For the many thoughts that come and go unannounced and the ones which refuse to budge out of my head…

Archive for the ‘Grief’ Category

Thank you, T.J.


Dear TJ,

Nature works in mysterious ways, and I have reason to believe it does. I write to you every year, hoping I get a response from you. It’s been three years since you’ve been gone, but I know you’ve always been right here beside me. It may sound a wee bit insane, but deep down, I just know it’s you, standing by me through all my laughter, tears, sickness and health. I always crave for a response, and somehow, in one magical way or another I seem to get it from you.

Words seem to fail me when it comes to describing how much I miss you. I hope you know how hard it’s been for me without you. Without that first morning hug and bright smile and sometimes the tough love and lectures about how I need to get my act together. I hope you know that the void you left behind was not an easy one to fill.

A part of my life went with you the day you left us. And for sometime, I was left stunned and in disbelief, bitter and craving for that part of my life to come back to me. But life has a pace and life is the name of that unforgiving thing that gives you the time to heal, but doesn’t give you the space to show it. It is unexpected and sometimes takes turns when you’re least prepared. But it does lend you a hand when others aren’t looking, trying to make up for the pain it caused.

These three years, I have been healing, but I still have been seeking, what you seemed to have taken with you. There is a part of me that wants to let go, a part of me that wants to believe that everything happens for a reason, but no reason seems good enough when it comes to you.

But then again, there come these times in life when you believe life is working some bits of magic to give you a sliver of hope. I know you have your mysterious ways TJ, and I somehow manage to find you in even the littlest of things. You have changed my life in so many ways, and it’s amazing how you still seem to do so.

From our college pet, a little puppy whom we figuratively raised and named; a cat I brought home, hoping to raise alongside my dog; the different and sometimes crazy combinations of colours I wear; the pages in my notebook filled with random doodles; the insanity and ecstasy I feel whenever it rains; all the times I’ve been fearless to speak my mind; spicy chaat and chai-samosa sessions, and so many more of those little things in life are places I find you in. Things you imbibed in me. In every good thing I do, or positive thing I say, I feel like you are present. A part of you that lives in me and is guiding me to do those things. Do good, do the best, do right.

I know you’re out there somewhere, and I need you to know that you mean the world to me. Even if you aren’t reading this, I know that somehow, my thoughts are reaching you. TJ, you are the most special person in my life and I hope you know what you mean to me. I am the person that I am today all because of you. You have given me the strength, courage and passion to go through life with the simplicity, ease and innocence which were synonymous to you.

I would’ve loved for us to grow old together and do all those things we planned to, from being together in school and college all the way to being business partners and flatmates. I know life would have been different had you still been here, but I know deep down that you’re always right here by my side, making me go through life effortlessly and with the same passion, insanity and innocence that you did.

Tejaswee Rao, thank you for being in my life and making me what I am today. All the hurdles I crossed, the tears I fought, the fights I avoided and the hope I refused to give up, I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for being there for me and for still continuing to do so. You’ve been my mentor, sister and pillar of strength. One may think it’s cosmic coincidence, but I know it’s all you.

I hope someday I get to see you again. I wouldn’t want to wait another lifetime just to be with you, but I know you would make it worth the wait.

Love you now, forever and for always,

yours,

‘Roo

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Of an Unforgettable Friend, Precious Memories, and a Phone


Was  it all just a bad dream? Did my perfect life with all my friends and loved ones just take a drastic turn? I sat on the last desk of my college classroom, feeling numb. My hands trembling with what I just saw. My face fell, and for a while I couldn’t feel any emotion. AN saw the expression on my face and rushed towards me to grab my phone from my hand. It had a message from our teacher on the screen which said,

“I’m really sorry, I don’t know how to tell you this, but Tejaswee is no more.”

My best friend, Tejaswee, someone I had known for 11 years, was never going to come back. I couldn’t emote for a while when finally AN hugged me and we burst out crying. As we rushed to the hospital, my mom called me several times on my phone, but I had no energy left in me to even pick up the phone. Moreover, I hated the sight of that thing from then on for the bad news it brought to me. I wanted my mom, but I couldn’t bare to see my phone again.

AN picked up the phone and held it on my ear. While I couldn’t say a single word, all I did was listen, and my tears were the only thing that came out. AN held me as tight as she could and with numb faces we walked towards the hospital ward.

