Preserved tid bits of life as it was…

Yesterday I read ‘The year of magical thinking’ by Joan Didion (Recommended by Apu and Himani).

Life changes fast

Life changes in an instant

You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.


Since I was adamant that she was going to be walking out of the ICU, I never said good bye to her. Since she was not fully conscious there was no time to know what she was thinking or feeling. I was trying to remember when I last said a happy ‘I love you’ to her. There are photographs we took on 15 July in front of a mirror – where we are laughing and I have hugged her and she is making faces. I hugged her all the time. I did that in the hospital too – but it wasn’t the same thing. When did we have a last happy conversation? The days went by in such a daze I can’t remember… she was irritable in the hospital and also just before that…  the fever made her irritable. When we were still in the room she once woke up, got the nurse to detach the  IV (drip) sometime late at night and sat on the sofa where I was asleep. She wanted to talk and I was extremely tired and sleepy, so I half listened, half dozed off. She wanted to create limericks and was annoyed when she saw me trying to record them on my phone. (I am able to hear nothing when I tried to replay them… ). Little things annoyed her by then. She was talking non stop (she usually did that) and I wanted to join her and talk to her but I was also afraid that I would be too tired/sleepy in the morning. We had been warned Dengue was going to make her more uncomfortable and she got me to  raise or lower the bed and then wanted it raised again but nothing made her comfortable… My sister in law and brother in law had had dengue fever two years ago and she had described how it felt. We had explained to her also about how it runs it’s course and then the recovery is complete. She had later started sounding breathless because of the fluid around her lungs, and talking became almost impossible. The doctor described breathing then as trying to blow a balloon in a bucket of water. I had thought nothing worst could happen.

She always followed me around the kitchen and the house describing what happened in college/school – almost in a hurry, as if she worried she might forget something. Sometimes she just said ‘Hi’ or ‘Muah’ on Gmail chat… from her school/college . I   did not delete any messages from her and sometimes we read them out and laughed at them, and some of the links were worth going through again.

She and some friends had talked about shaving their heads and I was strongly against it. I didn’t ask her not to, I said maybe I would join her. My sister in law conveyed (subtly) that perhaps it was a good idea, because with no guys looking at them – they would be able to focus on their studies better… So when she mentioned blue extensions I was very relieved. These blue extensions stayed with her.

The conversation below was at home – we were sitting in her room, on her bed (I think).

The blue extensions…


July 15 2010 (in front of a mirror)

And I must have been asleep during this one, she was in Delhi, we were in Pune.


She loved Calvin and Hobbes. She shared many which reminded her of herself or of her brother… a whole lot of them came with messages like, “Calvin is me. 😀” or “I am definitely Calvin!


73 thoughts on “Preserved tid bits of life as it was…

  1. awww… she is a cutie pie.. once we (somehow) convince ourselves that the journey together in person was only this much long, re-living these memories will just bring smiles..
    but thats difficult…. I hope god makes it easier for you.. love and hugs IHM… super strong and super tight.. i will be looking forward to read more of such sweet ones.. whenever u feel like.


  2. Your s-i-l is wise indeed! The blue extensions look fab 🙂 And I like her Hi’s and Muahs and PINGS! A real sweetie-pie!

    She sounds like such a fun gal, IHM, she knew she was loved, she still does, wherever she is, but we feel it’s a big deal to keep saying those words somehow! It’s so wonderful that you kept hugging her IHM, it does count. Looking back, you must be wishing you’d had more and more time and talk with her, it’s never enough, is it, how much we do for, be with and talk with our kids? It’s just never enough.

    I blabbered so much in my dad’s ear when he was unconscious in the ICU, all the I love you’s and praise and good memories. When he woke up, he asked, “Why are you all talking like that, I’m not dying!” Strange that we only will say all that if we think the end is near. But I think you didn’t make that mistake, you focused on the good stuff all thru her life.

    Big hugs.


  3. 😀 She is a cutie pie, IHM. A strong vital soul, I am sure you will meet her again, such a vital soul connection does not get severed. If you haven’t read it, read Dr. Brian Weiss’ Many Lives, Many Masters.


  4. The blue extensions are cute, but I love your sis-in-law’s take on going bald. I’m going to keep that in mind for if I ever have a daughter.

    You may regret not saying everything you wanted to when she was in hospital but you are a wonderful mom and showed her you loved her enough throughout her life which is more important. I’m sure she knew everything you wanted to say.


  5. She is such a stunner and I loved reading the mother-daughter moments. Even Tee(my daughter) loves to fill me up on all the nonsensical details. She complains that I am always preoccupied…I know I shouldn’t be.

    Read Dr Brian Weiss’s – Many Lives many masters…this is not the end, you will be meeting her again.


