Hearts and Love

Credits: Hearts by Carol

This is for you. Believe me, you are the inspiration for this.

It was in 2007 when I was writing an essay for a class and the topic was my mother died today.

Amongst all the lessons and classes I have sat through, this one has been the most influential because our professor rejected anything that was not genuine. No surprises that this was also the only class where I sat through with people who were in tears…. many times.

You might be thinking, really? Who the heck would allow such a thing to take place in a college? And you wouldn’t be wrong. Many parents opposed this but our esteemed Dean somehow managed to take care of all this nonsense, thus paving the way for this very cathartic class. He came from a heavy military background and had seen more realities of life than we as innocent students in a protected environment could ever envisage.

Enough background though.

Let’s get back to where we started off. This essay was one of the hardest for me to write. Truest writing comes when you combine mind with heart and you write as you feel. And to feel is the problem. To feel what will happen is a bigger problem. My mother once rolled over while cooking some food for us and I remember how my heart started pounding. I can feel that even to this day. It was simply one thought — No.

This cant be happening. I managed to make this connection complete when I touched my dead grandfather’s feet. This was and remains to this day, my only experience of having come close to a lifeless body, something I had forever known to be moving, thinking, speaking and imparting lessons onto me. My grandfather was the greatest guy I ever knew. He taught himself English. He became a teacher at 16, a principal of a school at 23. His life’s stories are still alive with me. I remember my conversations with him like they took place yesterday. Oh how he would talk of his mother walking through fields amidst rains for about 5 kms with a single umbrella so that he could attend a school. And yes, he really did study under a candlelight.

I remember walking up and close to him once he passed away. His eyes permanently closed. Only a little scar on his forehead. No extraneous bleeding or something. Just. Simple. Death.

And my heart shattered. That was the first time I felt when “karah” comes out of heart. English has no equivalent of this word. So let me define it — it is when all of your heart bleeds tears. It is when you cannot breath because your heart doesn’t know what to do with it. This is when our life’s rock-bottom-bases falls apart. One of mine fell apart that day.

I wanted to ask him to wake up and I did. But he didn't wake up. I asked him nana, please say something and he didn't. And at that time, in 2012, despite all my freaking “adult-ness” to him I was still a kid and as such I asked simple things with no answers. And that is when I learnt what it means to be lonely.

This is a loss. Not of money but of life itself. I lost that day the greatest person I ever knew and this can never be replaced.

This is also why it was next to impossible for me to write that essay in 2007. You cannot foresee a loss. You cannot envision what it would bring to you.

But to you I simply say this — I respect you for internalizing all the pain you underwent. I also wish for you to know that you are not alone. Bonds of happiness are strong indeed, but the connections of pain are stronger still. I am happy you reached out finally. I am also happy that things didn't fall apart so much as though they won’t ever return.

Just next time… please don’t take this long.




Accidental traveler & trivial writer, dancing in oblivion.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


Accidental traveler & trivial writer, dancing in oblivion.

More from Medium

Going to Get My Heart Back

Sand in an Hour Glass

From a Grateful Heart