To write or not…

I am afraid to write. If I start, it will all come out. If I don’t, I will choke. For me to get better I need to pour it out.

While her husband is in the ICU, my sister in law is alone at home, covid positive herself, with two young kids, one of them is all confirmed positive, grieving the death of her father in law, my Mausa, maternal uncle. His body lies in another room, in a refrigerated coffin, arranged through my in laws and family members.

Tomorrow she will go to the cremation ground, fight for the space, the wood, and the ticket to cremate him. She will not be allowed to take her 12 yr old son with her. Her husband lies in ICU, and knows none of this. He does not know that while he battles for his life, his wife will be kindling the fire at his father’s pyre.

What has this world come to?!

My sister and brother-in-law wanted to go help. They cannot. There is a curfew.

Robbie Uncle, as we fondly called him, gave up the will to live. He was always the measured, quiet, stern, and the sharp one. I was always a little scared of him. But he had his ways of showing love. He loved his kids but was strict with them. And although reserved in nature, we could see him smile below his thick mustache. He enjoyed my father’s company. Who did not. And I heard them talk about shares and dividends. Despite the fact that my dad never talked about this stuff to anyone else we knew. The two of them had a unique relationship.

His daughter wails in Mumbai. Unable to come to see her Dad. She was dealt the same cards as me. He was very fond of her. She could commit murder and he would stand by her. She deserves every bit of that trust. Wise like her father.

My cousin who is in the ICU never quite got over his mother’s sudden demise. I don’t know how he will take this news. He doesn’t know. And he shouldn’t.

Will the kids who saw their grand father die in front of their eyes ever forget the scene? Will they forget how their mother was asked to open the deceased’s eyes, flash torch light in them, to confirm to the doctor over the video call that he was indeed gone. While the oxymeter reading showed 60, 45, and then 15 and then nothing.

You hear it happen to others families and you bless your heart and thank your stars. Today this is happening to my family. I was there when we brought my SIL home after the wedding. Little did she know she will be cremating her father in law one day.

I am angry. At the world. And more so at the government. Why did she have to make a false choice between sending her husband to the hospital or her father in law? Why were there no two beds available? Why was there no oxygen available? Why is the common man paying a price for someone else’s mistakes? Why am I not with my family today?

I’m numb. And I will be until justice is done. For now, I don’t know how I will go to work tomorrow. Pretending everything is fine. Being the one encouraging the troops. I have no energy to shell on this pretense. I am grieving for my country, and I want to be left alone.

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