The first message I saw as soon as I woke up on Dec 1, was from Surbhi saying Aunty is no more….. Momentarily I was too shocked to react. I spoke to Surbhi immediately and realised that she had passed away on Nov 30th. 🙁
I don’t know what to write ….. Aunty taught me how to make Lauki ki subzi. Every time I make it, I think of her. I can picture their kitchen in Navkala with her squatting down and mixing the masala, filling the laukis split halfway. Or her asking me to make “karari” rotis, or bringing me a bowl of Kadhi every time she made it because I loved it….
We could relive a small sliver of it when we visited Gaurav’s house in Hyderabad on Oct 30, 2021. I rolled out the Puris and Aunty fried them. The food was as always so tasty ! Didn’t realise that it would be the last time, we would have food made by Aunty.
Aunty and Uncle mean the world to us. When we reached Delhi as paupers, they stood shoulder to shoulder with us, motivating us, getting us settled into a flat, treating us as family when some of our family members had given up on us. For five years we met them every single day till we moved to Gurgaon. In fact Aunty and my mother-in-law had come for the Grihapravesh of our Gurgaon home. The frequency of meeting them reduced post our move but we never lost touch.
Gaurav had come to Apollo hospital when Appa was admitted there in 2008 as he was working in Hyderabad at that time. Then Aunty and Uncle shifted to Hyderabad and in one of the calls, Aunty told me that “your Hyderabad has increased my lifespan. The pollution is so less here that my health has improved” :(.
We got a call from them on Sept 7th on our anniversary as always and Aunty won the argument with Uncle that it was our wedding anniversary, not my birthday :). She had mentioned that Surbhi was coming in Oct and that they were coming to Delhi to be with her. The last message from Aunty was on Oct 30th, exactly a month before she moved on forever and exactly a year after we had met her in Hyderabad… asking why we hadn’t come over to meet her. When we met Surbhi on Oct 19th, I told her, I will meet Aunty either in Navkala or in Hyderabad. Little did we realise that we would never get to meet her again in this lifetime.
I wrote about her and Uncle in my blog – Bankruptcy to ShikshaDaan !!. Wanted to celebrate the 25th year of our move to Delhi….
The inevitable has happened but it’s yet to sink in. I still feel like picking up the phone and calling Aunty but I know that she won’t answer. Farewell Aunty…. till we meet again in another lifetime, the bond stays strong and we are family. Thank you for who you were and for your unwavering support to us.
Om Shanti Aunty 🙏🏿