Gratefully Yours

As I’m settling down with my evening tea, a gentle breeze blows into the room and brushes across my face. It’s a quiet Sunday, the kind that I’ve been looking forward to, for a long time. I’m glad I don’t feel inclined to grab my phone and check messages or make a hurried ‘to-do’ list today.

It’s one of those days when I’m grateful to be doing nothing, as I’m back home, after a whirlwind trip to my hometown, Kolkata, I’m eternally thankful that we were able to plan a trip in a matter of days and most importantly, that I was able to take mom along, so we could spend some time at our family home, sorting through things my parents had accumulated over a lifetime. It was nothing short of a herculean task, to tell the truth, but we managed to sort through most of it, keeping a few prized possessions to cherish as treasured memories, and mostly giving away what we felt could be better used by those who needed them more than us. It was quite a challenge to accomplish so much in so short a time, but now that it’s all done, I can only heave a sigh of relief and sit back and thank the Universe for giving us the strength and the capacity to make it all happen. Truly and utterly grateful for that!

With a heavy heart, we bid adieu to the home that bore tons of precious memories, but, that’s the inevitability of life. There is no escape from the truth that people pass on. These are the times when we are reminded of how the thread of impermanence continues to run through the warp and weft of our lives, and we, humans, oblivious of this fact, cling on to our possessions, believing life is forever. I could feel Baba’s presence in his room. The shelves had his books, the closet still bearing every trace of his presence. Hanging on the rack were his umbrella and the kurta he usually wore on his way to the market every morning, before the fall that changed the last six months of his life and ours. How everything changed overnight for us. Nothing was ever going to be the same again. As I stepped on the balcony, I noticed the empty clothesline.

Waking up to bird calls, I savoured the quiet Kolkata mornings and each time, the mind replayed events, people and places, all culminating in a myriad of memories, of every conceivable emotion there could be. It was tough at times, dealing with such an emotional onslaught. Some times, I felt so hollow within myself, as if there was a pit that was taking me down a seemingly endless rabbit hole! I cried as I sorted through things and picked myself up and worked through it all again and again. Some days were tough like that!

And then, it seemed time ran its’ course and we were nearly done with our task. The flat was cleared. Cleaned. Emptied. Our task was accomplished. It was tiring but rewarding to declutter the home and free up the space for new people to move in some day. A chapter in our lives was finally over.

To be lost in another world away, far removed from my present one, was a welcome relief; to be able to get away from the pressures of my everyday life that had come to be overwhelming lately, was nothing short of much-needed break. In between losing myself in the wisdom and learnings of Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart, and reliving the memories of the voices and the faces from the past, that once enlivened the home—that was, in all truth, my sole reason to visit the city of Kolkata for the past 27 years, I learnt to quietly let go—of the ties that held me to this home and to the city itself. I did so, with a grateful heart, for everything that came my way, over the years.

When I boarded the flight back home, I thanked the Universe for letting life take its’ course through everything and everyone that had made this trip of ours possible. Ma was at peace and so was I. It was one of those things that had been long due and I was glad that we had brought some sort of closure to a chapter in our lives, even though I knew, for a fact, that, on that Monday morning, when we finally bid a tearful goodbye to our family home, I’d left a piece of my heart behind forever.

Written as part of our #SoulfulSunday free writing exercise, along with my friend Vinitha.

19 thoughts

  1. Pingback: Bloom With Grace
  2. It breaks my heart to read this post. I have some personal memories that I would probably whatsapp you. Your post flooded me with snippets from the past. How one by one our childhood is slipping away with the people who were part of it. The small KC flat used to be so full of people. So many of those faces are no more. I am getting really emotional while typing this. Take care Di. Lots of love and hugs to you. I am grateful to have met you and have you in my life. Thanks for making it little better.

    1. Share them, Tina. I’d love to hear about those days. It’s true how so many people are slipping away, slowly. Losing loved ones is hard and losing so many of them, one by one, is harder. But, that’s the fact of life that is now more real than anything. Learning to live one day at a time—that’s the best way for us. I’m also glad to have you in my life, dear Tina. We go back a long way, don’t we? Hugs and much love to you always. <3

  3. That was such a beautiful,.poignant post, Esha! Hugs!
    Finding closure to a chapter in our life brings a kind of relief, but the memories of that part of life stay forever, reminding us of those times for years together.
    You write so beautifully, Esha, that I fall short of words to describe your writing and the effect it has on me.

    Keep writing, my dear friend. For yourself and for us, your admirers.

    1. Thanks so much, dear Shilpa! I shared perhaps a tip of the iceberg. There lies within me an entire universe of thoughts and recollections of a lifetime that remains to be told. Well, maybe, someday. Who knows!?
      Thanks again, for showering such amazing words my way, Shilpa. I will bank on your kind words to lift me up from serendipity and self-doubt when I’m riddled by my inability to write. And btw, those days are much more frequent than you can ever imagine!!! 🙂 <3

  4. Letting go is hard, specially when it is attached to a lifetime of memories. Everything has a feel or smell or an image attached to it. But as you said it is finally a relief to let go.To bring closure to those chapters of our lives and open a new one. Hugs to you and your mom.

    1. You know, Sunita, after everything is done, I remain eternally grateful for the eventual closure, that was so crucial to what will always be, one of the most integral chapter in our lives. In the end, just memories and a whole lot of it remains. Thanks so much for stopping by, Sunita and sharing your kind words here. Hugs right back to you too from both of us. <3

  5. This is such a poignant read, Esha. I’m glad that you were able to take your Mom and do what both of you needed to find closure. As much as we want it to stand still, life goes on and forces us to move on too. Thank God our memories and love sustain us. Hugs!

    1. You know, Corinne, nowadays, I feel deeply grateful that life doesn’t stand still and that it forces us to move. I find stagnating very difficult to deal with and change has never been more welcome in my life than now! The sense of closure is what I’d been looking for, for the past 2.5 years and glad that it happened. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog and leaving your kind words. Hugs right back to you too. <3

  6. Hugs, Esha. This was a beautiful and emotional read. I am glad you found gratitude and peace in the process. A piece of our heart is for our home and the moments cherished there. <3

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by the blog and sharing your words of appreciation, Vinitha. That last line of yours echoes in me too. <3

  7. Hi Esha, not sure why I can no longer see your posts. I can only see the first line, and no link to continue reading. I tried unfollowing and following again, but it remains the same. So sorry, would have loved to have read your writing.

    1. Hey! I’m so sorry to hear that you couldn’t see my post except the first line. Please let me have your email and I will share the link to my post as well along with the post itself so that it reaches you either way.
      Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your experience on the blog. I’d love to see you come by the blog again.
      Cheers and wishing you a beautiful week ahead,
      Esha

  8. So beautifully written. I love these lines: I learnt to quietly let go—of the ties that held me to this home and to the city itself. I did so, with a grateful heart, for everything that came my way, over the years.

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