13 Days Of Mourning & Healing Not Without Guilt

21st April

The last time I had a conversation with mom about my career, studies she told me to drop the idea of getting a full time job. She said, “You don’t have to worry about money. You just do good work, do your photography, write articles. Its been so long you are not writing for Firstpost isn’t it? Why have you stopped? Get your book published. Study. Read. In between take up some wedding photography assignment that would pay you well.”

She just wanted me to focus on what I am good at, my creative and intellectual pursuits. I have never been good with 9-5 jobs and mother knew it. She never wanted me to go back to it. Soon after she was admitted the doctor told us that its her last stage and she will need home nursing. I started looking for jobs because home nursing was going to be a very costly journey. But she just left us way ahead of all that and now I am free to pursue the things she wanted me to pursue. That’s what I would do ma. Will get admission for Phd and carry on with writing work.

24th April 
Time heals. There are these moments when I am sort of forgetting that mom is not there. Her absence seems to be usual, as if either she is traveling, or I am. And then I remind myself that she is dead and feel guilty. Today for the first time I slept in her bedroom in our new house with the AC on and felt guilty that she could never enjoy this luxury all her life. Having lived in Delhi for over 30 years our family hadn’t upgraded to ACs in all bedrooms until this summer. Till about 2009 we were a desert cooler family. And till last summer we had only one AC in the drawing cum dining hall which we used to switch on sparingly during the day time for fear of electricity bill. In the nights we would go to our respective bed rooms and make do with desert cooler. It was only in this new house that we have put one AC in mother’s room and was about to buy a new one for my room. But mom left before it was AC season. 

My mother suffered all her life in the heat but never slept an entire night in a fully AC room. She has written about feeling too hot in summers. And today I am enjoying the AC in her room. I am tired of crying, my tears are dried up but I want to keep morning for her. We make many stories to console ourselves, she has become an angel, she is now pain free, she has got moksha mukti and shit like that. Truth is her life was cruelly cut short by a deadly disease which was only diagnosed at the very last stage. Spiritual consolations sound stupid to me when I know that she wanted to live at least for a while. One month, she left in one month. This was just not fair.

This house will forever haunt me because it is at the root of so many misunderstandings between me and mom. To begin with she never wanted to leave the rented accommodation in Dwarka and move into this house which was her own house. Several times I had told her, “Ma why don’t you have any vision of 15-20 years ahead? What do you plan? Do you plan to live here all your life? Is that possible?” She used to always reply, “I don’t know, I will go and live in whatever condition wherever God will keep me. God has always given me big houses, whatever God will plan, that would happen.”

In the end, she really did live all her life in that rented house. We moved from Dwarka to Mahavir Enclave on 24th Feb. She was admitted in the hospital on 17th March and left us on 17th April. What a story ma. The stuff Greek tragedies are made of.

The other recurring conversation with ma around this house was when I would ask her to invest some amount in renovating the house and give it to me. I would always tell her, “I did’t marry, so please spend that money on renovating the house, buy new stuff and let me live in this house alone while you guys continue to stay in Dwarka. I will pay you rent.”

She helped me renovate and move in. But after moving in, I imposed so many restrictions on her in how things would be arranged in this house. I would several times tell her that she should now take a back seat in running this house. I said, “you arrange things in your bed room as per your choice but my room and rest of the house I would arrange, you don’t interfere.” I took away her rights as the woman of this home; I tried to take her place. And when we clashed on various things I would yell and say, “No, it’s getting impossible for me to stay in this house with you. I cannot live under the same roof with you”.

She decided not to stay with me under the same roof, not to interfere in running this house. How would I live with this ma? Why did you took such a drastic action? Why didn’t you stay for Rosa, for sister, for dad? Why did they lose you for the mistakes I made?

I know human beings do not cause cancer. Heartache and fights do not cause cancer. But if there is any such thing as the power of subconscious then I have caused my mother’s death. I caused it by desperately wanting to move away from her, by not wanting to give her full rights in the new home, by forcing her to move from the flat which was her home after dad’s retirement. She was settled there, but I uprooted her.

But there is just one thing that I cannot understand. If the subconscious is so powerful then why its powers didn’t work when I desperately tried to save her by taking her to the best hospitals and doctors? Why the bad happened because of my negetive energy but not the good?

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