like her son

She had told me I remind her of her son. That’s how I remember her, that’s how I will always do. Sometimes people are their best self in initial interactions – I wish we stop at that and never get to know more. With her, I only saw her best self. In the end, she had moved away and did not want to see many people.

It was her first death anniversary. Her husband, who is an upright gentlemen, was conducting the whole function stoically. He with two elder brothers seem to know what needs to be done. I wonder if I will ever be that mature – I wish I never have to.

An elderly man comes in, the head of the family. He is reminded of relationships of others in the room. I am too far removed in the hierarchy to even attempt. Another older relative comes in – his hand is bandaged, seems to be wounded badly. He said he scraped the hand against the wall – he says with old age, the veins are so brittle that if someone presses on top of the skin, it turns red. He inquires after my daughter whom he is very fond of, always want her to sing something, but this is not the occasion. Someone asks him his age, if he is ok to share – he says he is 89. He is beaten to second position by one year by the other relative.

There is a call for lunch, someone jokes that it should be in the order of seniority, and that then nobody would get up. I join them last. Not for long.

While I was leaving, I met her son. He has a beard as well now – he might still look like me. Her daughter says she didn’t get to say hi, I nod – that might be the only interaction we had ever.

Someone says they didn’t like her photo which was put on the table – other was saying there is nothing wrong with it, with a streak of white hair from the center. She had a kind face.


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