I hated my phone that day. I didn’t look at it for the next few days either. I couldn’t even reply to any of the messages which my friends sent as condolence. Usually it was her who called me most often, but just the thought of her name which would never flash on my screen again, made me sad and angry.

It took me a few days to gather myself. Everyday I wished for it to be a nightmare and get over with. But who knew, sometimes reality is worse than a nightmare.

I frequently went to her house, looking at her room, lying on her bed, pretending to talk to her, looking through her stuff.

One of those times I had gone to her house, and was looking through her stuff, I spotted her phone. Somehow I mustered up the courage to plug it into the charger and switch it on. I was scared to do so at first. I didn’t want to go through heartache. But there was a part of me that urged me to look into it.

I switched on the phone, and the first thing I saw was her wallpaper, which was a picture of both our hands which we had once taken in our college lawn. It reminded me of that day when the four of us, Tejaswee, AN, V and me, were together in that lawn and were making jokes and having fun, rolling over the grass like maniacs, not caring about the wide spectator-ship we had gathered. I smiled thinking about that day, it was one of those days in which we had a free class and had planned to explore the entire college for hideouts.

I looked further, and saw the call log. My number was the last received call on her phone. Life does take unexpected turns. Who knew that this would be the last time I would ever talk to her? In an instant, the last conversation we had began to play in my mind. It went something like this.

Me, “Stop being madam attention seeker, sweety, you’re scaring the hell out of all of us. Jokes apart, how do you feel now? Is there any improvement”

Tejaswee, “Don’t you worry I’ll be fine, just that my organs have enlarged and it hurts. But that’s okay, it’s just that I hate it so much, because I look so fat! ugh!”

Me, “Oh shut up. Silly girl. You better get okay soon. We have to finish making those crazy documentaries, and plan out our birthday we’re going to celebrate together.”

Tejaswee, “Arre don’t you worry, since I have nothing else to do I’m actually thinking about the guest-list and theme for our party. And don’t worry, the party’s going to be the best party ever.”

Me, “That it will. And the documentary has to be made with your magic hands.”

Tejaswee, “Achha listen, I’ve got to go now, time for some silly test again. Just remember to put a mosquito repellent cream whenever you go out, and please reduce your caffeine intake, it’s not good for you, sweety”

Me, “Dumbo, I will do that, don’t worry. But not before you’re back okay. Deal?”

Tejaswee, “We’ll see, I have to go now. Take care of yourself.”

Me, “Look who’s talking. You better get well soon okay. I love you sweety”

Tejaswee, “Muah! I will always love you, Roo” (‘Roo’ is a name only she called me)

Those last words kept playing in my mind, like a broken record. I wished I had recorded this conversation when it happened. But it was in a place far greater than that. It was engraved in my heart. In an instant as I thought about it, I broke into tears, thinking about our birthday we were supposed to celebrate together, and the fact that it would never ever happen now.

I kept staring at that call log and cried at the sight of our hands.

I shut the phone flap and tried to gather myself again. As I wiped my tears I opened the phone again. I opened the messages this time, and clicked the sent items folder. I only wanted to see the messages she had sent to me. I scrolled down further into the folder, ignoring many which were in fact sent to me, when finally I stopped at one particular message.

“Roo.. I’m taking revenge for all those times you nearly brought me into tears with those ultra lame and pathetically sad PJs of yours. 😛 (read the next message).”

And the second was this:

“Killer PJ……….

.

.

.

.

.

.

…….PJ arrested! :P”

The smile reappeared on my face, thinking about all those times I made PJs and she grudgingly tried to suppress her laughter but it ultimately led to all of us laughing in unison.

I still miss those times. And I still wish I could bring back those days. But I had to resign to the fact that those times would never come back. True, those days will never come back, but those memories will always be alive through her phone.

I realised how important my phone was, my faithful friend who saw me through my best and worst times. I opened the inbox in my own phone, and found that very same message. And all I felt thereafter, was that I would never let go of those memories which were inadvertently connected to my phone and hers.

This was the picture which was the wallpaper on her phone and now mine

For You, Tejaswee


Tejaswee,

Today, exactly two months from the day you left us, I Found this video on IHM’s blog, created by SM.

