When we flew home with Brat Three the first time in July 2012, she stood looking outside the window, asking an odd question and looking outside, very calm, very well mannered and very quiet. Quite unlike her real self.
Then, this June we flew to Baghdogra and I realised how much more comfortable and ‘herself’ she had become. She laughed aloud at the take-off and then had endless questions about everything she saw. And then she asked,
“Tejaswee kahan hai? Main itnee der se clouds mein dekh rahee hoon, mujhe to kaheen naheen dikh rahee. Maybe she is behind that cloud, in that hole.”
(Where is Tejaswee? I am looking for her in these clouds but I can’t see her anywhere.”) This June, while searching online for a school project, we found dolls’ furniture, and hoping it would keep her occupied during the long, long days of the summer vacations, we decided to try making some. Didn’t realise how much she would love this bed… or maybe what she loved was the process of the making of the doll’s bed.
(When you die, you will go up, up in the clouds. Then you must come back as my friend, then I will become happy again.)
“Why have you hung Tejaswee’s big pictures on the wall here?”
“Because I miss her… she is not here with us.”
“Don’t you miss me? Put my pictures, big pictures.”
“You are here. We are all here… we can hug and hold each other…”
“When she comes back then you remove her photos and put my pictures.”
We have talked about death and attempted to talk about cells, heart (with a You Tube video) and breathing and ‘not feeling anything anymore’, about ‘going up’ and about ‘never coming back’, but how do we explain what we don’t want to or can’t understand?
I gave her a hug. “She will never come back Brat Three.”
“Sometimes it can happen, sometimes she can come back.” (She says the same thing about the Delhi Metro, “Sometimes there can be 5 coaches in the metro.” Or, “Sometimes Sunday can come again after Monday.”)
“If she comes back, she will herself remove her photographs and put your photographs up here.”