Posted by: Monideepa Tarafdar | January 19, 2013


You were the one in charge of the altar and the Pooja room at home. We have so many deities, some which you and I got from our days before we got married. Some we picked up along the way together, and others, the children brought from various places when they were old enough to travel by themselves. Every day it would take you half an hour to do your pooja after which we would have our lunch. On the  occasions when you did the special pooja’s, you would give me a list  of things you needed which I’d get from the pooja shop. The children would come home, we would light up the house, you would cook khichuri and arrange the pooja thaali with fruits, nuts, batasha and grains of rice.  The pooja room and the altar, and the house itself, would be awash in light and joy. I do the pooja at the altar and light the lamp every day in the morning and evening. And I put a picture of you in there. But the light and joy are gone.

I go for our evening walks. You always said I walked much faster, and I used to walk ahead. Now I imagine you walking behind me and I slow down.

Our girls wear a lot of your clothes. It is easy to make a mistake, they look so much like you, in them. Sometimes while emptying the washing machine, I see your housecoat, and for a moment I think it is you wore it before putting it in. They wear the sweaters and scarves and mufflers you made for them. There is a lot of wool left over from last year, which probably no one will ever knit into anything.

Very soon it will be time for our grandson to go to pre-kindergarden school. We went to see the place yesterday. The little ones were playing and learning. Learning happens best when children have fun, you said. There were toys there we did not have those days when our girls were growing up, much better toys that the children find easy to have fun with and learn at the same time. You would have liked those toys, had you been there, you would have taught him everything and he would never have known that he was “learning” because he would have had so much fun.

And then there is tea time, morning and evening. I am the only one at home who has tea now. I make it myself because I don’t think anyone else can make it the way you and I used to have it. Once the water boils and I have put the leaves in, I take out the teapot and the biscuit tin. When the leaves have soaked in I pour out the tea in the teapot. On days that I remember, I take out one tea cup and make the pot for one person, on days I don’t, I drink two cups of tea from one cup.


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