Saif Ali Shaik

April 17, 2022

Time that Still

I never developed a habit of sharing grief with people around me, although I fluently vision, plan, and strategy. I guess I got this habit from my dad.
Like my manager says, I write what I think. He identified I express myself in writing before I am self-aware about it. 

I can't write about anything if I'm in.

  • Confusion 
  • Grief 

Today I realize both Confusion and Grief are intertwined. 

I am so immersed in what I love doing. I forget the world. One day, my grandfather was sick. Real sick. My dad asked me to come over to the hospital. Entering that big hospital the first time reminded the first day I joined my university - the moment was still. Doctors told us that the operation was a failure in a few hours and suggested no idea about the coming days.

I learned the value of his presence in the family. He was integral to why we across stayed together.

Less than later, my dad asked me to book a train and come to my hometown immediately. In the middle of the journey, he told me my grandfather had passed away. On the train alone, looking out of the window at the trees passing by, I felt strong and weak at the same time. I badly wanted to reverse time.

By the time I reached my hometown, It was around 6 pm. I saw people around my grandfather's home. It was mute, and I still had luggage with me. When I opened the door, there were two lights focused on him. He was there sleeping in peace. About ~30 people dressed in burka started whispering, "That boy is his grandson, whose grandfather wanted to see him... "

It is my first time witnessing death.

He taught me why we go to the grave every year during Ramzaan. Now, I have a reason to go too.

What surprised me was that I felt weaker than everyone else in that room. Maybe, I perceived it that way, or everyone else saw it coming naturally. I walked along with the funeral bier, recalling all the moments. At one point, when I had to hold the bier, I desired to wake up from sleep and call it a bad dream. But it wasn't. In no time, we reached the graveyard. I looked at him one last time. The world felt unfair when people began digging the ground. I had to accept the reality.

The coming days were more challenging than I was aware. It was one thing to know, "It would be hard," and an entirely different to live in difficult times. His scooter, cycle, rack, habits, and usual place sits in the house. Every inch reminded him. At one point, I was scared to go to grandma's home. 

About a day passed, and a beggarwoman came to beg for money. One of my family members gave her money instead of the usual grandfather. We had a hard time telling her the older man who used to provide her money every day was no more. 

Life has its course of doing things to us. We keep moving.