My cousin died yesterday night. She jumped in front of a rushing train. I heard of it today morning at 7.
She was 18. I first saw her when she was about a week old, very roly-poly healthy baby. I still remember how big a baby she was. She loved to eat fruits, raw vegetables, anything that came her way actually. And she slept very well.
Somehow, as I keep thinking of her now, it’s her baby face that comes to my mind, not her as a teenager. Particularly one day, when I was waiting for her to wake up so I could cuddle her. She took her time, and I almost forced her awake. She turned her little black eyes on me, and gave me the sweetest smile. I even remember the colour of the little T-shirt she wore: light chocolate.
One other image is her Madhuri Dixit smile. She was a charming teenager, shy, and quiet with strangers, bubbly and talkative with her friends and family. Sometimes, she would flash this dazzling smile, unconscious of how beautiful she looked.
She grew up in Shrsi, my hometown, and in Bhattaguttige, my mother’s village. She loved the outdoors, and could always be found perched on guava trees. She knew exactly which part of a hill had a particular wild berry.
It’s more than 12 hours now since I heard. There’s just one image in my eyes: that of a train rushing towards me in the dark. What would it take for me to stand there, rooted? What did it take for her?
She was cremated half an hour ago.