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Potter, Writer, Blogger, Quiller, Avid Reader, Chatter Box, Traveller, Foodie, photo crazy, Orchid lover, FB addict, and an enthusiast.... I work on extremes... You'll either find me laughing insanely or discussing something seriously serious.... I suffer from a laughter disorder...I am a lover of arts and crafts and anything that's colorful, bright and beautiful which includes my plants and my little lovely birdies... I am a mad friend, an insane daughter, a crazy wife and an unconventional sister... I choose to love, laugh and live!! My smile is contagious....So be careful :)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Weekend Stories

Love and Forgiveness - Part II

The link to Part I of this story is here

I sat besides Amma the entire night reading her a book called "The Map of Heaven". I thought it will make Amma's final journey an easier one.  Amma had a fetish for books and she had rubbed it on Sam who in turn rubbed it on me. I held her little finger throughout and my mind raced back to the good old days when Sam and Amma formed the centre of my existence.

Few months after Amma had taken over my upbringing she politely informed my parents that I could speak well. Obviously they didn’t believe her. So she had to prove it by talking to me in front of them. Assuming that my parents will be pleased our conversation went for about 5 minutes at a stretch. But my parents yelled at her because I spoke Malayalam instead of Hindi or English. She could never muster the courage to answer them back. I could speak Malayalam well because Amma was the only one who bothered to speak to me. The others only pretended. They never really had the patience to deal with a child who according to the norms of the world was "delayed and stupid". It was Amma who first noticed that I liked books and that I wasn’t half as bad as my teachers projected me to be. She encouraged my parents to send me to a normal school with normal children. Sometimes your own parents don’t understand you but an outsider does. My schooling began in a convent school and that is where I encountered my love for Physics and its laws.

Sam was Amma’s only child but after I had walked in to her life she often mentioned that she was blessed to have two lovely sons. I now understand her tragedy. Sam was a paraplegic and chair bound whereas I was autistic and mostly home bound. When Sam died Amma didn't cry much. She had become numb, somewhat like me. I was just 14 and couldn’t really understand the depth of death. I couldn’t even understand pain or love or longing. But Sam’s death was particularly tragic and for few days I felt a part of my chair bound.

It was my 14th birthday and as always there was no celebration. I was not very social and kids hated me including my younger sibling, Mahesh. To top it all, that year was special. I had ashamed my parents in front of the other relatives during a family gathering. A cousin of mine had placed a dead lizard in my pants. I was so angry that I had beaten him up. Immediately I was locked in my room and discussions of sending me to “special place” began under the carpet. Hence, it was only normal for my parents to forget my birthday. But Amma had taken the trouble to request my parents to get a cake for me. I hated cakes but Sam loved them. Hence, every year on my birthday a cake was ordered for me to cut it and for Sam to relish them to his heart's content. As soon as the cake arrived Amma finished her customary prayer, kissed my forehead and Sam's too. She then held my hand as I cut the cake neatly in small pieces. She then took a piece and turned towards Sam however I had already shoved a piece in Sam's mouth. Sam licked the chocolate and gulped it down. He looked delighted. Then suddenly something happened. Before he could take a second bite he turned blue. He fell from his chair and started gasping for breath. Within seconds he was motionless. Amma screamed for help and Sam was rushed to the hospital.

“Sorry, he is dead. The poison spread too fast”, the doctor with fat glasses and a big belly whispered to Amma and my parents. It happened so fast that I could barely comprehend the series of events.

Mahesh later told me that I killed my best friend. I could never explain to him that I didn’t. I just shared my cake. I felt pain for the first time at Sam’s funeral. When I placed the books next to him in the coffin, I felt he was talking to me, as if revealing a secret. I wanted to say sorry but I was pulled away. The coffin was then taken away. Amma held my hand throughout Sam’s last journey. I thought she was angry with me but she didn’t say a word.

"Amma why did Sam die?" I asked Amma.
"Because God wanted him to be free from his pain." Amma answered, her eyes wet.

A week later Amma was fired from her job which she anticipated anyway. I still don’t know why? A new nanny was hired. She was huge and looked like a snob. It didn’t matter to me because I had grown up by then and didn’t need anyone.

"Write letters to me and I will write you back", Amma told me as she packed her bag. 
"Okay. But will you respond?" I asked
"Yes, I will. Always." She assured
"What if you don’t?" I asked sensing that soon I will be alone, again.
"Then you must understand that I am dying." She smiled.
"Okay, then I will come and meet you. Wait till I come. Don’t die before that. I will place you in your coffin." I expressed my desire.
"Sure. After all a son has to do it for his mother", she said and I felt tears fall on my hands as she kissed them, the last time.


"Her heart beats have stopped", the nurse exclaimed.

"Oh! That means she is dead. Don’t worry she was waiting for me." I explained.

She ran and called the doctor who made me sign some papers mechanically. They see death and dead bodies so often that it becomes a routine for them. I brought Amma back to her humble home in Kerala. The funeral was a simple one. Not many people had gathered. A shrunken Amma had been placed in the coffin and buried. Father Agnes completed the prayer and after few minutes people left. I stayed there longing for her. Perhaps longing and pain felt the same. Except that pain was felt on the right side of the chest and longing on the left side.

I stayed there till night. I was wondering if Amma had forgiven me for what I did to Sam. I didn’t get a chance to beg for her forgiveness. Whenever I wrote about it in the letter she responded with a verse from bible. I tried recalling all the verses and if any of them hinted towards my question but I couldn’t. I stood up and walked to the nearby church. My eyes turned wet. I had never cried before. That could be because I never felt what a loss felt like. It pained and hurt. So I cried that night in the church and requested Amma’s God to take care of her.

The next day when Father Agnes came home where I was expected to finish some rituals and leave, he handed me a paper. It is a letter for you. God bless you. You must learn to forgive and let go. His pearls of wisdom were too much for my little brain to comprehend. I kept the letter safe in the pocket of my shirt. As the rituals concluded and people spoke kind words for Amma I felt the pain getting stronger. I was missing Sam as well. The fact that I had been a part of his death sometimes drove me nuts. I packed my bag and decided to leave immediately. The house was handed over to Father Agnes who planned to start an old age home there. It was Amma’s wish after all. I was happy for her and Sam.

The train for Bombay was on time. I preferred trains. Flights were just too fast and I didn’t want to reach Mumbai so soon, anyway. I boarded the train and found my seat amidst smell of coconut oil and a sea of human sweat. I looked outside as the train took speed. The trees, green hill tops, all washed off from my eyes by a strong breeze within seconds. That is when I remembered the letter and decided to read it.

Dear Rajat,

By the time you read this I must have begun my journey to meet God. As I write this my hands tremble and my heart pounds. This is perhaps my last letter to you. Cancer has claimed all of my energy. It has spread too fast though I feel it’s good in a way. I will die and meet Sam. At least I will be closer to one of my sons.

All throughout the past decade your your letters you have asked me if I forgave you for Sam’s death. No I didn’t and it is because it wasn’t needed. You didn’t kill Sam. He died because I wanted him to die. I had seen him suffer in pain and I wanted his suffering to end. I had to do it Kanna. I am glad Sam died next to his best friend. I don't know if  what I did was right or wrong. I just know that Sam deserved some peace. I hope you will forgive me and if you can’t I will understand.

When I first met you I was told that you don’t understand Love and other emotions. But if you are reading this then you have understood all of it, better than anyone else. After all who comes to see a dying Nanny?

I have loved you my child and when I meet God I will ask him to bless you abundantly.
Place your hand on my heart, do you feel my love? Thank you for being my son. I am dying peacefully.

God Bless!

I held the letter in my hand and felt a wave of emotions run through me. Anger, vengeance, pity, hatred, love. All of it at once. For the first time in my life I found myself standing on the crossroads. I had to choose between - Love and Forgiveness.

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