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I hope you enjoy the book.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Holiday


She was only 18 and had never seen the Taj Mahal. He loved her to death and promised her that he would take her there. That summer, he decided to fulfill the promise.

With much excitement and anticipation, they set off on a long train journey to the northern part of India. They had decided to visit Kulu-Manali, Shimla, and Agra, the final destination. This was the first time that she was taking such a long journey, and the first one for him in a long time. It was not very pleasant as the compartments reeked of something stale and the heat made it worse. With frowns and glares, they looked ahead with pessimism, counting the number of hours it would take for them to reach. She, especially, was not too pleased. But there was no looking back now.

They were a part of a tour and the people were quite obnoxious, nosey, and old-fashioned. They both did not seem to quite fit in and wondered all the time, if they had indeed made the right choice in choosing their travel plans. Much to their chagrin, the hotel rooms too were not quite upto the mark. Kulu-Manali and Shimla were beautiful but somehow something seemed to be amiss. She sensed it all the time. She knew something was not right about the entire holiday and began counting the days to when they would return back home.

Into the 5th day of their 15 day tour, she started waking up in the middle of the night to check if he was asleep. He always was sleeping peacefully. She would then pray a silent prayer to God before falling asleep again. She always awoke in the morning with delight that another day had begun bringing home much closer. And run out with her camera hoping that today would be better than the past few days had been. Sometimes, it was. Sometimes, it wasn't. But they always tried to had fun, him and her.

The day they reached Delhi, on the 27th of May, they only had one more day left in their tour. They were happy to be getting rid of the annoying people; even happier that they would visit the Taj Mahal the next day by themselves. True to his promise, the very first thing that he did was book a bus to the Taj Mahal the moment they checked into their hotel. Then, in the scorching heat of Delhi, they went shopping with everyone else. She went berserk wanting to buy everything fancy that she saw on the streets. He tried to calm her down and asked her to control the expenditure. She threw a fit and decided not to talk to him the rest of the day. He didn't either. That evening, for the first time, he decided not to join her for dinner while the rest of the tour mates hogged on a special feast that included his favorite, fruit salad. She thought about him the entire time praying that he changed his mind but he did not and decided to retire early that night.

At about 2 am, he awoke coughing and she awoke with a start.

"What's wrong?", she asked.
"I don't know", he said.

When he was unable to control his coughing, she knew something was wrong, and called the front desk. They told her to call the hospital across the street and ask a doctor to come over. He refused and said that he would walk over. Even though she objected, he was stubborn, as he always had been, and calmly walked over with her hand in his.

At the hospital, he was wheeled into a room and she was asked to wait outside. She was not afraid of being there in a hospital surrounded by unknown people in the middle of the night in a strange city that she had never been to before. She was only afraid for him while the doctor walked in and out making calls, not making any eye contact with her, and mumbling something under his breath.

At around 3 am, the doctor came out and asked her to start praying to God. With a heavy heart, she asked him what that meant. All he did was lower his gaze and say, "He is no more. He has died due to congestive heart failure."

That girl was no other but Solitaire and that man was no other than her beloved grandfather who loved her more than he loved anything or anyone else in the world. My precious grandfather died years ago while trying to show me the Taj Mahal on my very first visit to Delhi. Needless to say, it was the last time I visited the place and will probably never visit it again. At 18, I had called relatives back home to find out what I should do now. I did not shed a single tear then for I had to be strong. I sat by his lifeless cold body for hours before another hospital would open at 9 am and take him in for enbalming so that I could fly him back for his funeral in Ahmedabad. I held on to his cold hands while the ambulance took me and him to that hospital, holding his hands so that they did not fall from one side to the other on the bumpy roads. When I finally found the help, his lips had turned blue. I was shooed out of the room as I noticed them tearing his shirt off. It was a shirt that I had so lovingly bought for him in Singapore. And then I went to my uncle's business partner's home to spend the rest of the day there. Throughout the entire trip I had wished that we would not have to take the long dreadful train journey back home. My wish had come true. I was flying back home that evening, me in a seat, him in a coffin. And little did I realize that all these days, I had been counting the days to his death, not the end of the tour.

