It drizzling outside. After a few warm days, Delhi is cold again. This year has been unusually cold. Climate change…I guess. I just finished packing. I leave for Assam, tomorrow early morning. I should ideally be sleeping early so that I can get up and go to the airport on time. But sleep betrays me. My heart is restless. And I am scared. How do I face my family members? How do I prepare myself for the ocean of tears that will come tomorrow?

Today has been a sad day. It started off as an exciting day, where I was a step closer to my dream. I had planned out my entire day, prepared myself for the test which was in the afternoon. ¬†About half an hour before my stipulated ‘test’, came the news and it shook me. I lost my youngest uncle (Baboi) to a tragic road accident. He and a friend were on his motorbike when a speeding bus hit them, leaving both of them instantly dead. They lay in a pool of blood. I went blank. As if somebody had wiped out everything that I had studied and prepared. But it was too late to give my emergency reason to not sit for the test. I did sit but wrote nothing much. I know it won’t be a favorable result.

Baboi, as he was the youngest, there was not much of an age difference between him and us. He always stayed with us and was a child when my dad got married. So we almost grew up together. Good in studies, my dad supported him in his studies and wanted him to become ‘someone’. Thus, he was extremely sad, when baboi decided to get married and go back to the village. But Baboi continued to get my father’s love and attention, as he took over the responsibility of the entire household in our village and started progressing. His education gave him an upper hand over the others, in an erstwhile village of not ‘very educated people’. He became the contact person for political parties to expand their threshold and was the to-go person for the villagers, to access govt. service and schemes. He knew the offices and was among the very few who could fill the ‘forms’. Thus, he quickly enjoyed a status of privilege in the village. To, us (my siblings and I), he was both a friend and mentor, while he was with us. Firm at times, and friendly in others, he always looked out for us.

Now he is suddenly gone. In a Flash. He leaves behind 3 teenage kids, a wife and an old mother (granny), along with 4 brothers and 2 sisters. By the time I reach tomorrow, he will already be buried. I know I will break down, along with everyone who will be home tomorrow. It’s going to be a long days of mourning and even longer nights.

You are in a better place I know but you left us here…!!!


manoranjan PERSONAL

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