Last year on this day, my father passed away. He lived a long, fulfilling life.
We were lucky to have been able to be by his bedside, a few days before his final departure. And, even though it was a very difficult time for me and my family, it was also peaceful for two reasons.
One, it was mid-monsoon in Bengal. Torrential rain, thunderstorm, and then relentless rain all day…the crows getting drenched perched on that big Ficus tree right in front of our house…the streets are making noise with the pattering of the rain, wheeling of the rubber tires of Calcutta taxis…and the indescribable sound people make with their feet when they walk across rain-soaked alleys…occasionally leaping over the puddles…
And then, after a hard burst of rain, the sky gets crystal clear. The trees show their real lush green foliage. Pollution disappears. That’s how it has always been. That’s how it will always be.
And the second reason, of course, is that we could make it on time. Being in America, ten thousand miles away from there, we always had anxieties that when the time finally comes for him to go, we wouldn’t be there. This apprehension exacerbated after my wife could not arrive before the death of her parents. The news came too suddenly.
I have written about my father’s death, and I have written about our immigrant life in America — its isolation and melancholy — many times. I am linking up some of the articles I wrote on those subjects. You can click on the links, and read. I don’t wish to test your patience.
Here I’m including a few photos we took on our trip last year. It’s a different type of a story. Or, it could be the same story, told in a different way.
You decide. I am a little out of it today.
Brooklyn, New York