I am sorry Dada for having hurt you on your last day. I wish that I had had a chance to tell you that I love you. I never knew you would be gone so soon. I only want you to know that I love you a lot and there is not a single day that I do not think about you. I am what I am only because of you and I hope that we meet again someday to be together forever.

Thank you friends for being with me on this day. The 27th of May is the last day he spent on this earth. Can you please say a little prayer for who was once the most important man in my life?

120 comments:

Me-too said...

I am so sorry for ur loss! I pray that he be at peace. I hope he continues to look over you and be your strength throughout ur life.

This post is golden!!

Priya said...

May his soul rest in peace.
Hug.

Karthik said...

May his soul rest in peace.

humbl devil said...

hey, hez just gone to a better place where hez happily looking over all his loved ones...
and he wouldnt want you to be sad thinking about him...he would only want you to be happy when his precious granddaughter thought about her fav grandpa...
and you were a kid...it's okay...

loads of hugs for ya, girl...cheer up...

humbl devil said...

my friend has written a dedication for her grandpa too recently...
check herz out...

click

Crimson Feet said...

....i have tears in my eyes!
i will say my prayers for him!

Vrij said...

Oops.. that was a touching narration.

May God give his soul the eternal bliss.

vEENs said...

may his soul rest in peace!!

He is up there smewhere watching you grow into a very beautiful person..and i m sure he is blessing yu too!

Lov and **Hugzz**

and i m glad i knw smeone like u ... so courageous!!

Karthik S said...

I really feel sorry for ur loss.

I will surely remember him in my prayers.

Gayatri said...

Life's unfair.. big hug!

rahul said...

really sorry for your loss.

mohak mehta said...

He was a source of strength and inspiration not only for you , bt for many ppl...
i, personally know how dad looked upto him...
admire ur tenacity... was too young then to remember everything closely..the post brings back a gloomy memory and nostalgia...

rashmi said...

sorry. may he be in peace.
dont feel sorry that u had that fight. guess somwhere he knows that u love and miss him.
take care

Alok said...

May he Rest In Peace.

Beautiful dedication, man.

P said...

That is a very touching narration. You were so brave at such young age! Your grandpa must be very proud of you, not hurt. I will surely say a prayer for him today.
A big hug to you.

AaYuShI said...

Touching story yaa..Sneha..

May his soul rest in piece :)


*hugs*


hope that's uplifting (i know it ain't)..


:)

TC!!

Pavi!!!! said...

Hugs Sneha...U were such a brave gurl! Thank God for the strength he gave u. N i'm sure ur dadaji is smiling with pride as hez looking at u from heaven!

He'll definetly be there in my prayers today. U stay brave gurl.

n i donno if its inappropriate to say this...But the narration was beautiful!

Pranay said...

Oh that was really touching dear.... U really were and are very very strong....Don't blame yourself for anything...
I am sure he's proud of you.

gaurav said...

:-(

Patchez said...

Oh Mary! Pray for those who turn to you, Amen.

Hiren said...

I am sure your grandpa is still around you taking care of you and making all your wishes come true .... and seeing the way you remember him and miss him today, he too must be very proud of you.

I can relate to your situation ... but what i have experienced is that our elders whom we love never leave us .... but are always around to bless us.

Sam said...

You write tremendously well. Stories as well.

Solitaire said...

@ Me-too,

Thank you for your kind words and your prayer.

Solitaire said...

@ Priya,

Thank you for stopping by. Feels good.

Solitaire said...

@ Karthik,

Thank you!

Solitaire said...

@ Humble,

Thank you so much!! I do hope he has gone to a better place and looks down at me with fondness. Its hard to cheer up but thank you for your support.

Solitaire said...

@ Crimson,

Aww. Me too! I cried while writing this post and I cry everytime I read this post and all of everyone's comments. It has been a tragic loss for me. Thank you for your prayers.

Solitaire said...

@ Vrij,

Thank you!

Solitaire said...

