Monday, 16 April 2012

Nadaan Parindey....

Remember , I took more than usual time a few days back for my blog entry and promised that I will explain the delay. Well here is the reason. 

What comes to mind when I ask you to imagine Pankaj Udhas sitting on a stage, harmonium in hands, shawl around his neck singing something that makes Amrita Singh and Sanjay Dutt cry in the audience? 

Most of you must have guessed the song. The ghazal, no doubt, is a legendary contribution by Bollywood to the particular emotion it tries to evoke. For me that song never really meant anything. I liked the lyrics, the melody et all but never really related directly to it as I was not the one it addressed - ( Trust me I still cry when I hear Babul Ki duayen leti ja as it did address me once in my life)

But strangely a few days back I went through a phase which made me refer to this song again and again and again! 

I lost my 95 year old Grandmother last month. She died a natural death, quite usual for her age. The fact that she was absolutely hail and hearty till her last days, does make us miss her a lot but because of her age, the family has definitely come to terms with her passing away easily. What truly is inspirational is that she did not die a lonely death too. While she lived with one of her sons, her other sons and a daughter spent her last 20 days with her. As the second generation, me and my cousins ( who were blessed enough to be with her when she breathed her last) witnessed a range of emotions just looking at the generation before ours- Our parents.

Even at her frail age I saw her children and their spouses desperate to have her around. I saw them listening patiently to her Doctors and holding on to every positive word he uttered. I saw them quietly shedding a tear when she suffered and secretly praying that no matter what, she should not GO. There was nothing we could do as Grandchildren except for run around our parents, help them with physical labor, calm them by arranging things which could lessen their mental stress and of course pray along with them.

This experience gave me a huge insight into my own relationship with my parents. How many times I have kept the phone down on my mother because I was busy with my kids. How many times my brother has refused to accompany our father to an acquaintance's place because he was busy with his own friends. When I saw that last moment of my Father's mother slipping out of his hands, I realized, he had just let go of a very important person in his life. At the same time I was proud that he will not regret not being there when she must have yearned his company the most.

The question that stared me is what can I still do to not let my parent's living moments slip out of my hands? The least I can do is be around them whenever they need me! They will never say they will need us because they want us to live our dreams and grow out and find our own lives but will I ever be able to see myself in the mirror if I will not be around when they DO NEED me? No! For the first time in my life I felt it was not my parents who were lucky that their son and daughter are just a few hours away from them ( being in the same city or country) but its us who are lucky to have made this choice and be able to reach them when they will need us the most- when they deserve us to be around! For the nth time in my life, my parents led by example and gave me a big lesson by just being what they are.

At the other end there are many people I know who went through the same grief as we did but understandably could not transcend the physical and geographical boundaries to share this experience of ours. To every such person I know ( and may not know...), these lines are resonating endlessly in my head:

" Aaja Umar bahut hai choti....
          Apne ghar main bhi hai roti"

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