Dearest Choto Mama
I know you are watching us from heavens above, sitting, smiling and swinging in a substitute form of your arm chair thing, and making other inhabitants laugh with your sarcastic remarks and dry humor.
We are all torn apart. You left so suddenly. There was no time to say good bye. You were the glue stick holding everything together back home at Agartala. How you managed all that with such sanguine sanity and smile? That was a secret that went with you.
I can still visualize you there. It is just hard to believe that you are no more. You had no health complaints whatsoever. Just once I remember asking you to get some annual lab reports done and you rubbished the entire process! And today all I have is memories. Beautiful memories of you taking us to Rajbari, Maa’er bari and all other parts of Tripura. Wearing colored kurtas with ever smiling eyes and bushy moustache on a round face. And above all, a most pleasing personality. I never saw you lose your temper or raise your voice. And you had the most innovative ingenious ideas for all sorts of situations.
My maternal family is a beautiful bunch of fairly complex, crazy and compassionate people. The head of the family is my gentle Nani who is well above 95 years of age now. She had a pretty hard life. Lost her husband very young and yet she worked hard and gave a decent parenting to all her children. Lost her eldest son, separated from her middle son but was still a smiling loving patreon to the rest of her 3 children, their 3 respective spouses and her 5 grandchildren. She has followed all the right principles for a simple life. And has worshipped her God with such fervor and devotion. She has never said any harsh words to anyone. I guess that alone has given her so much courage to face all the calamities that she has withstood.
My Masi is her second born. A strong willed great courageous lady. She studied hard and worked and looked after and provided for all her younger siblings ( 2 brothers and one sister, my mom). She is still there, looking after her estranged family with one hand and the other stretched out to my Nani, wiping her inconsolable tears. She is shattered inside. You were like her elder son too. A constant moderator of her life, her family. No more will she see you descending from your old scooter giving her a sardonic smile and finishing away her food and munching away her paan.
My mom will always miss her chorda. She cries herself to sleep and will perhaps never again be normal again. Not only her and us, the family, but the whole of Ramnagar lane will miss you and your effervescent adda. You were a Mama to everyone. Ever ready to help. Never turning anyone away. The void that you have left behind was felt in your funeral when large crowds had thronged to get a last glimpse of you, even in these corona scare times.
You were only 63. That is not an age to leave. All our video calls with you in the last year were only focused on the ailing Nani. No one could say that you looked the least bit of sick. You were just the opposite of sick. So pleasant, so joyous, so full of energy. No one could say that you had so much burden on yourself. You stubbornly refused to keep a nurse for Nani and would do all her tasks yourself when she fell bed ridden. You were a patient, loving husband for my Mami, who is herself suffering from long illness. How on earth will she survive now?
You did your duties so well that it is extremely difficult for my little bro to step into your shoes now. No one can fill your space. That space will forver be a vaccum in our hearts. But at the end of the day, he is a part of you. He has that same sort of dry humor and the same caring attitude. But he is still very young. Time sure has been a tough teacher to him. I bet, he will learn fast. Afterall, he has the same brains as you.
I hope that your soul finds sadgati, moksha. You truly deserve to be free from bondages of life and death. All your life, you toiled. With your own efforts and hardwork you created this Ramnagar bari. Now may you find a similar bari in Vaikuntha dham near Prabhu’s holy feet.