meet her today, you would only run into fits of laughter. Careless, flowing laughter. She is a charmer, and she charms me with her enthusiasm towards everything!
She’s my eldest sister on my father’s side and I am the youngest, and when I look up to her, I only wish I could imbibe an ounce of the fervor in her. The fervor to live on.