My Tau ji (uncle) got expired yesterday afternoon! The news came shocking! I was practicing on my Guitar for Dec. 31st performance when my husband called and informed me. I was taken aback! It was hard to believe. It still is.
I guess at this time of the morning, they must be taking his body to the cremation spot. I could not see him last time. Since no ticket was available for today, we have got our flight tickets done for tomorrow. Lots of family members and relatives have already arrived at my native. They must be mourning right now. I feel awful! Really terrible! How much my sister and I wanted our tau ji to come to our Bangalore homes and stay with us. His plan was almost fixed but something came in between and all our planning and shared enthusiasm went in vain. But if he had come here, at least we could have spent a little more time with him and listen to his talks and made him feel special in our ways.
Last night before I fell asleep, memories deluged me with an unexpected force. I thought about how he cared for me and how his business and family were above everything. Tears rolled down at sweet memories while I sobbed realizing there won't be any of them anymore. I was his favorite of all my sisters and he always made sure to bring me something whenever he traveled. Now I will stay devoid of his special edition love and care much like my grandmother's.
This morning I was remembering when he and two of my bua jis and fufa g and bhabhi had come to our Ejipura house a few years ago at late night. They came for merely 2-3 hours but they made my house happy, they made the atmosphere jovial with their laughter, buzzing conversations and lots of love. We loved their stay! Sumit and I both kept insisting on them to stay for the night but tau ji didn’t listen. They all had come for South tour. Spending time out of the itinerary only meant loss of travel here and there. So we had to let them go. But we still cherish those moments. Today, those moments give me a mix bag of feelings. I feel happy to be able to call him at my house while feeling utterly sad that I wont be able to do it anymore. He is gone, my tau ji is gone!
He struggled a great deal with cancer and got operated in Mumbai but it was only because of my sister that his disease said good bye forever and never dared to come back. We can never be thankful enough for what she did. She did a splendid job there, by taking care of his health and everything. Afterwards, tau ji was stuck to only liquid diet. Everything ground finely and poured in a big glass/bowl. He would slowly slurp however he never complained while I am sure he must have felt bad every time drinking his meals like this. It was bad seeing him eating his breakfasts, lunches and dinners like this while we all ate and enjoyed morsels of our meals with biting and chewing. But his will to keep up the pace with the repercussions of the disease and the loneliness has always been astonishing, an exemplary example to me. He had no wife, no son and daughter in law. All he had was us, his younger brothers’ family yet he never let any of us feel we were not his family. He loved us all! He smiled and laughed. He talked and stayed silent. He scolded and showered love and affection. He did everything that a man of his stature should do. He stayed the part of our lives while his was shredded into pieces over the time, when his wife died and when he lost his health to cancer. He was simply a man who never knew losing a battle. He kept up his with life till the end moment.
I salute him, I love him, I totally adore him and now I miss him. This little writing is a heartfelt dedication to what my tau ji was and is to me. And he will continue to stay the same forever, an inspiration, a pillar of strength and a reservoir of love. I pray for his soul to rest in peace after all these struggling years.