I don’t know if it was coincidence, or just the many miraculous ways God (and now you) works, that I saw it on this day.

As a matter of fact, nothing can ever make us forget you, but here is something that will help keep your memory alive.

For the 11 wonderful years that I’d known you, on the 11th day of the month today, here’s to you sweetheart.

Love you forever, Tejaswee

 

When you were around I prayed for you,

But now I’m going to pray to you,

Because, you’re the closest I could get to experience being with God

And I know you’ll be there to make all our dreams come true.

 

Never Let Go

 

Tejaswee came into my life for a reason, stayed there for a season but will always remain in my heart forever.

Dear Tejaswee…


Dear Tejaswee,

As you know, I never liked calling you by a nick name (because I respect the fact that our parents put a lot of thought into deciding names for us). This is my sixth letter to you, the previous five being the ones I had written to you when you were in the ICU, when you needed to know what was going on around you. I know you never read those letters in front of me, but I’m sure you did read them later without letting me know. Sorry for the bad grammar in them by the way, you know what state of mind I was in when I was writing them.

It’s been exactly a month since you died. And I remember the time when we were sitting in my car, and you told me that when you die, you’d prefer people to use the words death and died instead of insinuations for it. I’m sorry for not saying so before. It was just difficult for me to do so. After you died, I felt lost for quite some time. Stayed quieter than ever, was so unaware that I wet my iPod in the rain and now even that is not working any more. I quit my dance classes (I know you’re going to hate me for it, but I don’t think I could put my heart into it). And most of all I had lost my belief in God. Maybe I was really angry with him. I just couldn’t see you go. I guess I came to know about God’s human side that day, of sometimes being more selfish than man.

By the way thanks for replying to my random conversations with you through my dreams. Each one of them was so comforting. So like you, always know how to make things better. I remember the time when I cried on your shoulder about my masi being really ill, and you just made it all so much better. And made me laugh after that, and I made you swear not to tell anyone that I cried.

I still haven’t seen inception by the way. We were supposed to watch it for friendship day, the day you were hospitalised. That day you totally outdid me with the ultra lame jokes you were cracking, about us to be positive, ‘cause that’s your blood group, and the fact that you’re in the ICU, but the irony is that no one can actually ‘see you’. You also told me to reduce my caffeine intake, and yes, it has fallen drastically (V and A are witnesses to that). A, V and A are fine by the way. They still do the best they can to take my case, and now that you’re not there, there’s no one to tell them to stop. I also added D on facebook. I remember when you had told me, that I might get along with him because he’s into dance.

Aunty is doing well too, she’s being really brave. I’m sure you already know that, and you’re looking at her and giving those virtual hugs you used to give me on the phone. Uncle was ill a few weeks ago, but he’s much better now. I talk to aunty every day, speak about your little quirks and eccentricities. I also tied two rakhis to your brother, K by the way. One from you and one from me. I remember when you told me how patronising you found the whole system of the brother ‘protecting’ the sister, and that it should be mutual.

I’m sorry about those nights I spent crying, maybe it was all pent up. You see, I did the best I could to hold it in, in front of aunty and uncle. And you know me really well, before you left us, you were the only one apart from my family, who’d ever seen me cry.

You know, sometimes when I look at little things, they remind me of you. When I look at my fridge, I’m always reminded of when you labelled me as your ‘fridge-friend’, which is a friend who opens the fridge in your place and takes whatever she likes. My pillow reminds me of when we were little kids in class two, and you had told me this story about the ‘magic pillow’ you apparently had. You bum, I almost believed you at that.

Tejaswee, you may not be around physically, but I know you’re there somewhere. I know you listen to me when I talk in the air randomly and hope like hell that you’re listening. Sometimes when I watch the rain, I remember the time we danced in the rain and got wet from head to toe. Before I knew you, I never thought love existed beyond a romantic relationship. You truly showed me what love is, when you took care of me in the medical room when I had got a severe asthma attack, when you came back for me when we were crossing the road, and I got stuck in the middle. When you got me those bodyshop lip-balms in front of me and never told me that they were actually meant for me. And all those times you showed me what it is like to love a friend with all your heart.

