lately, i haven't been myself the whole world screams of pain, sorrow, lost hope and death– a new type of ghost haunts me.
the first thing i do in the morning is check the number of deaths caused by the virus. my heart sinks a little for all those who couldn't say their goodbyes to their families and friends. in the beginning, death was an acquaintance the first time we met, i was 18, looking at a 90 year old man i called nanaji, my dadi's father everyone said death is inevitable that it was his time, so i accepted it and said my goodbye. the same year, one of my favourite singers chester bennington committed suicide it was 2am when i received the news I cried the whole night, it felt wrong, i was angry and in so much pain. i still find myself crying when someone plays one more light. that was his last song, a goodbye that saved so many lives but couldn't save him. the next year, 2018, death was called a disease. liver cancer, stage four. i watched life being slowly sucked out of my aunt– she was always a fighter, but this time, her body gave up. she said her goodbyes, hooked up to machines, struggling to breathe. the same year, two months later, death was the loss of a loved one. dadi and i were on the same bed when it happened, the loss of her child marked the end of her life, her hope. i remember my last words to her were “ay heroine, dekho kaun aaya.” that was the last time she responded, it was her goodbye to me and she was gone, lying on the bed.
Photo: Aryan Nair
since that day, death and i sleep in the same bed. i cried when i read about the trains carrying dead bodies in 1947, i cried when i saw videos from italy, i cried when nairobi was shot. right now, i can't stop crying– even though death isn't personal, pain is real, even if it's not yours. and today, the sound of goodbyes has reached its crescendo.