  6. She is such a cutie pie IHM! 🙂 Please do write more about TJ, would love to know more.. and those blue extensions do look fab.

    and if u haven’t read Dr. Brian Weiss- Many lives many masters, do so now.. U will meet her again.

    My prayers with you and your family.



  7. You’ve had so mmmmuch of happy conversations, IHM. Lovely bonding, lovely messages and lovely memoirs. As you once mentioned( I remember the words on her picture that you were planning to frame. Framed?), glad that she was with us. For this long time and for having left such lovely memories for you…

    That picture before the mirror- just so casually adorable. Your valued possessions, indeed. Your girl is here, IHM. Around us. How could she deny all these love??


  8. Loved reading abt Teju and even her PINGs IHM – She is a girl full of fun and laughter. Her precious memories will help all of us to think about her with a smile on our face and know she is still amongst all of us. Hugs and much luv, IHM 🙂


  9. She was such a vibrant, wonderful person! Those extensions look gorgeous – she sure had wonderful taste. And your SIL was so right about the shaving hair idea! Thanks so much for sharing this.

    She even pinged you at 2 in the morning 🙂 The bond the both of you shared is so wonderful! Not many teenaged daughters would feel that comfortable with their moms!


  10. Wonderful memories! Your daughter treated you more like a friend na? The gtalk ‘ping’ made me smile so much. I wish my mom was on gtalk! IHM, remember these precious moments always and I hope you’re left with a huge smile on your face when you remember them.


  11. IHM .. Tejaswee had such a beautiful life, she knew all the people who loved her and she had some fun with them ..

    Thats why we all remember her now .. I am glad about hearing the hi and hugs thats you wrote about … these things are missng in most families , I am so glad you had such a realtion with such a bright girl

    God bless her…

    Life indeed plays cruel jokes on us … but we can live in the happy momeories and knowing that the little angle is loved and was loved always.. and she had a good life ….


  12. She is such a cutie pie indeed!! I love the cute mom-daughter gmail snippets… Me and my mom exchange similar 3-4 lines chat during the day…they are such a comfort when you cant spare time for a telephone talk!


  13. IHM,
    Every time I read your post, I have this overwhelming feeling. I can’t explain it, I just feel like running to my kids and hugging them. Like I said before and will always say it, you are a very strong person, I admire you very much. Your daughter is very beautiful and the two of you shared an extremely beautiful bond.

    Please keep blogging.

    God bless,


  14. awww – how sweet!!! she really ‘IS’ a sweetypie 🙂 😉 totally loved it!…

    “She always followed me around the kitchen and the house describing what happened in college/school – almost in a hurry, as if she worried she might forget something.”

    as someone said such a lovely bond can never be severed… she was a darl IHM – she will ever remain as one 🙂 Thanks for sharing…


  15. नैनं छिन्दन्ति शस्त्राणि, नैनं दहति पावकः
    न चैद्क्लेत्यांतापो न शोषति मारुतः ….


    • “Cannot be pierced by weapons, cannot be burnt by fire,
      cannot be drowned by water, and cannot be dried up by winds”

      Such is the state in which Tejaswi has transformed into .. the eternal soul.

      This sloka from Bhagwadgeeta came into my mind when I was reading your post, so sent it…


  16. You know even I did the same last year, dug out all gchat conversations which I used to have with my brother and saved it in multiple files, like a word doc in my laptop, mailed it to self as an attachment, saved it in another hard drive. After his loss, somehow wanted to ensure to safe keep everything about him as protectively as possible. Had this fear if this word doc will go corrupt then what? So, one day complied everything and took a print out as well. People leave and then we think of clinging to their memories as strongly as possible as these old memories are the only ones which we will have now about the. Take care!


  17. I was, I think, 8 or 9 years old, when my Favorite Auntie’s husband died. I didn’t know what that meant, I only knew Mom was going to her place often and I wasn’t going there. One fine day, Mom took me with her to their place. I sat there with the other Aunties, I remember vividly that there was a photo and there was incense. All I wanted to do was go and sit in Auntie’s lap, but she wasn’t looking at me. When she finally did, I smiled at her and she smiled back but didn’t ask me to come up to her. We left, soon after that they moved away to another city. Whenever I think of death, somehow this comes to my mind and it makes me very sad.

    I am sorry IHM.
    Maybe some day it will not hurt as much.


  18. A hug is a ‘I Love You’ more than words can express. I once knew a family that used hand signals to tell each other they loved each other – to keep their privacy even in the midst of all company. Met this family in the US, one of them was in the neighbouring bed to my sister’s after major surgery. And that family made me aspire towards a loving relationship between parents and children (and siblings too).

    I have learned today to keep every message my kids write to me and to give them attention when they sit on that kitchen counter eating their snack after they come back from school. Lessons from one awesome mom.


