I knew my Nani Ji mainly through stories. He escaped
a bombing at a train station, shot a tiger who
threatened the life of his employees and wore finely
tailored Italian suits.
He was an Intimidating man, both feared and
respected. An atheist, who believed in equality and the
power of hard work. My mother grew up with a father
who wanted her to be educated and free.
Most of the time I spent with him was towards the end
of his life. Every day he would have warm milk, play a game of solitaire and sit on his leather recliner to
watch the cricket.
He passed away at the age of 97 on the 18th of
February, 2018. The days that followed his passing
were painful and exhausting. The Havan -the last day
of the funeral processions- took place on the 21st of
February. The day was long, and my immediate family
would rest on the charpai (daybed) in the backyard of our house for a moment of respite. One by one my
family floated in and out of the backyard, as I sat
waiting and taking pictures.