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The Empty Fish Tank

>> Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Empty Fish tank

Hard to believe that it is a year since I left the blog. Clinic was busy, and top of it, I had joined a course on diabetes which took most of whatever little time I was left with. I completed it last week. Many of my friends had asked me, why education at this age?
It was fun, like going to school from the beginning. And then there are interesting people I met there, on whom I can write a dozen posts!

The first thing I did when I returned to the blog was looking at my favorite bloggers. Pareltank was one of the first blog I had added to my list. Then it suddenly struck me. It is almost a year since she escaped the tank. She is no more there. The tank is empty.

I thought she had named the tank after the parel fish which are small agile energetic and beautiful looking fish with silvery scales which are abundant in the local rivers. Her tank was as lively, filled to the brim with ideas as shiny as the parel fish.

Kochuthresiamma’s blog was a class apart. Her exemplary ease and skill of the language, her insight in to human behavior as she has seen it the way she grew up and then later when she worked as an English language teacher, was obvious from the first post you read. My favorite was the one she had written about her childhood; memories came alive in words as colors on a canvas. She remembered her gramophone and Starry Starry nights and Don McLean.

I would have listened to that song a hundred times since then. There is something captivating about that song.

Many a time I had argued and contradicted what she had written. And I was silly enough to offend her in one of the posts where she had written about an actress student of hers. But I realized my mistake and had apologized to her. Deeper than that, I have been trying to absolve the guilt attached to that , and it becomes all the more painful, now that she is not alive.

I remember what her son had written about her in his note.

“What I loved most was that to Amma, her universe was not limited to her children and her husband: it ensconced her siblings and their families, her husband’s closest and farthest family, all her friends and all the less fortunate people who managed to cross her path, with the same circle of love as it did her near and dear ones”

Well, that was what she was from what little I had come to know of her. One thing was for sure. She battled the disease for five years. Although her frail body had begun to give up to the disease, her fighting spirit led her on her regular course of life. Her last blog post was just few weeks before she left us. That was tremendous courage.

I thought I knew what it means to face the death of a loved one. By this age, I had already buried both my parents...my mother, being the more dismaying loss. It seemed outrageous that the world should go on without her in it. Still it goes on. My wife’s father, my eldest brother, my aunt who had brought me up, my closest friend, and my daughter in law at a tender age...The list goes on, of those whom I bid farewell.

Our dead are not dead to us until we have forgotten them.

I feel immune to the kind of grief that empties the mind of everything except longing. I have wept for all those whom I loved, and whom I still miss.

Mourning has no timetable. Grief is not the same for everyone. And it does not always go away.

Rest in peace, my blogger friend!


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