Friday, January 11, 2013
The fact that Sudhir is no longer with me is a Fact---one I'd reverse in the blink of an Eye if I could but it is times when some random incident takes place that brings one back to square one--that's when I question the Maxim "Time is the best Healer!!"The loss of a loved one results in deeply rooted Pain and while we try to push it into the Sub Concious Mind it still hurts as it throbs inside.Only one who has suffered such a loss can imagine and understand what I'm talking about---the Pain is terrible and gut wrenching.
Yesterday I was surprised to open the door in the morning to see an old Client of Sudhir's standing at the door.He had some urgent work and wanted to consult Sudhir about it.The completely shocked and stupefied look on his face told me that he was completely unaware of Sudhir's death---and I had to offer him a drink of Water as he stood there and gazed at me uncomprehendingly--totally dazed!!The first sentence he uttered after he collected his wits brought home to me how much I've changed since then---he said that he felt something was wrong when he saw me--and only later realised that my biggest Trademark--my Huge Red Bindi/Dot in the centre of my forehead was missing!!As he walked away wiping his eyes, I stood still in the open door--swamped in a tide of extreme Pain---a testimony of my loss.
My Red Dot was always a bone of contention between us.I'm not a superstitious person--but in following all the Rituals that foretold the bestowing of a long life to my husband---I was at the head of the line!!In fact i was so worried about waking up without the red dot anchored firmly to my forehead that I'd apply one in a dark Crimson shade of Nail Paint under the "Kum Kum" one--so that even while I bathed,washed my face or my hair I retained the symbol of my Good Fortune or "Soubhaagyaa".I have always loved the huge circular size--Sudhir liked it smaller.The size of my Bindi was the topic of many a quarrel--for it varied everyday.It actually depended on how large a circle my finger drew on my forehead with the Vermilion called "Kum Kum".Sometimes it would be as large as an old Silver Rupee--two sizes bigger than an American quarter!!It was around this time that the stick on Bindis entered the market--with a gummy back for convenience and these were available in all sizes.Sudhir and I experimented with the sizes and finally settled on a size--about as large as a quarter!!Of course I cheated--if I found a size a bit larger I'd buy it--in a dozen or more packets containing them in numbers of 5 or 6 each. I still have a lot of them lying around---a painful reminder that I don't really need--but can't bring myself to throw these away!!
Not just this I was also particular about wearing my Mangal Sutra round my neck--I'd wear the other one first before removing the earlier one--insuring that my neck was encircled by a Gold chain with small Black Onyx Beads threaded through it always.I have always loved these Gold chains--and own a collection of these--ranging from a large Gold Pendant woven in Black Beads and Silk thread to elaborately designed Necklet styles--these rarely needed any other embellishment if I had to attend any casual events--of course Weddings and such needed more decoration!!Not being very fond of Jewellery this mangal sutra became my Trademark--and as the new order evolved wearing just this gave me the touch of Dignity and Poise i looked for.
The other thing that I wore was my heavy Silver Toe rings.I loved these and when I married Sudhir---- Aaji my maternal Grandma--told me the specific reason for wearing special Symbols in each little Toe--ranging from the big toe to the smallest.In 1970 Silver was very cheap and so I went out and got the heaviest of each Symbol--the thick circle of Silver wire for the big Toe,the spiral circlet for the second one,the flat chips attached to a Silver circle for the third one,the huge Fish shaped one for the fourth and a tiny filigreed Flower for the smallest and last one!!It was my stubborn refusal to remove these for at least about 5-6 years after our marriage--despite these causing painful swelling thanks to the tightness with which these fitted around my toes.The various shapes too had sharp edges--and poor Sudhir had quite a few scratches on his shins whenever these scratched him during the night!!Finally I retained just the two--the second toe and the fourth one as these were the most important of all.By now I got these made to order---two pairs of thick ,heavy Silver Rings for the second toe and well smoothened large Fish shapes for the fourth toe.Sayali was insistent that I remove these after I came to know that I had Diabetes--but I wouldn't agree.After that each time we visited her in Rochester,NY, she'd tell me how the mother of one of her friends had to have her toes removed due to Gangrene---because she was a heavy Diabetic just like me--and wore similar Toe rings!!Sudhir insisted I remove these in February 2009 after my Heart Attack and Angioplasty---on advice from my Cardiologist.This time he was implacable and firm--and no matter how nicely and sweetly I wheedled--it just didn't work even an iota!!
Today the only Jewellery that I wear are my Earrings and a Jade Bangle.I also wear the ring Sudhir wore for 42 years after we got engaged--he never removed it even once for the entire period!!My forehead and my neck are bare---and as far as possible I keep it that way---a symbol of my Life today!!
Sudhir and Me ,2009,Manhattan,New York
Me in Scotland,March 2012