Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A goodbye I never wanted; a goodbye I never got..

A goodbye I never wanted; a goodbye I never got..

“Hey, you left without saying goodbye,” she would complain as soon as I would return from school. She would make this fake angry face and I would run behind her, without getting changed. “Please na, sorry na,” I would coax her. She would suppress her giggles, eventually bursting into a smile. It would be priceless.

Did I tell you that she’d make the best aaloo fry in the whole damn world? Did I tell you that she was best fashion designer I’ve met? I’m sure all my barbies are nodding their heads inside the showcase! I didn't need siblings because I had her -- we’d fight, act snooty, ignore each other and then patch up, after which, she’d treat me to all the goodies that she would whip up in the kitchen.

She was my ‘secret’ locker. She knew names of everyone I liked, I hated, I fought with and all of that. I’d come back from school with a bagful of stories, and she’d listen to me with utmost attention. Just to ensure that she’d listened to me properly, I would finish off the verbal diary session with a quiz - and dammit, she would pass with flying colours, all the time. Ludo, snakes and ladders, monopoly and carrom would be dished out of the cupboards as soon as schools would shut for vacations.

But she’d also complain about me to ammai, just like annoying siblings do. “Oh, she didn’t study the whole day,” she would announce unceremoniously as soon as ammai would arrive from office. But as soon as ammai would get angry with me, she would pounce on her, promising that she’d ensure it doesn’t happen again. She’d make me sit on my study table, promising me a hot cup of tea and all her magic from the kitchen. Did I tell you that nobody would be able to plan surprises in her presence?

She’d tease me, annoy me, love me, yell at me. She’d cook for me, play with me, take care of me. She’d sing and crack the silliest of jokes. She’d solve puzzles in a jiffy. She once asked me this puzzle: “A man was called for an interview that would be from two to two to two two. What was time window?” She was a human spray, and we all would laugh at her when she’d spray at us and she would cover her mouth with her hands to prevent any more liquid damage! She was the most animated lady I’d seen!

When I'd be irritated with my tailor for messing up with my dresses, she’d say, “This is the latest ‘passion’”. Please note that the response would be the same for any sort of goof-up -- tight, loose, wrong design, wrong fabric! Oh and she’d give me pocket money, too, on special occasions and otherwise.

In the midst of all this madness, I grew up. But, so did she. She grew old, and older; frail, and frailer. But her charm remained the same. Our equation, that didn’t change.

One day, the tables turned around. She left without saying goodbye. I was angry. I told myself that as soon as she’d come back, I’d say, “Hey, you left with without saying goodbye,” make a fake angry face and wait for her to make me giggle. And wait I did, but she didn’t return. I had an angry face all through, but I closed my eyes and saw her face and I couldn’t be angry anymore.