It was the usual warm afternoon in Kolkata. Like every typical Bengali household, the magical aroma of mutton curry filled the room. Little Rupsa smiled as it was her favorite dish that granny had prepared. Leaving her drawing sheet, she ran to the kitchen and hugged her Dida. “Give me the pipe, Dida.” Granny smiled and took out a small dish and served Rupsa her favorite bone marrow piece.
“Wake up, Rupsi! You are already late.”
Rupsa rubbed her eyes and looked at the clock.
“O my God! It’s 9.00 A.M! Where am I? Was I dreaming?”
Tanya, her roommate, was dressed for office.
“You OK? At least thank me for being kind enough to arrange your breakfast”, she said winking and went off.
“Your Dida is unwell. She really wants to see you”, her mother’s voice trembled over the phone. “See if you can manage few days of leave and visit her.”
“I’ll try, mom” Rupsa lied.
At a private hospital in Kolkata, Dida looked out towards the door hoping her little granddaughter would come running and hug her tightly. It had been two years since Rupsa went to Singapore for some official work. Her weary eyes waited every second to get a glimpse of Rupsa. She had few video calls with her on Skype but technology could not be the answer to everything. Video calls could not give the same warmth as she could by combing her granddaughter’s hair or talking hours on end about anything and everything.
Rupsa was uneasy. Something was not right. She was stuck in the same presentation for over two hours! “Enough of this. I’m going home. Maybe I’ll get some sleep and be fine tomorrow.”
Back in her den, Rupsa put on her favorite ‘Tequila Sunrise’ track and delved into a dreamy haven. Chains of thoughts, memories, and people ran through her mind—it was all very confusing. Suddenly, something (or was it someone) poked her. She startled and woke up with a jolt.
Silence. Deathly silence.
Cutting through the garb of this silence, the mobile phone rang. “Hello?”
Her mother’s voice quivered, “Rupsi, your Dida is no more.”
Tears welled up in her eyes. An enormous sense of guilt coupled with tearing grief was wreaking havoc inside her. But wait! Who poked her? Was she hallucinating or was it her Dida who had come to bid little Rupsa the final goodbye?
She would never have the answers to these questions anymore. But she now realized how strong must be the urge of her Dida to meet her. Wiping off her tears, she packed her bag and set off to bid adieu to her Dida’s lifeless form one last time.