  19. None of this is fair. You are going over and over in your mind all the things we did not say, can not say now….but you do KNOW that she KNEW you loved her. It does not help us right now, as the pain is so raw. She was so very beautiful, like my daughter Sarah was. Why such beauty was taken from this world too soon, unfair, not right. Be gentle with yourself. take great care with yourself, Gina


  20. I was crying as I read this post…and mid-way I burst out laughing reading the PING PING PUH-ING bit!!! lol !! 😀
    She’s a precious little thing alright !

    celebrate her life and memories sweetheart…its the perfect thing to do now…


  21. This is the sweetest thing ever..
    And so typically her.. 😛
    I don’t think anybody has touched my life more than her.. 🙂
    I’ll always cherish the moments I spent with her.
    Love you, IHM 🙂


  22. Awww…such an adorable daughter IHM. May all these precious little memories bring a smile on your face. Hugs dear !! And thanks for sharing these conversations. You have no idea how many lives she has touched through her blog.


  23. IHM, stumbled upon your blog. Tejaswee looks like such a happy, beautiful, cheerful girl. She had a good life and it sounds like you were an excellent mother and friend to her. It will take a long time for you to recover from this loss, and I know this is so much easier said than done, but wherever she is, she wants you to heal. You have happy memories of her and you must derive your strength from them. Try to remember how beautiful her life was and not the darkness of her death. That is what is truly worth remembering. Also, I read your previous post. Writing can be a great means for catharsis, so write about your feelings for as long as you need to. You have everyone’s support here. May God give you and your family the strength.


  24. I cried on this post. I am so sorry for your loss IHM.

    I am sorry I didn’t comment on any of your post lately. I have known a few families who lost a child and I know how it affects them. Hope your grief don’t overcome you. Those are the worst times. If it ever does, please share your thoughts here. We all are here for you..


  25. This is so beautiful,epitomises the most beautiful mother-daughter relationship I’ve seen in a long time..She was one of the most amazing,beautiful people I’ve known,inside and out,for 3-4 years,and I’ve always admired you,too,and now,even more so.. Thank you for giving me and others the privilege of reading the beautiful things you write 🙂

    Lots of love,

    P.S-You inspire me,so much.


  26. She’s so pretty! I look at her pic and think ‘how could this girl cease to be’? How tough must it be for you then! Sigh IHM. If I were in your place, I’d… I would be very angry with God! I’m probably saying the wrong things here, but it’s so UNFAIR! And what would be the right thing to say in such an unfair situation?!


  27. Gosh she was drop dead gorgeous. Having lost both my parents at an early age, I know that people you love, never die, they live on in your memories. your post made me so sad, but I made a note to listen to my 3 year old, really listen from now on.
    thank you and God Bless


  28. Though I am a stranger to you….Hugs IHM….love how you cherished even small things…will learn that from you …beautiful mother daughter bond…


  29. “epitomises the most beautiful mother-daughter relationship I’ve seen in a long time”

    “Much as I admire you as a strong individual and a progressive woman, I admire you as a mother even more”

    i echo the above thoughts… god bles ya IHM`


  30. Tejaswee looks so gorgeous with the blue extensions.

    I choked as I read the post. I salute your courage. You are an awesome mother. Hugs, IHM.



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  32. Your lovely daughter is now an eternal part of so many lives. On our recent travels, met an Iranian family in Istanbul whose daughter immediately reminded me of Tejaswee.
    I love the way she’d keep chatting to you.
    I read The Year of Magical Thinking after my brother died. I think it helped at the time.


  33. Its sad cause i don’t remember when was it that we last sat together. She was in the hospital for almost two weeks and i never thought that this is how it might end. It was only in the end when you called up in the end that we rushed to the hospital fearing the worst. Still we were trying to kid ourselves and say ‘god! its only dengue.’
    I cross the crematorium everyday,on way to college. And it makes me cry or gives me this weird feeling in by heart.
    All i remember is how in the end she & i kept on talking about V. Somehow that all that we spoke about.


  34. I didn’t know Tejaswee and I don’t personally know you. But reading about you and her…reading about her, made me cry. I cannot even imagine losing a friend at this age…I’m the same age as Tejaswee. I cannot even imagine how you must be feeling. But I understand the mother-daughter bond, and how it is the most important thing in the world to me.
    Do write of more happy memories you had with her…



  35. Dearest IHM

    The snippets you share, each of them, fill me up so much. Tejaswee is a delightful daughter. I now understand even more, why you loved that write I shared so long ago. It’s hers… and both of you have been blessed to have been part of each other’s lives.

    I loved that chat where she simply goes ping ping… just like I do most times, when I find my kids online… only to find they’re not really at the computer!

    Hugs, IHM… God Bless!


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