Today may have been Holi and though I don't celebrate it anyway, this time there was more reason to not do so. My dadi (paternal grandmother) has passed away. She was in ICU for 20 days when she finally got liberated for eternity at 3:00 AM. She had suffered multiple femur fractures and since she was 82 years old and her bones were highly weakened by osteoporosis, the doctors had already warned us that it will cause further complications. Sure enough, that's what happened and her body finally gave in today.
The mood was grim at home but hardly a tear was shed. Everyone secretly heaved a sigh of relief that my dadi's suffering had ended. I myself was not weakened by emotion. Right from when my mom woke me up to break the news to me, to the time her body was slid into the electric crematorium. It was saddening of course, but rather than make me cry, memories of my dadi will always bring a smile to my face.
My dadi was a typical warrior-hearted Punjabi lady. Till the time she was admitted into the ICU, she felt no pain. Even when the doctor was squeezing her thigh and asking her if she feels pain she replied "No there's no pain.Now give me my chappals and lets go home". She would then be lying in her ward bed with her leg suspended and put in a cast and sh would ask why the hell she was lying like that. When told she has a fracture she would refuse it outright!!!
Her bones weakened for the sole reason that she stopped exercising and kept eating. She became quite fat and was basically bed-ridden for the remainder of her years. But that did not stop her from waging war intermittently! She would give hell to my maids for getting her food late (she kept changing the time in her wristwatch), for not switching the TV on even though there was no electricity, for not letting her eat all those potato chips that would all exit her body in the most unfavourable way and for many other things. She would keep them awake all night with her Sai bhajans and she would wear sweaters and sleep with a quilt in the months of August-November. She would shed crocodile tears each time my parents spoke to her about talking rudely to the maids. And yet, every time I went upstairs to meet her she would smile the most radiant of smiles at me, asking me time and again whether all was fine with me and how she hated Physics.
When I was younger she would tell Ishika and me stories about her convent days and how mischievous she was. Once she even got into trouble when a drunk British soldier expressed his love for her from the streets as she looked out the window.
Like I said, till the very end she went down living life to the fullest. And to this indomitable spirit, I raise a salute.
May the Force be with my dadi.