I remember reaching out to every possible medical personnel in my radius and promising them that if you’d survived on your birthday, I’ll get them all ice-cream. I can vividly recall their fabricated expressions as they said you’re a fighter. No doubt you were; but I guess the opponent was a little too stronger than you were. I do reminisce celebrating your birthday in AKU’s C.C.U. with almost an unconscious birthday queen all wrapped up in white and wires; with no clue of what was happening around her, with her hair shed off her scalp due to the very harsh chemos, yet with the motherly essence intact as she thankfully smiled and responded to me; knowing that if I wouldn’t elicit a response, I’ll die a little inside.
I remember giving my boards and getting dropped off at some relative’s place just so they could drive me to the hospital and I could meet you. Making a very thin creamy custard for you everyday and garnishing it with strawberry sauce in my own ridiculous ways was my greatest joy back then. I was talking to R last night, she almost broke down as she told me what you had said about me cooking for you- ‘Usay kyun tang kartay ho? Usne tou aj tak chool’ha bhi nahi jalaya..’ … I can never figure out what mothers are made of.
There’s so much words can’t say.
Every now and then, as I am sitting on my prayer mat, I visualize you praying ahead of me on your table and chair. I slept on your bed last night. I saw your happy pictures. And then your panic-stricken face struck my mind. I wanted you to live. I wanted you to give that disease a disgraceful defeat. I wanted you to rise again so we could give hope to other distressed cancer patients. But God has His own ways that I can’t question.
So I casually lie to the patients I greet at the onco ward, saying ‘Meri ammi ko bhi yehe tha, wo bhi theek hogayeen then…’ ‘coz I now know how important hope is. I hated the doctors who used to term you as a ‘dead-end case’ and why wouldn’t I? How couldn’t you?
Probably this world was a filthy soiled place for a person like you.
Probably this is how it was meant to be.
I’ll just assume you’re in a better place right now. I hope, I pray.
But you’re never forgotten. I love you more than I miss you.