I did something today that was long pending. I watched my sister’s wedding video. I’s asked for it specifically, because I knew it’d be one of the rare videos of G. It had been lying around with me for some time now, but I just didn’t have the courage to watch it. I remembered what happened to me the first time I saw him in a video after his death. It wasn’t nice…
Still I’d been missing him a lot and kept getting glimpses of him these past days. Maybe they were triggered because last weekend his mom and I spent hours going through his pics over the years. Maybe, it’s just been too long that he’s been gone and I needed to see him. Maybe it was the festival that triggered it on. But I wanted to see him. And so I dug out the CD and plugged it in to his laptop. That’s all of us in the pic – G&I are at the far corners – me in green and him in mauve. It was her engagement day.
As the film started – with the scene where we first arrive at the wedding venue and do a ritual puja – I had a funny feeling in my chest. I don’t know if it was anticipation, or dread. I don’t know if it was a good feeling or bad. I just knew something was welling up inside me, because I knew he had been there in that room and it was a matter of time before he came in to the frame. And he did. The camera panned out his T-shirt first and then him, with me sitting next to him. The tears came uninvited, and they blurred my vision – they are doing that right now! But I watched him as he laughed, talked, and put vermilion on the guests’ forehead. And then came a scene where he’s casting off the evil eye from my sister. There is money in his hand and he’s circling her top to toe with it – later to give it to the poor. They are laughing and talking. It’s such a lovely frame that my tears gave way to howls. I sobbed, and cried, and watched the freeze frame. You could see the love there. He cared for my family. He loved not just me, but everyone that came along with me.
There is a scene where my mom comes and says something in his ear and they are both laughing. He’s seen cracking jokes with my cousins, uncles and aunts. He’s seen getting the wedding venue ready, tying the scared threads that’ll host my sisters phera’s under them. And I couldn’t watch anymore. I will. Later. But I guess this was all I could take.
I left my house today to go to a doctor, have messed up my left wrist. And all I could think of in the car was that he wasn’t dead. He wasn’t, he couldn’t be. A person so full of life cannot be dead. It’s just not done. And then I saw someone walk in to a store, wearing a T-shirt that was his favorite shade of green. The guy was hiking up his jeans as he walked in and that gesture reminded me so much of G. And then I saw him tonight. The familiar quirk of the eyebrow, him chewing his cheek in a moment of thought, that laugh. It was so alive! So how can he be dead?
The wedding was beautiful, and G did more than his share to make it so. But I guess he was in a hurry to leave. He didn’t even see his niece, born just a couple of months after he was gone. I’m going to tell her about him though – how he loved us and would have loved her too. I’m not going to let them forget!