@ Veens,

Awww! Those words means so much to me Veens. I hope he has forgiven me and continues to bless me. Thank you for supporting me and stopping by.

Solitaire said...

@ Karthik S,

Thank you Karthik.

Solitaire said...

@ Gayatri,

It sure does seem so. But there is no point asking "why". I guess everyone goes through their own share of sorrows. Thank you for your support.

Solitaire said...

@ Rahul,

Thank you.

Solitaire said...

@ Mohak,

Oh Mohak thank you! I am sure he was an idol for many. He was a great soul. I am glad you were young then. Those are not fond memories.

Solitaire said...

@ Rashmi,

I think he does. But it would helped me a great deal to have some closure. It kills me sometimes to not know if he forgave me or not.

Solitaire said...

@ Alok,

Thank you..

Solitaire said...

@ P,

Thank you dear. It did take a lot of courage at that time but I would say that I have not really recovered from it. Thank you for your prayers.

Solitaire said...

@ Aayushi,

Everyone's hugs, smiles, kind words, and prayers are uplifting. They mean a lot to me. Thank you!

Solitaire said...

@ Pavi,

Thank you so much! I do need a lot of courage and strength to bear this loss even today. Its been years now but somehow it feels like only yesterday.

Solitaire said...

@ Pranay,

It is hard not to blame myself for what happened...after all, I was not that old and somehow somewhere feel guilty. But I guess the past is the past and there is no looking back. Thank you for your words of support. Appreciate it.

Solitaire said...

@ Gaurav,

I know. :(

Solitaire said...

@ Patchez,

Thank you..

Solitaire said...

@ Hiren,

Really? I wish there was just one sign somewhere that told me that he was watching over me. That would make things so much better.

Pavi!!!! said...

@Sol : u need a sign to show tht he is indeed watching over u...u know the signs are probably all around u n ur missin it.
Infact the fact tht ur able to write so well,the fact tht ur able to touch innumerable lives thru' ur blog w/o even realizinf it,the fact ur doing so well in ur field of choice, the fact that ur able to counsel so many ppl...all these are signs.Signs that he prayed for u to do well and get wat u want in life.Signs that probably he too feels he had the chance to clear the anger..rite??

Hugs Sneha..a huge bear hug!

Macadamia The Nut said...

I read your post this morning actually. And left without leaving a comment coz it brought back some horrible horrible memories.

I totally understand what you went through girlfriend. And though I can never realize the intensity of your loss, I know that it must have taken a lot of guts to move on.

I wish I could say time heals.. but from experience I know that some things can never be completely pain-free. The edge wears off though...

Just remember, you don't need to say the words "I love you". He'd have definitely known! And if he's half as special as he sounds then he's definitely painting the town red somewhere... someplace!

*hugs*

Bubbles of FireWhiskey said...

im so sorry, sneha... but you have to know that he loved you and will never hold anything against you... you'll always be precious. and he will always watch over you... making peace with the past might not be easy. but it is essential so that he finds peace through you. and you cn look back on the happy memories and smile...

g-man said...

*hug!*

Nirmal's Blog said...

tat was sad.....

may his soul rest in peace.....

humbl devil said...

and about closure...
grands can never be angry with their potas and potis...for long...it's always a one-off thingie..
yeah they can be angry witht their own children for a lifetime...but not with the lil ones...

and it was plain sheer coincidence...tht you had a fight with him that day...
his not coming to eat...was what people go through before having an attack...they lose appetiite...they dont feel like doing anything...are quite exhausted...so they think if they lie down everything will be alright...
my nani did the same...she didnt say a word to anybody..
and we never got a chance to save her....
so cheer up now...and dont cry...be happy...for him...tht's the way he would want you to be...
:)

Neeku said...

I lost my Dadi July last year.... and I can relate to your pain to some extent.... looking at her cold body still makes me shiver... at the age of 18 what you went through is horrifying... And I hope it never happens to anyone...

I have been raised by my grandparents...and so at till this date... I celebrate sunday and Granddaughters day with my Dada....

All I can say that, don't be dishearten... He is knows that you love him and he is still there for you...

