My favourite Grandmother’s birthday. (Well, I did not get to meet my other grandmother (Nana Lucy),
so Nana Ivy was a clear winner!)
This was also the day I saw her for the last time.
My 6 year old heart broke into a million pieces. I couldn’t fathom why she had to leave us.
Where did she go? Did she really have to leave?
Lucky Ali’s ‘ O Sanam’ played on loop.
“Milke bichadna toh dastoor ho gaya”
Those words stayed with me.
My dad tried to soothe me by telling me to write letters to Nana in heaven.
And I did that. Almost everyday I had something to share with her.
Tell her what happened during the day. Bring home the chocolates I got at school.
Ask her to protect me from the mean world and their jibes.
I wrote, and wrote, and wrote.
And never ever got a reply.
I was even more heartbroken then.
Everyone spoke about her dying on the same day as her birthday.
All the time. Like it was something so fascinating.
I wondered. How could something like that happen?
Could it happen to me too?
Everyone was in the living room, for my birthday party.
I’d turned 7. But there were no kisses from Nana.
No extra gifts. Not even a letter from her.
Was she angry with me? Did she deliberately leave?
Why would she do that?
I wanted to meet her so bad.
When no one was looking, I took the knife I was supposed to cut my cake with,
neatly decorated with a ribbon, and sneaked away into the bedroom.
I’d seen enough Hindi movies to know that slitting your wrist is painless,
and that you die almost instantly. (Sigh, movies and their lies).
I’d just placed the knife on my wrist, and was getting ready to say hi to Nana,
when mom & dad called out to me. The candles on my cake were dying out.
“Come & cut your cake, darling! We are all waiting for you!”
That brought me back to reality.
The memories came rushing back.
Miss you, Nana!