Friday, June 18, 2021

 Earlier this week, I went shopping. 

I haven't stepped foot outside my room, let alone my house since I got back from the longish hospital stint, other than the trips to the hospital, and thus going out in every sense of the way was a step forward in life— of progressing from trauma, grief and making sense of the cards we've been distributed this time around. 

Truth be told, nothing about the old life or the memories hold value cause all of that is in the past. A past that was snatched a little too soon without any intimation. I digress but the market was a ride of emotions. 

I had not accounted for how bad the grief of losing my grandfather is going to be until I set foot there and every little thing reminded me of the times I'd visit alone (infrequently with friends even). Armed with petty cash, I'd shop some bargain hunts, find a thing or two for my grandfather, and end up paying for a few pairs of shoes that my grandfather would encourage despite no storage space at mine. It's really something that he did. Perhaps, to see the misplaced youth where he couldn't afford the same luxury. 

Anyway, the market, the grandfather, and all the rest are pretty much gone. I tugged those memories and got to business— some cycling shorts, t-shirts I don't need but then again I do, and some dresses. It was all like a carnival with no participants. As a friend pointed out today (upon his visit), one could see the floor of the market, which is usually covered with trash unattended.

In this undercurrent of memory mishap, I was somehow reminded of a boy I had come to know through a dating app years ago. He and I had a whole bunch of things in common and all that except there was something really off about the whole thing. I recall calling him out and wishing him well just before moving on until he came clean. He had come to India to see his ailing mother and she had passed away in that duration. He found himself downloading the app a week later and I had matched with him the first day. The long silences and his demeanour suddenly made so much sense. Fast forward to a few weeks later, we celebrated his birthday together over a long walk in a corner of Old Delhi I was (then) unfamiliar with. We wrapped that morning with breakfast from his ex-girlfriend's family's sweet shop. The whole morning and that walk was curated around his fond memories and his life prior to the big shift in his life when his mom was around and he lived in India. 

In hindsight, it was all so bizarre and unreal but at that moment, I felt as though we had split grief in equal part and were walking to build an appetite of re-washing ourselves and making new memories of the city in the light of his loss. 

Somehow, this trip and the excursion felt exactly that. I was rewashing and calibrating myself to make memories sans people in my life who once made regular appearances— grandfather, friends. The only person to split that grief this time around was my mother. 

In all of this, I've come to miss the boy from Melbourne who took me around my city, that he knew better than me. I hope he's doing well. 

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