May his soul rest in peace.

Take Care.

Hugz.

ishqia said...

read all ur stories.. sorry for u..

it hurts to loose the loved ones.

u r a good writer

Sam said...

Hey sweetie, am so sorry for your loss.. May God bless him and be with you!!

Keshi said...

I was deeply touched by this post Sol. U hardly write abt family so this was something new here and so heartfelt.


Im sorry for ur loss, HUGZ!


**My precious grandfather died years ago while trying to show me the Taj Mahal on my very first visit to Delhi

It must be very hard for u whenever TM is mentioned.


May his soul RIP!


I know what it is to lose someone so dear. One morning I woke upto find my dad had died in his sleep. He was only 44. That day changed my life forever.


TC hun MWAH!
Keshi.

Hiren said...

There will be signs all around ... just look out for them ... for starters just look closely at your dada's photo ... you will surely notice a "bless you" smile ....

P.S.: Its a cliche stmt but so very true ... "Bhagwaan acche logon ko apne paas jaldi bula leta hai" ...

hope you are feeling better today !!!

I am said...

Ouch, it ached... :(

Prayers for grandpa, and more for you for being so strong and calm at 18...

life is too short to live in regrets he would be hurt if he comes to know that you are holding on to that pain.. 18 years back...

and am sure your grandpa knew how much u loved him..he exists even today around you.. with you....in you...
so smile, peace and love...

aneri_masi said...

Such a lovely dedication, and you're brave! I am sure he's watching over you, and smiling at this post of yours. Hugs!

skeptic saint said...

hey ofcrse he knows you love him so much...dnt wry...i am sure he left for a better place...

may his soul rest in peace...

Solitaire said...

@ Pavi,

Thank you so much for your genuine support. It really helped me yesterday when I was down and under. Was thinking about you a great deal. Maybe he made you write this comment so that I can see the signs!

pras said...

god bless

SwAtI said...

May his soul rest in peace!!

I can't even imagine what you mustv gone thru in those moments.. in an unknown place..

M sure as he looks down from heaven each day, he feels so proud that his beautiful lil granddaughter has turned into such a fine lady.. :)
I lost a very imp person of my life on 31st may..as the day is approaching..im unable to manage my emotions..

God bless ya dear!!
You are a beautiful person!!
Take care!

La vida Loca said...

I am soo sorry :(
peace be with you grandpa

Diva Watch said...

A very touching post.

Solitaire said...

@ Diva,

Thank you for stopping by.

Solitaire said...

@ La Vida,

Thank you for stopping by. I love the way you said "Peace be with you grandpa" like he was yours. :)
Feels endearing.

Solitaire said...

@ Swati,

It is very hard, isn't it? It is harder because the world does not stop for us and continues going round and round like it has been for the rest of the year. Try and keep yourself busy. One very sincere blogger friend told me to go to the temple, and I did. It felt really good.

Thank you for your kind words and support. I know they are sincere coming from you. May God give you the strength to bear your loss as well.

Solitaire said...

@ Pras,

Thank you.

Solitaire said...

@ Skeptic,

I hope so. Thank you for stopping by.

Solitaire said...

@ Aneri,

Hugs back! Thank you for coming. Appreciate your kind words during this sad time.

Solitaire said...

@ I am,

Sorry. It is a painful post, aint it?
The more I read everyone's comments, the more I begin to believe that he is around me. Thank you so much!

Solitaire said...

@ Hiren,

Feeling much better today. thank you!
His loss would not have been so painful had it not been for the way I lost him. If God takes nice people away soon, why not me? I am nice too!

Deepti said...

May his soul rest in peace .. and i cried reading this .. A tad late to read this ... but the prayers are always there .. take care ...

Lukkydivs said...

tears running down my cheeks.
hez always there with u sneha di, like i have mine

Ria said...

I m so sorry! I jus cudnt help crying after reading this post. I will certainly say a small prayer for him tonite. May his soul rest in peace.

Anu said...

