Nani passed away in her sleep on the cold night of 30th December following a cardiac attack. Finally her medical condition took over her willingness and enthusiasm to live more. How many times had she fooled death. While the cancer hospital had been her second home all these months, this time her lonely stay(attendants cannot accompany ICU patients in the night) lasted 40 days as she finally lost the battle. She was alone when she breathed her last in the respiratory ICU at Metro Hospital in Noida, she was alone in the mortuary the entire night, she was alone when she was being cremated at the Nigambodh Ghaat.
A true fighter, she fought the deadly cancer bravely for a little more than 3 years. Even the last time when we met, she ordered me to get a nice Loreal shampoo. Her face had an angelic glow, the heavens it seems were already smiling at her. While the doctors at the Dharamshila cancer hospital had already bid her a farewell, she was refusing to accept that she had to go. The doctors always said that she was the most inquisitive and alert patient who exactly knew what treatment and therapies were happening on her.
After a terrible night of waiting to see her body, we finally met her in the morning. The cremation ritual was a bigger ordeal. It was 7 bodies, maybe more, that i witnessed in the crematorium. Life seemed such a frail thing suddenly. Covered in a pretty red shawl, she was lying peacefully. Atleast, there was no pain. Finally when the pyre was to be lit, her face was uncovered...a moment that will haunt me for days. Her face lacked all the lusture and beauty. What had death done to her.
Finally there were flames and we saw that heap of logs shrinking. A shivering realization that the lady who did amazing things for her 6 children and 10 grandchildren and never expected anything ever was gone. An angelic heart, a beautiful face, a warrior in character - we have lost her. The memories of her sweating in the sun to make us onion tandoori paranthas on the terrace, her making those doli ki rotis for us, applying coconut oil to my hair, saving me from mom's scolding, maintaining I never needed to lose weight, giving me her favorite saree to wear for my school farewell, kissing my forehead, appreciating the gajar ka halwa that I make, standing by me during my wedding......countless memories remain.
Badi mummy, we shall miss you.