Anand Uncle

I have a bad habit (No wait, I have many bad habits). One of them is to check my emails the first thing every morning as soon as I gain consciousness.  I don’t like this habit; it forces me to start thinking as soon as I am awake and hence I don’t experience that “bliss state” in the morning.  I guess we are all simply creatures of our habits.
I don’t read every email when I get up; I simply scan the list, in case there is something that needs immediate response. There usually isn’t. I am not Barack Obama yet 😉  But sometimes there are some things that have to be taken care of ASAP. Thanks to the fact that this country has three time zones and the East coast wakes up three hours before I do.
Enough of the context; this morning the email that caught my attention was a reminder from that it is my Uncle’s birthday on November 15th (He passed away on October 26th of this year).  After reading this statement, I felt dazed for a while.  Even now, three hours since I read that email, I am dazed.
I am not a big believer of relatives. It is just not who I am. I don’t value people because of their relation to me. I value people for who they are. Once I value the person, I start my relationship from scratch. It has no past, no background and they are not people who are related to me in blood, but people who are related to me by values.  And these values are immeasurable. It is how I run my world.
My Uncle who passed away last month, was a special man.  I am the youngest in my family from all sides. And people seem to have the tendency to treat me like a child, even though I am an adult. But he was one of the few who recognized that I was growing up with time. Whenever I met him, which was quite seldom, ever since I joined college, I noticed how his talks with me were relevant to my age, and my experiences. He was not a small talker. He would rather keep his silence than indulge in small talk. I noticed how his questions to me as I was growing up, were very relevant to my stage in life. He was not talking to me simply because he had to. He was genuinely interested in what I had to say. And he would never judge my answers. A smile and a nod were his best responses.
My father and Anand Uncle were friends from old times. In fact it was my father who introduced Uncle to his wife, my Mom’s youngest sister. I noticed how my Dad always valued the friendship, more than the relation. And these feelings were mutual. Even though these two friends were world apart in nature and liking, they had a lot in common and a struggling past was one of them.
Uncle never complained about his life. You would never hear him mull over the past or the future. Even if he did worry, he never showed it in public. I loved that about him. My memory of him is he sitting in a corner of the room, observing everyone with a smile on his face, just nodding or chiming in when he felt appropriate. He was never the one running the show and that was because he preferred not to.  The last I met him was when I was in NY, and visited him over a weekend. He enjoyed observing Agam and his love for food. And he blessed both of us. My most favorite memory is when he visited our apartment in NY and l could tell how much he loved being there. I have a beautiful picture of him from then that I will live to cherish. He was a kind man and I valued him.
I am going down the path of writing about his life, and telling his story. But I must stop, because his story is his, and he knows that it was complete. It was beautiful. It was almost like a movie with a lot of ups and downs. My words will not add much to it. I have my own story to write, and I am so glad he was a part of it.
So back to why I was dazed after reading the email this morning –

 Because that is when I realized that he is no more.  I have been consoling his wife, spoke to his son and daughter in law, and spoke to a lot of other people about him ever since his passing away. But in my heart somehow I had not reconciled with the fact that he was indeed no more. I am now in acceptance of losing the fourth soul that I value. Let this be it for a while. Please!

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