It was past midnight and I was studying aloud...to shut all the thoughts out of my mind. I had my engineering entrance test the following day and I had to make it. I kept on revising all the formulae ...loudly ...to shut out my Dadu's voice...''maa! maa!!! My maternal grandfather ,my Dadu lay in the ICCU of a hospital thousands of miles away. He was critically ill and I could not be there with him ...not only I , not even my mother , his only child, could be there...as my father was bed ridden with a fractured back and I had my exams .
The telephone rang.....it's shrill sent a chill through my spine. Then my father's hello and a complete silence... I waited ...then crept to my parent's room. My answer lay there sobbing on the bed. My mother had lost her father.
My Dadu was suffering with Alzheimer's for the last seven years . Slowly slowly I had seen him going through the process of age reversal. He would call me maa....we would spend time together, a few months stretch ,off and on during the year . I was his friend ,his play mate. We would play Ludo and Snakes and Ladders for hours . He would try cheating when ever he saw me ahead on the ladder ...our fights .... we would play Hide and Seek. We would sing dance and he would clap in excitement. How sad he would be when ever we were to leave. He would always ask ,''when will you come nex t ,maa?''Oh, what fun we had together. But now there was no Dadu .
It has been quite some time now that my Dadu left me but I ,at times, can not forgive myself for not being there when he set out for his heavenly abode.His memory would just make the tears come rushing out my eyes....I could not bring myself to talk much about him . Today ,I had come home for the weekend from my I.I.T. hostel and was going through my cupboard when suddenly I tumbled upon our album ...with pictures of our last trip to my Dadu's house. My hands trembled, tears poured down as I turned the pages...with pictures of Dadu in various poses ,,acts . I could recollect every incident for each of the pictures....my Dadu laughing ...clapping ...dancing ...hugging me tight. Suddenly I felt a warm hand on my shoulder,looked back to see my mother standing ...tears pouring down her cheeck .I turned around...took her into my arms and we broke down together. Shortly I found myself caressing my mother , wiping off her tears ,kissing her and without my knowing ,at that moment , I had become her maa. We kept sitting talking about the person that both of us loved so deeply .
I felt a lot better now . I realized that each one of us has to die one day . We need to accept this fact from our heart for only then can we love our loved ones to the fullest for the time that we are together and when it is time for them to go we can let them go....lovingly....and keep them alive in our memories and actions for ever.