Plate in hand with pure white curd rice, I hesitated a moment between the curried vegetable and tomato thokku and helped myself to a generous helping of the pickle. As I ate taking care to keep the white of the curd rice unsullied by color, I was reminded of my Appa. “He used to love thokku..” I thought. He did. Then I felt guilt for thinking of him in the past tense.
Closer to the time my Appa left us, I could not bring myself to think of him in the past tense. I would consciously talk about him as if he were away in India. I refused to believe he is no longer with us. As time passed, I slowly slipped sometimes referring to him in a mix of past and present. Of late, it seems almost irrevocable. He firmly belongs to a place that is beyond reach. This week I have been assailed by memories at odd times. Like in class or at work.
I look at his picture in front of me and my eyes mist. Like they always do. I feel guilty for not thinking of him more often. I am scared I will lose him if I don’t make the effort to keep him anchored in my thoughts. I think of all the people I know who has lost someone dear and for one moment feel linked to them.
In the pain of their loss.