As I sign into Facebook today, I realize that there is not a single status or news update out there that can fill the void that has embraced my and my family’s lives. As we all sit under this dark cloud, searching for that silver lining, I’m reminded of the saying ‘Ignorance is bliss’. Yes, I wish we had not known that my dear uncle would have to fight for his final days or months with final stage of pancreatic cancer that was diagnosed in early June of this year. I wish that my 82-year-old grandmother would not have to face the death of yet another child, for it being the third. I wish that my cousins, who are constantly by their father’s side, knowingly that it could be any moment that he would no longer be there, didn’t have to face the reality of this disease; the daily pains, the hospital runs, the no room for error moments and most importantly the constant stress of the unknown of what will happen next.
My mind and heart keeps on travelling back to the time when life was simple and beautiful. The times when my parents and I would visit from Abu Dhabi. My aunts, uncles, and cousins leaving their own households and moving back into my Nana and Nanu's 13-bedroom Maghbazar home during our stay and yet all squeezing in that one bedroom in the back. Going to Old Town for that 3am murgh pulao run in our pjs, and as we waited, we would all have a boiled egg and hot glass milk; the milk that we refused to drink at home. Waking up our baburchis (live-in chefs) at the same time for the special “dim omelettes and pau ruti’r toast”. And just when the food would arrive in that one room where all 30 of us would be, Nana quietly trickling in to see what we were all up to and joining in. The numerous games of carom, cricket in the backyard and the circular driveway, rollerblading in the verandas, and running to the rooftop when there would be a massive downpour of rain dancing away!
Where did all those moments go, when all of us kids were surrounded by my aunts and uncles screaming at the top of their lungs while playing the infamous rickshawalla card game called 29 because someone or the other was cheating? Or even as recent as when Nannu mama visited my parents in New York, and I had surprised them by coming home late at night from college in Boston with their favorite kabab paratha roll? Have we changed or have the people around us changed, which indirectly has morphed us into people we don’t recognize anymore? Honestly, where are we and what have we become?
As I blankly stare into the walls or everything for that matter, these are the things that I just can’t stop wondering about. Is this part of the growing process we are destined and more importantly eager for? When we were kids, we couldn’t wait to become older. And now, I honestly wish I was a kid again… At least, then we wouldn’t be sitting in this predicament that we at now.