It all happened so fast, it is sometimes still hard to believe. That we as a family lost Vinny's dad. Vinny's mom isnt too old. She is in her late forties now.
It is amazing to realize, in a traditional sense, how important it is for a woman to have a husband and a home in this society. She lost both in a single sad month.
She is like my friend. She is the only aunt who I dont ji.
Last week I drove to the sleepy town of warangal to meet her. She is staying with her daughter now. Predictably, she was full of tears the moment she saw me. I felt little uncomfortable. But I withheld my usual, "Dont worry, All this happened for greater good. You will be cool" stuff.
I just listened to her. From her early marriage romance, the first movie she saw with her husband (big deal in those days), a surprise bloom of romance after they married off their daughter, the only time he hit her, how truthful he was, how simple he was and the greatest regret of hers.
She narrated that incident to me. Apparently she once set him for a dual. List out 10 flaws in other. He said, You begin. She rattled 17 flaws of him. (Didnt stop at 10). He said, I dont see any flaws in you. I like you as you are. That was also the only moment he said I love you to her. (In their 31 years relationship).
My sister put a plate of Warangal Papads (very popular) in front me. I listened to my aunt through my papads. It was a marathon. It took some effort from my side to sustain a sympathetic face and lots of nodding. By afternoon she felt lot lighter. There was a visible relief in her face.
Over years of experience, (after many hard lessons) I learned to listen to a woman and not offer solutions. It is kind of frustrating but, thats how it is.
Before lunch, I said, Dont worry. I am your son. I am doing quiet well this year. I am there for you. After more tears, she said, Even your brother (notorious for zero communication) invited me to his house. More tears.
I couldnt go through those tears. Well, stop crying. Yeah that was a tragedy. It will take couple of years, before you are totally out of it.
Well, I gotta share this with someone. Now I am feeling better. Sorry for putting you through my stuff, she said.
I know those words I said (I am your son) and my taking time out to visit her, means a lot to her. She will recuperate with the help of these words and relations. She will weave a new web, an intangible and emotional web, which dads and sons quiet dont get.
I guess for men, tangibles speak more than anything.
On my drive back, I called my mom and said, Just visited your sister.
Really? You have done a good thing! How is she?
Usual. Still crying. Otherwise fine.
Keep calling her.
I also called Vinny.
Just visited your mom.
How did you go?
My new car. Its a two hour drive.
Whats the mileage?
Great. If you havent bought a keychain yet, dont. I will buy you one tomorrow.