Anika Medha

Sun Dec 13 2020 05:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)


The last conversation I remember with my Nani was on my birthday. We FaceTime’d and the first thing she said was, ‘Aye Young! Happy birthday!! When do I get to see a grandbaby?’

‘Haha, Buri! You think you’re funny!!’ I replied. My Nani and I had nicknames for each other, I called her Buri and she called me Young. Buri and I talked about visiting in the summer, my nonexistent love life, and her hopes that I find the partner of my dreams. She hoped to be alive when I got married. I reassured her that she would be and that I wouldn’t settle down.

It was almost like she had predicted her future. Two weeks after, Buri had pneumonia which landed her in the hospital. She was hooked up to an oxygen mask and an IV and had never looked so helpless. I was heartbroken. All the memories I created with my Buri came flooding back, like the first time I had done her makeup.

She was so reluctant at first, worried about “loke ki bolbe” (what will people say), and made me promise to keep the look ‘natural’ and of course, ‘Facebook e dio na!’ I wasn’t sure how much she’d like the look, but she was beaming with glee looking at herself in the mirror, in awe of how she looked. Buri was beautiful to me regardless of makeup, but she never had someone offer her to get pampered. I never realized these regular moments Buri never got to experience. Unknowingly, she experienced most of it with her granddaughters, as we would later find out from my Khala.

Buri’s laugh was infectious. She stood with her children as their friend and spread love to everyone she came across. She would always watch cooking shows and learn new recipes. She learned common English phrases and words, just by hearing us repeat them. She even fulfilled one of her wishes and learned how to use a smartphone. Only her dream of speaking English fluently was left unfulfilled.

Though my Nani is no longer with me in this world, she left behind many memories for me to cherish. From dancing to Amitabh Bachchan songs and taking silly selfies to having serious talks about our lives, we shared so much between us. My only wish was for Buri to see me married to a handsome man and for me to see Buri in a red saree on my wedding day.

There are a few of my Nani’s belongings that my sister and I kept. The trench coat that smells of her, a pack of Bashundhara facial tissues, her favorite perfume, her salwars and sarees, and the broaches she wore to dawats. Most importantly, I kept her life’s teachings.

Life may be hard, but you should always see the good in it. Being grateful for life and all its beauty is a practice of life. Hold your head high and love unconditionally. And that we should always tell our loved ones how much they mean to us, because as Nani would say, “Jokhon thakbo na, tokhon mone korba.” “When I’m be gone, then you will remember me.”

You are right Buri, I will always remember.