Late evening, darkness falling silkily over the apartment on the 10th floor. The balcony is open with the evening breeze wafting in. The kitchen bustles with activity as dinner is being made. We sit in the modest living room. All of us gaggle of cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces. Voices rise and fall, laughter being the predominant emotion. Your presence fills the room literally and figuratively. When you talk, the rest listen. You pull Saathi’s leg effortlessly. I join you more often than not sensing an ally in an otherwise connected group. Bonded by marrying into the same family, we often laugh at them as much as we laugh with them.
We drive to Jayanagar way past dinner looking for roadside chaat stalls. You talk in a mixture of Tamil and Kannada that comes from being born kannadiga married to a tamilian. Your wife looks like an imp laughing at you. I imagine you sweeping her off the feet with your magnetic personality.
Vestiges of happy moments from the decade past flit past my mind. It has been a few hours since I heard of your demise. I can’t even type it out. It feels so wrong. It can’t be my mind screams. I think of your wife, my cousin in law and my heart breaks for her. For the little girl who will now grow up with memories of her dad. The little one who has inherited your presence and sass.
I sit in the dark room, tears rolling off my cheeks landing in a rapidly forming puddle, the enormity of what I heard sinking in. You will be missed B. Missed very much.