Guwahati: Death, an inevitable and eponymous part of our joyous lives and which continues as a part of our normal life cycle. “Neither had I thought that this ‘normal’ part of our lives would suddenly come to a standstill. I went through multiple stages of grief – shock, anger, numbness – after learning of my husband’s death four years ago,” says Mumbai-based radio jockey Rohini Ramnathan.
Ms Ramnathan, while sharing her story with Humans of Bombay, exclaimed a time when she had almost lost consciousness of her surroundings. Lost, unperturbed by her surroundings, she forced herself into a black hole of delusion. She drowned herself in work and sought therapy for her mental health. It was months before she began to feel like herself again.
“I was introduced to Kaushik through our common friends,” Ms Ramnathan recalls in her interview. “Being an RJ, I loved storytelling while he was a writer, we hit it off.”
They started spending more time together after their first meeting and eventually began dating. Love blossomed, their relationship grew. A relationship so beautiful that there could never be any wrong or mishap in the coming years, well they thought.
After three years of dating, Kaushik proposed – much to Ms Ramnathan’s delight. “We were that couple who’d complete each other’s sentences. And so, after three years he asked me to marry him, I said ‘yes’!” she says.
“The next four years of our marital life was blissful. Devoid of any sad comings, jealousy fights. We were happy, terribly happy,” says Ms Ramnathan. “We travelled, kissed under the Eiffel Tower and “lived in Love”, adds Ms Ramnathan.
“We’d often dream of relocating to New York- it was his favourite city. But four years after we got married, Kaushik passed away… It was so sudden,” says Ms Ramnathan.
The sudden loss of her husband left her reeling. “I felt so many emotions-shock, anger and then went numb. I wanted to block everything,” she says. After 14 days, she drowned herself in work and resumed shooting – though she was often subjected to mean-spirited remarks from people wondering how she was up and about so soon after her husband’s death.
Though she had put up on a tough exterior, hiding her frequent flow of tears from people, every night she would return back and break down. The mind would not leave the memories from her present. This pattern continued for 10 months before she sought for a therapy. “It took months before I started feeling like myself again,” says Ramnathan.
But even then, moving forward was not easy. Ms Ramnathan says that simple things – like picking out a couch – became hard. ” And every time I filled out a form, I had to be conscious about choosing ‘single’ instead of ‘married’,” she adds.
The toughest time for her, she says, was in New York. She visited the city to understand why Kaushik had loved it so much – but being there was “living the future we could never have.”
“I hated it,” she says. “But it was also important because being there made me embrace my emotions. