A year would end tonight. Tomorrow is a new beginning. Hopefully, a beautiful beginning. I’d like to thank some people for the way they have touched my heart.
Being the introvert that I am, I don’t usually have a lot of people around me and I wouldn’t prefer it anyway. I am not writing this with an intention to talk about my complicated or simple (that’s always subjective) self. It’s just an effort to express my happiness and gratitude for having those people in my life. Their presence makes it calm and serene. It’s because of them, my life’s journey has been ‘so far, so good’. I am not an expressive person and too much of intimacy seems awkward to me. Pretty much like ‘Sheldon Cooper’ here. Anyway, I’m sure the ones I love, know it and love me despite it. I share a soul connection with all of them and hence, they are very precious to me.
Ma ( Mommy or Meemow is how I call her when nobody’s around)
My Mother. I am not sure if there can ever be a Mother better than her. But then, most of the children think about their Mothers like that. She’s perfect, absolutely perfect. Unlike me, she smiles all the time, talks a lot, laughs a lot, would surprise me at times with a quirky waltz or her soft humming of a song from some ancient era. That’s her picture in my heart. She’s what a wonder woman is in my ideal world. Beautiful, lovable, intelligent (she topped in Mathematics and Physics throughout her academic career), progressive, sensitive, a perfect teacher, a perfect home maker, a wonderful cook, an extremely creative lady. She’s all that and so much more. It’s definitely the good karma of past lives that I am her daughter. I have never told her that I love her and I don’t think I can do that any day. All I can do is continue fooling her with the self made medical facts so that she allows me to skip meals and not force me to drink milk (that’s a sensitive topic so let’s just leave it and now this write up is off limits to her). I’ll always yell at her when she hugs and kisses me and I’ll always call her all the silly names I can think of. Thus, I'll express my love for her from the moment I wake up and see her busy completing a Sudoku, going to the school where she is the headmistress, till the time she goes off to sleep after watching some silly(subjective) television series. Thank you Universe, for her.
My Father. If you think, I am a little grumpy most of the times, that’s because I am my father’s daughter. Well, that’s my poor attempt at humor. We aren’t grumpy. We observe, think more and talk less. We are scared to get hurt or hurt others. That should explain the tough exterior. Softness has to have a tough shell. I am very much like my Dad if not just like him. We are the two quiet people who hardly talk even when we are in the same room for hours together doing the same thing. Yet there is a strange communication, an understanding of vibes so strong that it’s inexplicable. He’s the best father one can have. Ethical, honest, trustworthy, strong, motivational, protective, down to earth, impeccably polite, generous, considerate, extremely intelligent, a good orator, very well updated with the latest technology and an avid golfer. He’s all that and much more. He’s the strongest emotional support I have. Even without my saying anything, he gets to know what I feel. He is the father who’ll leave everything and fly a thousand miles to be with his child if he realises he or she is in pain. I've never been denied anything I've asked for. He has always trusted me and has been supportive in just everything. Though he'd make sure I'm humble and down to earth at all times, he walks around proudly declaring to the world, 'Look, that's my daughter, my pride.'
It’s because of him and Mom, I know what Unconditional love is.
It’s because of him and Mom, I know what Unconditional love is.
My brother. He is the best human being I know. One would kill to possess a heart like his. I’ve never heard him speak or wish ill for anyone. He forgives and forgets so easily that even I get awestruck at times. I won’t be exaggerating if I say he is a masterpiece of creation. He’s loved by the people wherever he goes. He’s someone who is extremely artistic, sensitive, generous and affectionate. At times, he might be unmindful and slip into a world of his own(he almost got drowned in the Indian Ocean once because of that and is worse than me in receiving his calls) but otherwise, like any other guy of his age, he loves to eat good food, experiments with music( he’s a good guitarist and a good vocalist as well. He almost worships Chris Daughtry.), dresses well and socializes. He has a strong zeal to help people in need. I have seen him going out of his way to extend a helping hand, giving away everything he has even for complete strangers. The little kid, he even helped a thief once, who had been beaten up badly by some people and was bleeding profusely. He missed an important appointment to take the man to a hospital and even managed not to faint (He faints at the sight of blood). When I asked what made him do that when he was running out of time to reach a certain place, he just said, 'It's because that man needed help and I could help him. That was the most important thing to do at that moment'. I was stunned for a moment and felt so tiny in front of him. Yet, it disturbs me because good people like him are always taken advantage of. Anyway, as long as I am alive, I'll take care of him like I did in school. Bash up anyone who'd hurt him :). He trusts easily, which can get disappointing at times but he never stops believing in people. He has just stopped believing that he still has hair on his head.
Thank you for being my perfect little brother. I know I bully you at all times but that's how I am capable of showing my affection. I just hope you forgive me all the time and let me know if I cross the line. (Goodness! I sound like a psycho!)
My best friend throughout the school life. She was the quietest child in the class and perhaps that’s why we were such good friends. I didn’t talk much. Neither did she. We would sit under a tree during the recess and stare at the people around, content with each other’s company. The other thing which we did was collect resinous exudates from the barks of trees around the playground. We’d discuss the different shapes excitedly. That’s all the conversation we usually had. But there were days, a conversation would never end and it would invariably be about something which touched our hearts intensely. She is miles away now, yet she is very dear to me.
Thank you for being the sweetest friend a child could have.
I consider her my elder sister. Not all bonds are formed by blood, there are some where the souls connect in a way that it’s impossible to undo them. I met her in the beginning of my second year in medical college. We were two shy people who opted to occupy the rooms in an isolated part of our hostel, situated on the hill amidst the huge trees. This wing was almost cut off from the rest of the hostel. I was a little terrified of her initially, thinking she too might be one of the sadistic seniors who mentally tortured the new entrants of the hostel. Later I came to know, she was new in the hostel as well and was anything but intimidating. The first thing I noticed was her really huge collection of books (not the medical books) and lots of music cassettes. That's how we began talking. Books and music brought us closer. When I look back, it seems like she was some sort of a protective pad for me out there. Whenever I landed up in trouble and had no one around, she’d miraculously appear and save my day. She has seen me at my best and my worst. My appendicitis pain, emotional vulnerabilities, my panic attacks, crankiness, silly crushes.. she has seen them all and has taken care of me in my weakest moments. I haven’t met a warmer person. People like her reinforce a believer's belief in angels. She’s one of the finest doctors, well balanced, empathetic and extremely intelligent. She writes really well. She is one my favorite writers. Whatever she pens down is just so perfect that one can actually see what she sees and feel what she feels. She loves potatoes, soy bean and rice. She is mostly a vegetarian except of course she has prawns and crabs at times. The reason I mentioned this is, that's one of the many things I'll remember about her. She’ll scold me if I talk about her eating habits anymore. So I’ll stop here for now.
Thank you for being my angel.
Moitreyee is the beautiful epitome of friendship. She is the perfect lady. A little cranky, somewhat paranoid and extremely affectionate. She is the people’s person. Loved by the old and the young alike. Now what do I say about her! Perfection doesn’t need too many words to be described. We share our intense fondness for Romance, Bon Jovi, Chinese food and Good Etiquettes. She would be a mother to me most of the times (she’ll kill me for this). I’ve never met a person who has the courage to love and give the way this girl does. It’s amazing the way she holds people together. The intensity with which she can love, the way she can love without fear, is laudable. She gets hurt too but I’ve seen her rising quickly without letting the fall affect her in anyway. She is one of those people who believe that the only significance of the scars in life is that they indicate how many times you have survived the blow of fate.
Thank you for never judging me.
My favorite teacher. I lost her to leukaemia 6 years back. I remember the way I would be spell bound when she would throw light upon a topic. History seemed like the most interesting thing on Earth because of her. She’d take out all the illustrative books and explain things in a manner that one would remember them forever. Not only her words, the way of talking, I loved everything about her. That easy smile, the encouraging pat on the back, the air of confidence when she walked, the music she listened to, the collection of books she had, the delicious food she cooked, just everything. Sub consciously, I tried to mirror her. Since she was my Mom’s friend, I was always welcome to her place if I had a doubt in social studies. Almost everyday, I’d invent a doubt and run to her when the other kids would be busy playing. I just loved to hear her talk and listen to all those stories. She would even let me borrow her books. How I miss her today.
You were and you still are one of the finest ladies I know. Thank you for inspiring me to value myself.
My paternal grandfather. He stayed with us in Assam during my early years. The dreamer inside me was nurtured by him. When I think of my childhood, I think of him. I was a spoilt brat since he pampered me too much and protected me from the wrath of my mother all the time (my mother was a tyrant during my growing up years). I could get away with just anything. He was my first friend. I’d trouble him, cling to him, ask him hundreds of questions everyday and in the evenings, I’d drag him to a nearby shop so he could buy me chocolates. He used to tell me lots of stories. All sorts of stories but mostly the ones with a good moral teaching. I loved listening to him attentively and had even picked up his Ganjam accent( People from the Ganjam district of Orissa have a certain accent). Dad says I sounded really hilarious. It was because of Baba, I spoke Oriya with a good clarity and had a good vocabulary . It amazed people when they were told that I was living in Assam. There’s another memory which makes me smile when I think about him. He used to trim his own hair. Once, I offered to help and he trusted me with the scissors. I made a real mess. He looked almost bald. All hell broke loose as soon as he saw himself in the mirror. I ran away before he could bash me up. The whole day, he was muttering under his breath that I was the devil in disguise and I wisely stayed out of his sight. These are some vague memories of my dearest Grandpa who left for his heavenly abode in the year 2003.
Thank you for nurturing the good in me.
My paternal Grandmother. She stayed in Orissa throughout and we would meet her only during our annual vacation. She was an amazing story teller, an extremely knowledgable lady, quiet, kind and very pious. It was her logical mind which appealed to me the most. It was rare for a lady of that generation to be so progressive and tolerant to changes. My mother says, she is the ideal mother-in-law one can have. It is because of her, education has been the most important thing in our family. My Granny encouraged everyone to think, question and then decide for themselves. She was the epitome of strength and was immensely loved by everyone. The day I entered the medical college, she was the happiest person. She told, ‘Nothing else matters if you are a compassionate, hard working and a generous doctor. I don’t expect anything less than that from you. When you are serving mankind, you are serving God’. That’s what she told me everytime she saw me. I hope I live up to that expectation. I lost her to death a month back. I really miss her.
Thank you for inspiring me to be strong and independent.
My maternal Grandmother. She is one really adorable person. A hardcore feminist, progressive and loves experimenting with everything (her hairstyle, clothes, shoes, etc).. She is the real star, the style icon in our family. I absolutely love my Aai for she still has that spark, the zeal to grow, a will power that is rare in these times and the positive outlook. She has kept the child in her still alive and the child is so lovable. Often she tells me, ‘Your Grandfather was mean. When I wanted to work, he asked me to sit at home and look after the kids. I feel I supressed a part of me because of him.’ Then when I scold my Grandfather, he’d smile and say,’Those days, it was like that’. Then if I just say, ‘Grandpa, you’ve put on weight’, my granny would yell at me, ‘You shouldn’t say like that, he looks so weak. You should rather ask him to eat properly.' That’s the love between them after 52 years of togetherness. My Aai has a habit of worrying about silly little things. One fine day, I was reading something while she was busy knitting. All of a sudden, she kept aside her knitting kit and said, 'These days, almost all girls have boyfriends. Why don't you have one? What's wrong?' To say I was petrified would be an understatement. I lifted up the book so that it covered my blushing face and I mumbled, 'I am normal, that's all you should know. It's just that I don't have time.' 'Okay', she said sounding unconvinced and melancholic. Therefore, my brother calls her, 'Dukhi Aatma' (translated as the sad soul). She has got another name as well. This one is given by my younger sisters. 'Subhuchi' (translated as 'do you hear me?'). The reason behind this nomenclature is, every time she receives a call, she'll say, hello, subhuchi? (when that's something the other person should ask because she refuses to use the hearing aid that she has been prescribed since a few years)
Thank you for inspiring me to keep the child alive in me.
My paternal Grandfather. He is a wonderful man, one of a kind. A thinker, philosopher and an avid reader. It was because of him I had read Osho when I was fourteen years old. (Though it was a delightful read, my Granny was devasted as she thought fourteen was the age to read lighter stuff). My spiritual quest began with that. He was the first person to share his insight on death with me. Me and my Aja have long discussions on lots of things specially about the books we read. What I love most about these discussions is, he is always open to new ideas. It amazes Mom because he never talks to anyone else that much. It’s just me and my elder sister. Other than reading books, he loves eating. He’d often ask me to bake a cake for him, especially the Lebanese cake. I love the way he relishes it saying, ‘very good’ with every bite. He gets upset when he has to share the cake with others. Then he also loves the Oreo biscuits, chocolates and MAGGI (I find him absolutely adorable when he would sit on the table with a bowl and a fork while the maggi is being prepared. He'd excitedly say, 'Now I'll have the two minute noodles.'). He’s a person who has to follow a routine. Exactly at 1 pm everyday, he’ll be walking around the dining table laying down the table mats, indicating that it’s lunch time. Our biggest similarity is, we are very clumsy. Well, he's a little more than me. No wonder my Granny is so paranoid. Even my Dad would sigh when Grandpa bangs hard the car door as he steps out. When I see his picture in my mind, I see him wearing a faded pair of jeans, a colorful t shirt, a pair of glasses in a black retro frame, sport shoes and a perfect smile. Rather a hearty laugh till tears spill out.
Thank you for inspiring me to love my quirks.