My uncle’s death!
Posted June 5, 2008on:
I was in middle of a meeting when the phone rang. It was my mother informing me about demise of an uncle.
Since I am a medical person I am always expected to “rush” whenever there is any health related issues in our family. Being a paediatrician, what will I do in a case of fracture? You have to take the patient to an orthopedician. But no, I have to go. But that’s beside the point. Let us get back to our earlier conversation. My uncle’s death.
So, you see, I had no choice but to rush to the uncle’s house (It is beyond my comprehension how “rushing” now will help when he has already passed away!). And anyways I was never fond of this particular uncle. I had my reasons.
I remembered the day when the family had gone on an excursion to a religious place. As we reached “Palitana” we settled in different rooms in a “dharmashala”. We had turned in early as all of us were tired due to bumpy journey and a long walk was planned the next day. Suddenly at middle of the night we heard somebody crying for help. My parents and other family members ran from rooms. My aunt was writhing with pain as my uncle was furious over some matter and was hitting her relentlessly. I had never, ever seen a domestic feud of this intensity. I was so horrified that in shock I couldn’t even cry. I was just of five years then. He was never my favourite uncle, but after this incidence my dislike turned to fear. And as I grew up, over the years with more such incidents, my dislike and fear turned to hostility and loathing.
So when I heard about his demise I felt happy for my aunt. She was now free (I never understood how she sustained all the violence and why my family members never encouraged her to take a divorce or filed a complaint against my uncle).
I didn’t want to “rush” but I knew my mom will blow her fuse if I didn’t. And, anyways, she is always at loggerheads with me for my unconventional and socially unacceptable (according to her!) views. I didn’t want another row with her. So I reached my uncle’s place as soon as I could.
I didn’t expect my aunt to be jubilant over her husband’s demise, but I was in for a shock. She was crying her heart out over uncle’s body. She was so distraught that her 50 something, very beautiful face (even at this age) suddenly looked 10 years older. I have seen her crying when she couldn’t bear assault levied upon her body and today she was crying because her heart couldn’t take assault of her husband’s final journey. The same husband who made her life hell!
How was this possible? How can you cry for a person who has hurt you through out your life?
Was it love? I doubt!
Probably it was due to the thought of loneliness or social security or just out of habit! Probably she suddenly felt bereft. Probably….
Whatever it was, I couldn’t fathom what I witnessed.