How do you write about someone when nothing you do will ever bring them back? How do you keep on living when you know death is the only thing that remains unchanged for the rest of time?
But I am getting ahead of myself. This isn’t a sad story; in fact, some might say it was a love story all the way.
So let me start from the beginning. Before all of these deaths, their permanence and loss, there was a cat. On one fine winter morning in 2018, I took a rickshaw ride to bring her home. On that very day, she was given a name, Pichu. Not very creative, right? But that’s what my little brother chose, and that’s how a new member was added to the circus party we call “family.”
When people hear pet, I don’t know what they understand. It isn’t a hobby or occasional petting when you’re free. It isn’t bringing home life and asking everyone else to take care of the life while you mind your own business. It certainly isn’t cute videos and insanely adorable shots. Pichu was more. She was a whole new world. A world that depended on me for every little thing. A world that needed me for food, water, love, affection and survival. A world I couldn’t leave to attend weddings, a world that somehow always knew when I was sad.
When I first brought her home, Dadi (grandmother) and Borno (brother) were the only ones who weren’t against a cat in our house. But it didn’t take long for Pichu to snuggle with Baba or claim Ma’s lap. She would sleep on top of our bookshelves, and we would think, that’s the cutest thing ever. She would meow, walk, yawn, and we would think, nothing can be more beautiful than that. But again, she was more. She would come running to me when I came back from class. She would sleep holding my hands, lick my face and won’t leave my side no matter what I did. She was the only one who needed me as much as I needed her. So when someone killed her and hid her under a pile of garbage, yes, I was at fault.
I was at fault when I saw her sitting on the sofa and didn’t take her on my lap. I was at fault when I left home for a class and didn’t stay home. I was at fault for not knowing who did it. I was at fault cause I couldn’t kill that person as they did her.
I am sorry for rushing too much! Let’s go back to the day again. When I saw her on the sofa, a technician came; I asked Dadi to lock the door and left for class. I came back home to the news that Pichu was missing. I don’t know why I came to that conclusion, but I knew right away that she was dead. I cried myself to sleep that afternoon and woke up to the howling noise my ma was making. Baba and Borno had found Pichu. Dead, bloody, senseless, gone!
It was so permanent. What was I supposed to do with all the love I had for her? Where would I have put it? So I screamed and screamed with all those love that was turning into anger, that had nowhere to go, that was digging a tunnel inside of my being that could never be filled. That night turned into daylight, and ma took her to a different city where our family graveyard is and buried her beside my Dada.
I never went back. I never went to her until today, the day after my Grandma’s death. I sat in our car, dying a little more with them. I realised that love, unlike popular belief, isn’t a shapeshifter. It doesn’t change colour or transform for someone else. It is an undying fire setting me ablaze.
So pardon me if I never love someone the same or don’t believe in pain making me strong, for I am a decay of all the love, I lost too soon.