... when people actually haunt you.
i feel so lucky, so often, to have such a huge and close-knit family. dozens and dozens of cousins, and double the number of nieces and nephews. aunts and uncles for every hour of the day...
most of them are around -- ailing, irritable, annoying, creaking, screaming... i'm glad to have them around, even if i see them not more than once a year. i'm glad that they are there, and just as they visit my thoughts, i visit theirs.
in the last few years, the one person i lost, and i genuinely miss even now is Ganeshathai.
my dad's foster sister, our chosen aunt.
old, deaf, generous to the point of being unreasonable, loving to the point of being indispensable -- there is a catch deep inside at her very thought.
she never forgot a birthday or an anniversary. she never forgot a celebration, when it concerned her adopted nieces/brother and sisters-in-law.
and we never will forget her -- for choosing to light up our lives, though hers was so blighted. widowed young, abandoned by her only son, and taking care of a blind and cranky mother... she looked forward to her regular visits, an escape. we looked forward to it too... for her stories, her touch, the little packets of biscuits and chips she brought along...
a retired corporation school teacher, on a meagre pension, in the care of some kind relatives... that's how she passed her last years.
tiny and bird-like, she had a sense of ridicule that was as sharp as her hearing was blunt.
i think of her, her look of pride every time she spotted my by-line in the newspaper, her hug and gift every birthday, her total devotion to my father...
rest in peace.