December 8, 2011

For months my grandmother fought the blackness. Until one day she gave in, and let it claw its way into her mind, her body and her soul. Family legend has it that my birth finally propelled her to give the darkness a final shove and emerge out of the depression she had fallen into when things did not go the way she planned. For my grandmother, a quintessential controlling personality - the trigger lay in life plans going awry, daughters not-marrying the men-she-wanted-them-to-marry and relatives blaming her upbringing for independent decisions from her female offspring. All in all, it was a dismal time in her life, and combined with post-menopausal what-have-you she decided it was simpler to sit in the corner of her bedroom and sulk. For almost two years. And let her mind play with the blackness rather than face what was outside.

Suffice it to say, in my family stories of the 'great-depression' mean something completely different.

I've never really given much credence to the family legend. Perhaps because my memories of my grandmother are always of strength. Sometimes overbearing strength, but strength nevertheless. And I have always wondered how someone who made a career out of establishing her will over others did not use her considerable will-power to turn the blackness away from her doors in disgrace.

Except recently, when I least expect it memories of the day my father was killed hover at the edge of my mind. A different detail every day. On some days its the sounds I hear, on others I see the doctors sitting on his chest as they pull him from the emergency-room into surgery. Other days I see in acute detail the rickshaw Dani and I were going to the hospital in even as I knew in my heart that my life was going to shatter. I remember the phone call I got at home, from my aunt, trying to stay calm but telling me I need to get over there because something very bad had happened. And with each of these - and a hundred more memories - comes a tantalizing, tempting, seducing darkness.

It's different to explain why this darkness is not hostile, or scary but instead brings with it a delicious, safe warmth that promises to cocoon me from the cold-cold memories. It brings with it infinite promise of finally finding peace. And a strange sort of freedom. As I resist the temptation to give in, it makes me wonder what is so bad in just giving in, and letting go?

Letting the darkness come in, and take over.

Just like she did.

8 comments:

Winter Song said...

:( This was beautifully written. It made me sad, very sad. But I recognized that darkness you talk about...It's shadowed my soul for years now. Have lost too many loved ones to death. Have too many similar memories to cling to.

ironic word verification: unreste. :)

Jaded said...

There are time when the darkness offers far more comfort than anything in the light...

Anonymous said...

Sending loads of prayers for peace.. of mind and soul..to you and your family *hug*

Thoth said...

See even the annoying anon is nice today. It's not so bad.

Love.

shahrukh said...

The darkness may be a good temporary refuge, but I'd hate to slip into that dark oblivion for the rest of my life. Pain is good. It keeps us rooted and it does get better. Just my two cents worth. Hope you are well.

Anonymous said...

This is the most boring response ever but addresses your points.
Self-control & ability to influence others don't go hand in hand. Ex. 1. Politicians. Ex. 2 Those who get speeding tickets are usually extroverts, seeking driving as a means of expression. Familiar is comfortable & "negative" emotions serve a purpose.

Amna said...

You are awesome. Bus.

How do we know said...

i remember ur story a lot... what happened to her after 2 years? did she come out of it on her own, or did she take help? what happened?

and what is happening with u?