Yesterday, Son asked me to get him some photographs of the new apartment we are moving into. He had no idea the camera brought terrible, frightening, painful memories. The last pictures I took were of Tejaswee in the hospital room, before she was moved to the ICU, when she was sick but when she was still making limericks… When I did not know how our lives were going to change so completely. One is not ready to download or see those pictures yet, even the sight or the thought of that camera was unbearable.
In Gurgaon, while the Movers unloaded, my friend M. and I sat between brown cartons and as she told me about PLR (Past Life Regression) and how those who die young have finished their purpose in life and nobody, not even god can stop their souls from escaping and being born again.
M and I met everyday when our kids were young. We took them to the same park, the same swimming pool, and to the same Birthdays and Christmas parties, often together. M. had rushed from her 3rd floor apartment to ours on 7th floor (in Bombay) with paracetamol syrup when Tejaswee had fever, one night in 1993.
Our daughters watched their first play (by ‘Little Actors’ Club’) together. M’s husband had encouraged a frightened 8 year old Tejaswee to jump from the 5 meter board…
M. knew Tejaswee.
Our new neighbours didn’t. They visited to welcome us and asked very simply, “Who all are there in your family?”
We need to get that photograph enlarged and framed at the earliest.
Later M. remembered Son’s request for photographs of this apartment. I told her how I felt about taking pictures or even looking at the camera. She said very gently, “Just pick it up IHM. Just pick it up and start taking photographs.” It was as simple as that. I picked it up. I knew where it was. I did want to get over the fear and pain the sight caused. Looking at the pictures taken in the hospital may not be possible yet, but I realise I wanted one less painful-association. M told me of the time she fell off her two wheeler and somebody advised her to sit for two minutes but she told them, “If I sit down for two minutes I will never ride a two wheeler again.”
So slowly I hope to go through her pictures, her laptop, her old English Grammar Notebooks (saved since KG, because I feel school essays are almost like a child’s personal diary)… because whatever I do, I don’t ever want painful associations resulting in her never being talked about.