Just returned. My first-ever direct contact with a young family, consisting of a wife, 2 adolescent children, who had lost their earning member to Covid last year. There is never a right age to die. Is there? But it is most distressing to see it happen at a prime age when life is an anvil of responsibilities. For such families, life may never come to normalcy even after the pandemic. It was his first death anniversary.
There was an invite to pay homage to him, hence the visit. I had never met them before and expected the atmosphere to be morose and dismal. But when I went to the Samaj Mandir, the venue of the function, I was greeted by a young girl. On enquiring, she confirmed I was in the right place. It was her father I had gone to pay tribute to, she answered. Amidst the large group of women was a smart, smiling lady who quickly got up to receive me. I introduced myself.
She had only known me by name from her late husband’s conversation. She immediately thanked me politely for my visit and beckoned her son and daughter to meet me too They arrived immediately. Bent down to do the ‘namaskar’ as per tradition. Both with pleasing faces. It was his board exam paper that day, said the young boy. The dusky teenager stood next to the mother, smart and smiling too.
She had just appeared for her 12 exams and was aspiring to get into the National Defence Academy; “I want to get into the Indian Air force” she beamed confidently. While their mother, the young widow, supported the family with her tailoring skills, she disclosed. The photo of their departed father was kept ceremoniously at the table nearby. Smiling beneath the garland and flowers showered over it. “Please sit down, and you must have the ‘Varsh Shraddha’ lunch”, said the wife.
Declining the offer with due dignity to the occasion, I left the function. My purpose was achieved. To see them in person and witness their state of affairs after their loss. I was concerned about the welfare of this family, ever since I had heard the news about the demise of yet another acquaintance. He had worked in our office as a loyal staff member for a span of 8 years or so, a long time ago.
Even though life will never be ‘normal’ to the late Ganesh Kulthe’s family, I wish his hardworking wife Namrata, his confident daughter, NDA aspirant Shreya and his student son Yash all the very best in life! Despite all odds, they are fighting to create a better future! Kudos to them and their like!
Article by: Seema Moghe