Last year on 27th July I had commented on Bhagwad’s blog about a nightmare I once had. After writing a long comment describing the nightmare I had read it out to Tejaswee who agreed that it didn’t make sense to describe the entire nightmare where I was alone in a dimly lit house, extremely sad, thinking about her who had been dead for a while and I had been wishing (just like we do when we are awake) that her death was a nightmare. And I had hugged her lightly and grumbled about why I remembered that horrible nightmare. Two days later the nightmare had started unfolding in real.
These days are difficult and what we were doing last year is very clear in memory. A part of me feels not talking about it is better because once we start talking it is difficult to distract ourselves with something else. But I also don’t want to not remember and it’s only getting more difficult each day. On 29th Tejaswee had come back from college and complained about how boring it was to not live inside a complex, and then a friend, G had called.
(G was her room mate in the PG where she stayed until we moved to Delhi, and had moved out after she had contracted dengue in 2009. I always thought Dengue was like Malaria, I had worried about Swine Flu.) G asked her if she would like to go with her to M Block Market and I told Tejaswee she had got her wish and that her life need not be boring even if we did not live inside a complex. She had taken her blue bag and much later I found the receipts of what they ate and bought in the market on her last healthy, happy evening.
Later that evening she started having very high fever, very suddenly.
On 20th, last week, Son remembered she had danced in the rain in her college and he feels that was when dengue started. I didn’t even want to think about this. And many times I manage to successfully focus on other things, like the fitness regime for the Manali to Leh Bicycling Expedition (A doctor I consulted with said six months, not two and half months would have been better to prepare for such an expedition, but that I should continue exercising and go).
An old friend called, when she called last she had compared me to other parents who have lost their children and ‘moved on’, this time she said the way I said Hello on the phone had changed, she felt we could no longer talk like we did in the past, that I was a different person now. I tried to explain why it was not possible to be the same person. Did she understand that it was not just the loss that hurt but the experience of watching her die, and not being able to comfort her and keep her alive. She did, but she wanted everything back to normal. What I liked was that she thought that was possible.
One of the things that has changed is the realization that the entire universe does not really conspire to make our wishes come true. Suddenly one could see that there was something wrong with the theory of a benign, loving creator always taking care of their creations. I had stared at the night sky outside the ICU and willed the universe/creator to do something… And yet there was this desperation to be convinced that she is still there is some form somewhere, and that we will meet again.
I want her to be there around me in some form and one way is to talk about her (which I am able to do, not about her death, but her life.) A very dear young woman I have never met (and who has never met Tejaswee!) writes regularly to me, and she recently wrote about wanting to join the college Tejaswee went to, and then later about seeing her name in the college prospectus – where Tejaswee Rao Scholarship was mentioned. I can’t appreciate her emails and emails from friends in the blogosphere enough.
Words can change how we look at anything. Another blogging friend asked if we were planning to do something on Tejaswee’s death anniversary and I wrote back completely believing that these days would be spent just trying not to relive what we had no control over. I am grateful to him for suggesting we do something in her memory instead.
So I would like to announce Tejaswee Rao Blogging Awards. Please click here to submit your entries, do take care to submit them in the correct categories. The winners in each category will be announced around end-September.
Two entries that the judges feel should be read by as many people as possible will win cash prizes. (Will announce the details at the earliest).