“I do not like it very much here. Its very uncomfortable. Do take me home soon please..” these were the words my grandpa uttered to me in the hospital room in his ICU ward with the tubes and wires all attached to him.
“Very soon grandpa” I lied, feeding him the soup. I did not know how soon he would come home. “ I want to go home today!”, he ordered, making a face a three year old would make to go home from school. “ I have to leave for college, brother is going to be here soon, I promise I will call him and tell him to talk to the doctor about your discharge” , I said wiping the sweat off his brows. “And I will definately give granma your love… See you tomorrow, bye.” I left for my college, reached there had my lunch very reluctantly as the cacophony of his words rung in my brain repeatedly. Something did not feel right in the pit of my stomach. I packed my tiffin and ran up to the lab to finish my experiments. I had just started when my phone rang, it was mom.
That was the phone call I never want to remember! That was the phone call that had that capacity to completely change me. Can you imagine how three words can detonate your state of mind and leave you dumbstruck and absolutely stunned. “… Grandpa passed away”, these were the words my mom said and started sobbing over the phone. I remember extremely vaguely what happened after that. My two best friends came to drop me in a vehicle to reach home (which I did not wish to go as my grandmother who is my strength and courage even today, would be standing there helpless and in despair).
Not a single tear was shed by her. No! her strength knew no bounds. “ Don’t cry”, she told me, not yet. After a while grandpa was brought home on a stretcher. I couldn’t look at my grandma, she sat in a corner of the couch. I sat at her feet with my head in her lap, both looking at grandpa talking heart-to -heart. People kept saying make your grandma cry she maybe in a shock. Spoke about their experiences with him, women hugged her, sobbed. But alas not a word from her, not a tear.
I did not force her either, I knew deep down… she knows what she is doing.
All the last rites were done and they were taking grandpa away. She said with a heavy voice and tears welled up in her eyes, “See you left first, you wanted that always! After all these wonderful 60 years of togetherness you left me incomplete..” and again she gained control. She gestured him his last kiss, his goodbye kiss.
They took him away. The moment he was out of the house grandma had a detonation of her own. This was the blast she could never recover from, nor can any of us. I hugged her, wiping her unremitting tears… “Incomplete..” she mumbled.