Sunday, June 21, 2009
Had to go to Durgapur(225 kms from Kolkata in Burdwan district) yesterday after the demise of one of our relatives. The person in question, had actually passed away last week but the most convenient day to go to her house in Durgapur turned out to be yesterday. She was my maternal grandmother's elder sister. My parents had decided that they would surely go and condole her children because they are of the opinion that even if one cannot manage to attend a person's birthday party or marriage or any other happy occasion, one should be present with the person after the his/her kin passes away. They immediately plannned to book a car for the journey to Durgapur and it was also decided that one of my maternal aunts would be going with us too. But, the most difficult part was convincing my maternal grandparents to go. Over a span of six days, starting from last Sunday to this Friday, they, specially my grandmother, changed their decision thrice! Our sweetest words came flowing out only to ensure that they agreed to go with us because we knew that the person who had been the most grieved by the death, had been my grandmother. We knew that she would feel good if she went and met her sister's children. But, old age is like a second childhood! And, just like children, my grandparents finally agreed to go only after they got a good scolding from my maternal uncle who lives in New Delhi.
I had interacted with my grandmother's sister hardly twice and was not emotionally attached to her and neither am I emotionally attached to her children, who are my aunts and uncles. Among all our relatives, these people somehow got included in a group with whom I never got a chance to interact and so, no such bond was formed between me and them. So, yesterday was the first time when I met them properly and they really liked me! After meeting them, my grandmother became very sentimental and talked a lot about her childhood and how her relationship with her sister was very important in her life. Throughout the day, I got to hear the names of loads of people both at our relatives' house and during the journey, owing to the non-stop chat between the elders. I once wondered how they remember the names of so many people, some of whom they have not seen since years, and the details of so many incidents , some of which had happened many moons ago.
The best part of yesterday was definitely the journey. Occupying my permanent place on the back seat of the Tata Sumo, I spent the journey hours either listening intently to the elders' conversation when it sounded interesting or listening to the FM on my cell phone when their conversation sounded boring. The road, that is, the Durgapur Expressway is very beautiful and I would suggest people to visit Durgapur by road, just to enjoy the long drive. Personally, I really like long journeys like those by cars or buses or trains....The other great part about yesterday was that my grandparents were very happy. The smiles that you can see on their faces in the photograph below matter to us a lot and are worth a million dollars....