I looked down from my balcony. Yes it was Ghosh Uncle, who was trying to tell the watchman and one of our neighbour, something. Now it was a routine, since Aunty expired six months back. The loneliness has changed him a lot, he now tries to catch hold of someone, who can spare time, to hear the tales buried deep inside his heart, about Aunty.
In my building on 17th floor, Flat no. 17C, they had weaved their nest with the main ingredient, love. Their love story starts right from the door, where a hand painted wooden name plate adorned the name,
with a very artistic flowery pattern. Below this another extended name plate is attached with his son’s and daughter- in- laws name and sketch of two kids holding hands, with names of their grand children. A very unique one, painted by Chayya Aunty, on request of Uncle.
We friends, use to go for evening walk, then usually chat sitting on the bench near the poolside and wait for the couple to come for a walk, just to see , what aunty is wearing that day. It was a common joke among us that instead of watching the young ladies, latest fasion trends, we wait for this retired old couple in their seventies, to walk on our building ramp. But yes, we could never deny that the best of handloom, cotton or tatth sarees were owned by her. Aunty always gave us the address of the shop, but we never got the same stuff, and Aunty would smile and say that the saree is bought by Uncle with love, so it looks so beautiful. Very light and appropriate matching accessories with the saree, a flower in her bun, she use to deck up for Uncle, as he liked that way.On the other hand, we the bunch of friends, use to take walk wearing the most comfortable plazzos, leggings, pants or pajama with kurties, hair tied in a ponytail at the back, with that bindass, who-cares-to-deck-up attitude.
The small Ganesha Temple in our building compound was managed by them. We use to insist Uncle, a very good singer, to sing and Uncle use to sing looking in Aunty’s eyes,” pal pal dil ke pass tum rehti ho……”, and Aunty use to blush like a teenager first time in love.
Right from a recipe to philosophy of life, we use to look at them for guidance.
Of late, there evening walks were restricted as Aunty was not keeping well. First started with fever, then lots of complication and unexpectedly she passed away six month back.
The very strong and confident uncle started breaking rapidly, the smiling face clouded with gloomy sadness. His supporting and caring family also couldn’t help him overcome his sorrow. And now this new mania overpowered him, he use to wail loudly sittting on the bench, where they use to sit, talk and giggle. His pain touched us all, infact we stopped sitting together after our walk.
Yesterday as I came down, I saw Uncle standing there, he came to me and said,” You tie your hair nicely, so you can use this. Keep it.” He quickly handed me a hair clip and walked away so that I can’t say anything. Surprised I looked at him and then the hair clip, it was Aunty’s one of the favorite clip. Then I came to know that he was giving away all her visible things. I don’t know what this syndrome is called, but now he was in a stage where her things were haunting him. I came up holding the clip, very disturbed.
Evening as I was telling this to my husband, we could hear him again, wailing like a child, and his son persuading him to come home. My husband said,” Let me go and talk with Pratham(his son) about the anti-depression treatment, which may help Uncle to overcome the pain.” He went down and I sat with something hot flowing from my eyes. I looked up and said,” Aunty you both taught us what is real love, but now it is unfair of you to go up alone. Take him with you, he can’t live without you. Uncle is just a body now, who’s breathing. Please take him with you, make your nest again up there, be with him……”
The song from sony mix,” hamhe tum se pyar kitna yeh hum nahi jante, mager ji nahi sakte tumhare bina…..” made my appeal and tears more prominent.
Everyone says love hurts, but that is not true. Loneliness hurts. Losing someone hurts. Everyone get these things confused with love. Real love doesn’t care about body shape, old age, model looks or wallet size. It only cares about what’s inside.