I will miss you, Nani

September 19, 2011

6158111144 486ca3c24d o 300x300 I will miss you, NaniOn Sept. 11, Nani, my maternal grandmother, got her affairs in order. She told her oldest son to do her last rites “properly,” bid adieu to all family members, and advised them to not fight with each other. Misty-eyed all these 50-70 year-olds looked on as their mom gave up on her will to live.

Last Saturday, Sept. 17, at 7:20 p.m. Nani passed away.

I woke up to an e-mail from my dad informing us of her death. While it was a relief in many ways — an end to her suffering — it nevertheless created a void; a deep, dark black hole in my heart.

Flashes of time spent with Nani over the years came flooding in spurts.

She would tell me to not to play with her “massa” — mole — on her face because it tickled. What did I do? Play with it even more.

She would snore at night and always laughingly dismissed it when I imitated her in the mornings.

She would get into random debates with me about mindless traditions and we’d end up agreeing to disagree.

She wouldn’t stay with us for long — despite her forward-thinking, she was rooted in the traditional belief of not wanting to be a “burden” on her daughter. While she always encouraged my parents to treat me “just like a boy” and was often heard saying there is no difference between boys and girls in this age, when it came to applying that same logic to her accommodation preferences, she would bail out with “it doesn’t feel right.”

She was the first person I told about Brijesh — my husband — when we had just started interacting. Her only questions were: “What does he do for a living?” and “Does he make you happy?” For a woman of her generation, she did not get into the details of caste, family, siblings, etc. — a big surprise for me.

She was the forgiving, philosophical, big-picture person. The lenient one. The fun one.

The grandparent I could hang out with any time of day or night.

She didn’t understand what I did for a living or how far I was physically from India, but she knew I was happy. And that was all that mattered to her.

I feel lucky to be able to have spent the amount of time I did with her last year when I visited India. And I am thankful she was well, and lucid, enough to take us on a journey of her childhood.

On her last journey to the pyre, she wore the sari that I had bought for her three years ago. She had told her caregiver that she had an unpacked sari in the closet; “Clothe me in that when I die,” she said. “It even has an attached blouse piece.”

With her passing, gone are the stories, the laughter, the “maskhari.”

But nothing is gone, really, except the physical body. Her memories will live on in my heart. I will always remember her stories. And the fun times we spent.

I will miss you forever, Nani.

I miss you with all my heart.

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6 Responses to I will miss you, Nani

  1. ShachiNo Gravatar on September 19, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    awwwwwwwww….may her soul rest in peace. Hugz to you!

    • MansiNo Gravatar on September 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm

      Thanks, Shachi. Appreciate your kind words and I apologize not having acknowledged your earlier message. Things have been really crazy both on the personal and professional fronts but I hope to get back to blogging (at a slower pace) shortly. Thanks, again.

  2. lisaNo Gravatar on September 20, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    So sweet. An amazing woman indeed. I see where you get it!

    • MansiNo Gravatar on September 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm

      Thanks, Lisa :-)

  3. EvaNo Gravatar on September 21, 2011 at 11:13 am

    What a beautiful tribute. May her memory be eternal.

    • MansiNo Gravatar on September 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm

      Thank you, Eva!


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