The post really touched me..its heartbreaking to lose someone close . I just lost a cousin and everyday I try to put life in perspective from his eyes.Im sure your granddad is looking down and smiling

Pavi!!!! said...

So glad ur feelin better :)

elusive said...

may his soul rest in peace..am sure he's checkin in on u from wherever he is and he's happy for wot u are today..do not regret anything sweety yu fought wit him coz u loved him and he loved u back and both of yu know tat..

*~*Sameera*~* said...

May his soul rest in peace.

Your courage and strength at a time like that when no one you knew was around,is admirable.He must be very proud of you,not only were you a good granddaughter in life,but also in death.

Keep up the spirit!

Vandita said...

oh god may his soul rest in peace...
i sure did pray sweetie... really sorry he had to go like that
Hugs!

Solitaire said...

@ Sam,

Thank you!

Solitaire said...

@ Macadamia,

Really sorry to have triggered those memories. I know how hard that can be. Sometimes we try hard to forget but in reality memories never leave us.

I loved how you ended your comment. Put a smile on my face. :)

Hugs!

Solitaire said...

@ Bubbles,

Thank you! That is a nice way of looking at it...to make peace so that he can see peace through me. I am sure you understand having gone through a huge loss yourself!

Thank you so much for stopping by to give me your support.

Solitaire said...

@ G-man,

Thank you!

Solitaire said...

@ Nirmal,

Thanks!

Solitaire said...

@ Humble,

Really is that what happens? I did not know that and never bothered to find out because it just seemed so hard to read anything related to that even though people get heart attacks all the time! Thank you for that piece of personal info!

Solitaire said...

@ Neeku,

Yes it it truly horrifying to see the cold body lie there. To think that this person once upon a time held me, hugged me, kissed me, and now is lifeless and is called a "body" and not a person anymore.

Thank you for sharing that. Makes me feel that I am not alone in my suffering and that someone understands me.

Solitaire said...

@ Ishqia,

Thank you dear.

Solitaire said...

@ Keshi,

Thank you! Yes, it is hard for me to hear about the Taj Mahal and have declined many people who have offered to take me there. Maybe one day..when I have gained closure on this.

Solitaire said...

@ Vandita,

I am sorry too. :(
Thank you for your support.

Solitaire said...

@ Sameera,

Oh that makes me feel so much better..to know that I was a good granddaughter to him in death. I wish I had done much for him in life though. The chances are gone now. :(

Solitaire said...

@ Elusive,

I hope so! Thank you so much!!

Solitaire said...

@ Pavi,

Thanks dear. You have a role to play in it.

Solitaire said...

@ Anu,

Thank you dear. It is so hard to lose someone isn't it..no matter how old they or we are.

Solitaire said...

@ Ria,

Aww..so sorry made you cry. I cry a lot too everytime I read this post. Thank you for your prayer.

Solitaire said...

@ Lukky,

Thank you dearie. Its so nice seeing you around. Have you unlocked your blog yet?

Solitaire said...

@ Deepti,

Does not matter how late it is. I really appreciate your prayers.

ceedy said...

hope you are feeling better....

can relate to this loss...

i think pavi makes a very strong point....physically he is not there around you but spirtually he is guiding you through....

and i guess we should all also congratualate him to have such a wonderful granddaughter....

Gonecase said...

Really sorry for your loss...may peace be with him !

MAN IN PAINTING said...

DEAR,
He was lying in the lower birth of the train.The boy and his mother were standing on the platform.The old man with a small swelling in the right side of neck couldn't see them clearly.Some words choked out from him.The boy's father came out of the train and took the boy into the compartment.The boy stood before his playmate and smiled.The old man couldn't return because his lips were not moving.Still she smiled through his eyes. He held the young boy's hand and tried to say something.For the rest of his life the boy will keep on guessing what his grand pa was trying to tell him.
Long fifteen years have passed after that train had left that old deserted railway station.But the kid is still standing there,guessing...guessing and guessing.
dear friend this is not a comment.
writing is always a sharing.
we all share the common bonds
no more comments,but a hug and tears...
http://keyboardsculpturer.blogspot.com

rantravereflect said...

may his soul rip..
tats uncanny, but ya knew all along!!!
lost ay love while ya went to see the symbol of love..

written beautifully!
love n hugs!!

