For You, Nanima

She is long gone but even today, her stories have an engrossing effect over me as I reminisce her narrating them to me. I still remember her riddles, something that she simply loved. That naughty look on her wrinkled face when we, her grandchildren, couldn’t get the answers to her riddles, will probably never blur from my memory. Most of the times I used to pretend to think hard just to have a glimpse of that naughtiness in her sparkling eyes. If I ever had to list down the things that fondly remind me of her, I would perhaps spend endless hours lost in her thoughts.
One could never cease to learn from her undying spirit at the age of 95 years. Inspite of being amidst a pool of disabilities at that fragile age, she never lost her ability to joke and see the lighter side of life. “I am going to deposit some cash in the bank,” she would whisper in my ears every morning before going to the washroom. What followed after that favourite kidding phrase of hers was a cute little suppressed chuckle, which I so miss ever since she left us! They say people go back to childhood as they grow old but here was grandma who so effortlessly relived her childhood with us. All the petty things that excited us as children gave her enjoyment too. Whether it was playing games and cheating in them too or gulping down her favourite golas (sweets) together secretly, she willingly volunteered in all the mischief. And that was the most beautiful and special quality about her.
A tickle still runs through me whenever I recall her memories. Grandma loved tickling everyone, especially her small buddies, and surprisingly she always used to end up laughing more than us. She never let the age factor rule over her. Instead, she was among the few who had mastered the art of ageing gracefully! Hence, it was rather unacceptable for me to see her fall prey to a ghastly trap of illness one fine day. An illness, which took her far away from all of us, far away from reality. I longed to hear her childlike giggle, waited for her to pop up one of those riddles or crack some joke. But she just lay on her bed, refusing to open her eyes with fear of an unknown person dragging her away to some jungle. She neither recognized any of her one-time best buddies (her grandchildren) nor did she ever flash her heart-warming smile again.
It seemed to me that she had lost herself somewhere in the fairytale land, where she often used to take us as kids through all the Cinderella stories, never to return again. But my angel still remains, deep within me in the form of nostalgia.


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