Many people catch my attention but only few of them truly captivate me.
Today I met an extraordinary woman.
She is my aunt’s mother, easily older than 80 years.
I don’t know her name, her last name I learnt from the nameplate. I am clueless about her education, her marriage, her accomplishments or her regrets: because I didn’t ask them.
In fact I didn’t ask her anything, I just watched her in wide eyed wonder. I observed her energy and cordial personality, a person captivated.
She couldn’t hear anymore but that didn’t impede her loquacious nature, she can lip read everyone: me, my parents, my aunt, even the actors on TV! Her focus oscillated from one person to the next as we spoke, she wanted to be a part of the conversation.
She spoke with everyone, she made me feel as a part of her family even if I had just met her for the very first time. I am part of her family, to her my father is like her son.
I heard her stories and her theories. She doesn’t leave her house anymore because she wants to pass away at her own home, she doesn’t want to taint her sons’ houses with her death.
Back when my father was a child, she used to summon him for small errands, my father never said no. Today when they met she told him she has some work for him, he still didn’t say no.
Her two favorite things are the bank and moving. Yes, I said she doesn’t leave her home so wait.
Her residential area is under remodeling. Old buildings are being replaced with new towers, the previous residents are given apartments in the new tower. She keeps making arrangement for a new temporary apartment even though her building is not scheduled for remaking. In fact, the plan is just under talks and nothing is finalized.
She is meticulous about her accounts, always checking to see if her money’s still there. Nowadays she calls over a nearby kid, pays him 15 rs to go and check her account! The same kid was also summoned to visit her cousin who was hospitalized.
She has a diary, all the people who she knows are in it. Contact numbers, their residences everything. She has maintained it over the years so well that my aunt only uses her diary as a contact list. She took our numbers today.
Like I said her gregarious nature doesn’t permit her to stay aloof, she calls people and speaks to them over loudspeaker of the phone. According to my aunt, her telephonic conversations are a shouting match.
I love her, I don’t have any blood ties with her but I wish there should be one, no matter how distant. Her diabetes has no control over her, she would eat rice and sweets whenever my aunt’s unaware.
Funniest thing is that she is always smiling. She is unique in that, her frankness and motherly nature. If you were there, you would probably touch her legs in awe and respect. Like I said I was captivated.
Before we left her abode, she gave me and my brother ten rupee notes. I never do this but I marked her note and vowed to never spend it. When she made me vow to never spend it later at the door, I wanted to hug her and say I was never going to spend it anyway.
This is the goal. To be so venerated, to possess such candor, to meet another youngster and make him captivated.
After all, what is life’s goal but to be remembered.