Mousumi and Miri-Rest in peace my friends9:24 AM
For the last few days am opening my computer and looking at the blank screen. This has never happened to me before. Everytime am trying to pen down my thoughts, plethora of emotions and memories are overwhelming me. Can’t believe Miri, our dearest Miri of Peppermill blog is no more. More so because I have lost another young friend like her very very recently.
I knew very little about Miri (Raji), that too only through her blogs. Loved reading her well thought posts, practical approach towards foods, easy to follow recipes and intellectual comments. I admired her for all these qualities. Everytime we exchanged comments I found her very sensible and generous. Then I saw her picture on Manisha’s blog I thought Wow! She is gorgeous. Her maturity, elegance, intelligence, grace and beauty all were reflected in her wide smile. She looked so effervescent. Little did I know then that her health issues are so crucial that one day it would take her away. She hardly talked about her health on her blog apart from some passing references. Today she is no more I wish I have read the posts more carefully or have mailed her enquiring about it. But every time I wanted to do so I was deterred by the thought that it would be too interfering. But today I just wish I had done that. She always visited me, read my posts carefully and left a thoughtful comment at the end. Her witty and appreciating comments were something I became used to after this post. But was unaware that she was suffering from such a problem. Its hard to make out from the way she thought, cooked, wrote and made her posts about food that she was not even allowed to eat any food for a whole year. Even from the last one year or so she had to really struggle to eat a few spoonfuls everyday. Her love for food is so generous that when we all aahed and oohed over her pear, beetroot and feta salad and we all complained about how feta cheese is so expensive in our local markets, she generously offered to send some from her local dairy. She hardly knew us and she dint have to do that. But she was Miri. Such an energetic, vivacious and positive person she was that she was never in denial that her time was limited. Rather she made peace with it and made pickles in winter, baked cakes for Christmas with her daughter and carried on life with a very very positive attitude. Now that I get to know her more my respect for her has increased many folds. I admired her then and will admire her my entire life.
Mousumi was a dear real life friend and our friendship goes back to that time when I just started working. On the very first day she welcomed me with her trademarked wide smile. Soon we were part of a big group that still keeps in touch. We bonded over many things and apart from work, good food, shopping. Gossiping, bitching about movie stars were something on which we spent many our Saturdays. This bond became strong over time. We often talked and she loved reading my blog. Three years back when she was diagnosed with cancer I could not believe it. She was so young, her daughter was only two… God cant be that unfair. I was in Bangalore then and on my next visit to Kolkata we all went to see her and she welcomed us with that big smile which somehow made me believe in my heart that everything was well. But it was not. Her condition was deteriorating rapidly and within 2 years she was in bed. I never had the heart to ask her how she was as by that time it was clear what was in store. She never ever discussed anything about her condition. We talked and shared everything under the sun. About our kids, parenting tips, recipes, movies, facebook and everything else but her illness. She delivered facts like she was in hospital or she was having food through her tubes or she was not able to move any of her organs just matter of factly but it left me stunned. Every time we finished the call I burst into tears. But she never did. She was every bit the upbeat and positive person I knew her till her last breadth.
I don’t know how to pay tribute to some one you really love and admire. I also don’t know how to say goodbye but when I look back what pains me most is the fact that both of them lost their mothers to the same condition or illness when they were very very young. They knew how difficult it is to deal with such a great loss at such young age yet they were faced with same situation. As a mother it breaks my heart to even think that I wont be there in my lil one’s growing years and I can imagine how difficult it had been for them to deal with that fact. But I also know they made peace with everything and prepared their family well with love and strength.
Today when they are no more with us and when am finally done with mourning, I realize in my heart that it’s not time yet to say good-bye. They will always live in my heart. Remembering them will always bring a smile and will encourage and inspire me just the way their words have done earlier. As a friend of Miri’s wrote
“… am leaving you with something --
see me, for I will always be near you, and you will always feel me….
….Love does not die, people do.
So, when all that's left of me is love,
Give me away as best you can.”
Rest in peace my friends.
If you already haven't read about her from her friends please read
Archana's post here
and Nina's post Here.