The last day that you talked to me, you told me you’ll always love me. And I know you’ll stand by it. Please keep coming in my dreams and talking to me, you’re the only one who could give me sound advice. Life is going on, sweety. But I don’t think it can be the same without you, at least not for now. It’s going to take time. I cannot let go of you so easily. But learning from you, I am living every moment to its best. I’m honing my talent of writing, which you always believed in and encouraged. I’m going to write a book on you. People need to know what an extraordinary person you were.

You will always live on in my heart, no matter what. We’re going to do the things you always wanted to. One of them being that all of us are planning to adopt kids like you always wanted to. I still miss you sometimes, but you’re the only one who gives me the hope to live life to the fullest. Thinking about you may someday retain my faith in God, because if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have had a friend like you. You will always live on sweety, we will never let your spirit die. You’ll always be among us guiding us through right and wrong. And I will love you forever, as I promised.

Till the next time that you meet me in my dreams, loads and loads of love and big virtual hugs.

A

PS: Say hi to Heath Ledger for me and tell him I’ve been a huge fan. 🙂 And stop blushing at the mention of Heath Ledger. 😛

Love…

In Our Hearts, Forever


There was a time in my life I was an unsure, naive and timid child. I was scared to face the big, bad world alone. Or even step into it for that matter. The problem was, even though I was a child at heart, I wasn’t a child anymore.

And then something happened that changed me. In ways I had never known until now. It was this girl who came into my life-my best friend. True to her name, Tejaswee was bright and radiant, and most of all, gifted.

Her coming was my own little history repeating itself. We had childhood memories together of rescuing puppies from the street and her making the most annoying yet, fascinating little magical stories of magic microwaves and pillows. She was a crazy child.

When destiny brought us together again, she was her same crazy self. But this time more mature. However, her childlike innocence was her virtue. Her smile as infectious as ever, wormed its way into everyone’s hearts. Her optimism kept our morales at a level which could not be brought down. She was the only one who had the courage to believe that the world could be a better place.

Yes. She did change me in many ways. But not like a preachy elder or life-coach. We learned from each other. It was amazing how similar we were but we still had so much to gain from one another. Day after day we evolved into better people. We motivated each other when either of us were low and criticised each other when we knew something had gone wrong.

She wasn’t too different from me, as I said before. She too had her bit of timidity and naivety. But we got rid of it together. She taught me how to be patient and I taught her how to be calm. And together we turned from girls into women.

I had opened my heart to her completely. A place which is reserved for very few. I saw the naivety reducing, and the timid me was slowly disappearing. She taught me how to be cautious and sometimes to let go.

We danced in the rain like little crazy tadpoles and enjoyed the winter sun with as much welcome. Talked for hours on the phone till our ears ached and reduced each other to tears when we laughed together. Got butterflies in our stomachs when we talked about guys. And went to our little fantasy world when we listened to “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz.

As we grew through life she had many things to teach me. How not to treat people differently, no matter where they belonged. How to be patient and forgiving but get angry if someone was hurt.

She was a beautiful person, and she made me a better one too. She always saw that best in me and loved me despite my countless flaws. And I loved her for that.

There was a strong, unbreakable bond between us, which nothing could’ve broken, except one thing. And the unthinkable happened. She fell sick; really sick at that. But she gave us the hope that she would be back soon. All her loved ones prayed in unison. About the one thing we all need the most at that time, which was her.

But God had been selfish. He was jealous of us for having her. And he took her away from us. That day I can never forget. Though I tried to, many-a-times through those sleepless nights.

Losing her was like losing a limb. You get used it after some time, but the absence would always be felt.

Life did go on. But it could never be the same without her. I would long for that laughter time and again. But it was like she had taken my laughter with her.

But then again, she was a special person. Whenever I thought about her I didn’t have a single memory of the times spent with her, which could make me angry or sad and I never regretted any moment spent with her. Whenever I thought of her, it made me smile. And I knew somewhere, this was her doing, her trying to heal my wounds.

I looked at her pictures regularly, recalling every moment they were taken. And soon I got into contemplating. I thought about how she changed my life. How she made me a better person. A more patient, optimistic and rational being.

And from where I stand today, even as she left, she taught me a lesson in life. She made me a brave, mature and a stronger person. She indeed made me grow through life.

Tejaswee came into my life for a reason, stayed there for a season but will always remain in my heart forever.