*~*Sameera*~* said...

Don't think about what you could have done.Think about what all you did for him! :)

TC.

Satish Bolla said...

sneha, i couldn't hold the fours small tears that were running down my cheek while reading the lat few paragraphs of this post. i know it's hard to control ourselves when we lose someone whom we love dearly. that too, you r by his side during his sad demise. don't blame yourself for not being in good terms with him on that day. his end is written like that. no one can change it. at least, you spent sometime with him.
but kudos to u for being so brave. i would have gone into a trauma had i been in ur place.

Solitaire said...

@ Satish,

Awww. Will it help if I told you that you just posted the 100th comment to this post?

Seriously, I wish his end had not been written like that but yes, I know we cannot help it.

I have also undergone trauma. Its been a long time but still cannot even talk about him without crying.

Solitaire said...

@ Sameera,

I guess I am so greedy. I wish I had done lots more!

Solitaire said...

@ Rantra,

True! I knew all along and that scares me!

Solitaire said...

@ man in painting,

People say that it is easy for the ones who have passed to do so unexpectedly, without any pain or sorrow. But it is the hardest for those who were left behind.

Solitaire said...

@ gonecase,

thank you!

Solitaire said...

@ Ceedy,

Yes better than what I was a few days ago but the sorrow never really goes away, right?

I am what I am today only because of his love, support, and guidance. I hope he is watching and knows about it.

Phoenix speaks.... said...

You brought tears in my eyes...
May his soul rest in peace.

Solitaire said...

@ Phoenix,

Thank you!

Satish Bolla said...

@solitaire
sorry to say this but am not at all happy by this century. still, whenever i read any of ur blogs, this post keeps on haunting me.

ŋεεяѕ said...

im sorry for ur loss. i could feel the pain bcoz i lost my dadi exactly a month back...27th april.
i did pray for ur grand father..but well..its difficult for me to offer support to u at this point..
take care..

p.s: i've read all ur posts...u write reall well :)

vasanth said...

I got a lump in my throat as I read the last lines of your blog.

All I can say is it is so touching and so moving. I can only say a silent R.I.P. to your grandpa.

Sam said...

It is sad.. and to think a beautiful city got linked in there!!
My prayers are with you girl.. take care.. and keep smiling.. thats what your grandpa wud have liked!!

spicymist said...

you know you were very brave for those few hours at the hospital. and you should be thankful that ur grandad dint have to suffer much , there are so many who are bed ridden for the last few years of their lives n they get sooo fed up of life that they can't wait to die. ur grandad was a lucky man he dint have to go through all that. if im right it guessing that he luved 2 travel, then he went to a better place doin something he loved.

manisha said...

kudos to u for having shown so much courage after such a shattering loss..

may his soul rest in peace.

heaps of hugs!! tc

rayshma said...

u're not alone, gurl. BIG hug. i can understand.. and somewhat relate to everything u've said here.

the feeling of dad not being there anymore is the worst i've ever experienced. i can only hope it makes me a stronger person. for his sake.

u've put into words what i can probably never even attempt to write. this post left me teary-eyed...but comforted. in knowing that i'm not alone. thanks, gurl.
p.s.: drop by my space when u can.

Poorva said...

he must be watching over you
lovely dedication
hugs!!!
may his soul rest in peace.
amen

Shruti said...

:-(
may the noble soul rest in peace..

He knows u love him and treasure him.. they know everything.. that's how after-life is..

Divya said...

I had tears too when I read ur post,
m new here read some recent ones too..u write very well :)

May God bless ur Grandpa's soul and he rest in peace. BTW 27th May is my bday too. I m sorry that this day brought pain for you.
I will always remember to pray for your Grandad.

~Hugs~

the_thinker said...

i am so sorry, may his soul rest in peace...

Silent said...

I really wish i had something appropriate to say!

Absolutely moving!
GoD BlesS!