I spoke with Bunty (my brother) to get some flowers for her photograph. He sounded a bit miffed. I thought maybe it was a bit preocious of me to prompt for the flowers. Maybe he had already done that in the morning. I wasn't sure what had bothered him about my call.
I tried to probe. He said 'of course I will get flowers' but look at Dad....he wants to celebrate. Is this a thing to celebrate? Is it right of him to want to throw a party when she is not amongst us. It looks so juvenile'.
I agreed with him. To throw a party did seem strange.
Impulsively, I dialled Dad's number to ask him to not indulge in such things. But something in me made me disconnect it the moment I dialled. Something just stopped me. I don't know what it was.
I called back my brother instead. He was finding it difficult to deal with the question of 'how to behave on mom's birthday when she isn't there'. So, not wanting to hear anymore of that topic from me he asked if there was anything else I wanted to talk about. I didn't. So we cut our conversation short and said our quick byes.
We are uncomfortable about 'today'.
We don't know how to be.
But Dad isn't. He knows exactly how he wants to spend 'today'. He is not in two minds. He is not ashamed of 'what people will think'. He is composed, dignified and very aware of 'who says what' when he expreses that he wants to celebrate 'today'.
I am clueless about his feelings but a sense of introspection does engulf me when I see him so sure and calm despite our defiant murmers.
Maybe she hugged him when he got up today. Maybe he hugged her in return and whispered a gentle 'happy birthday'. Maybe she smiled back, happy & contented that he remembered. . Maybe he is just trying to make up for all the birthdays that he forgot to wish her, coz now he can never tell her 'I promiseto make up for it next year'.....