that house does not stand anymore.
the house that smelt of water boiling over wood, that had a dark kitchen with very tall shelves.
i remember tall jars of papery, round sohan papdi stacked in a row and this woman who fed them to me. i remember her sari's end that went all over my face in order to wipe out the sticky threads of the sweet.
her sari smelt of the day's lunch. and a little bit of the breakfast.
her hair was bundled up in a tight bun and i, a girl of six or seven, stared at the amount of hair she had.
hardly shampooed, seldom oiled. washed, dried, tied up. sometimes combed.
the hair was cut to the shoulder by my mother one afternoon when she couldn't take its weight anymore. there was a newspaper spread across the floor that filled up with hair. thick strands of black hair.her hairline reached her shoulders and ended at her temples.
i began to miss the big smear of vermillion on her forehead, she did too. but never mentioned.
she missed my pishi, who died some ten years back and my jethu whose dead body she never saw through the bomb blast rubble.
she didnt cry for them. not in front of us.
there were these days recently when she did cry taking their names. and a few days after that she died talking, asking her attendant to call her sons and daughters. people noted how in her last years, she began to look like her brothers.
a fight that spanned over decades, across countries finally ended with that inexplicable, nauseatingly sweet smell of flowers mixed with that of incense, room freshener and ogoru.
Rest In Peace, Amma.