“My greatest loss, huh?”, she asked the interviewer.
Her eyes were gleamy. One could not tell if she was in pain or deep regret. She seemed to walk down an unperturbed memory lane. She sat there. Lips sealed, for like a minute. “Ma’am? Your greatest loss? Do you recall any?”, the interviewer distracted her. She glanced at her and thought for a second to just shake her head and deny but she couldn’t. She had to speak- of the loss, of people who had to leave and she could not say Goodbye to.
It’s been such a long time she spoke about it to anybody.
“You know, all of us go through a phase where everything seems just so perfect and at times, everything just seems so perfectly wrong. But when we are in the phase of the perfectly right things, we begin to take things for granted. That these good things are meant to happen to us. Well, no. We are supposed to learn that things don’t always remain the same. Some people stay; some choose to leave. Few, we say goodbye. And a very few, need to leave. That’s the hardest part.
The most difficult of all is kicking out all your dreams with that one person. The one who taught you how to learn your alphabets, who held your fingers when you were struggling to walk, who smiled at your stupidity and you knew you needed to not do it anymore, who defended you when both your parents were on wrath, who lent you money when you were bankrupt, the one whose cellphone you stole to call your boyfriend. When a person like that needs to leave and there’s nothing you can do about it, that’s the most difficult of all”, she was wandering in some other universe when she spoke. Like, she was going through all of it all over again. Teardrops fell. She managed to wipe them off. “I’m sorry I became so emotional”.
“No, that’s okay”, the interviewer tried to console her. “Well, who is this person you were talking about?”, she co
uldn’t hold it within herself.
“That beautiful lady was my grandmom”, she said with a grin across her face.
“Would you like to share with us a piece of her?”
“She was a beautiful lady; had the spirit of an eagle yet her soul carried more secrets than The Secret Chamber itself. She knew how to smile when all she wanted to do was cry incessantly. She would love you selflessly and knew exactly how to make someone feel good. Her eyes spoke love. The aura around her, I tell you, it was pure. Maybe, you think I’m exaggerating or something. But, no. She was no goddess. She was my grandmother. And I wish I could take you to her for the authenticity of the information but…I can’t. She’s dead.”
“Do you remember anything about that day?”
” That’s not a day I really want to remember, though. Well, I can still see the faded bedsheets she was covered with. I remember the fluorescent bulbs and the shoes scattered outside the room and the mosaic tiled floor. I am holding her body so tight that I wish she’s playing some kind of trick. She couldn’t be that cold and lifeless.
She pulls the jacket closer around her and a dull pain fills her nostrils as she is trying to keep from crying.
“Enough about that. Anything you cherish the most?”
She smiles softly. The transition seemed quite genuine.
“Yes, I do. The most? Well, all of it. If I could, I would cherish every single moment I spent with her. Every single imagery of hers is vividly awake in my thoughts. I remember how her wrinkled hands clasped mine and she taught me how to write. She spoke numbers and letters with her broken, raspy voice that still held so much love. And sometimes, even today, when I am on my way back, I dream of returning home to find my grandmother sitting on the sofa, knitting me a red scarf. I remember she used to massage my hair with the same jasmine oil, her favorite. The warmth of her hands used to spread in every little corner of my scalp. The jingle of her bangles while she did that, melodious they were to me. Oh, I wish I could bring her back!”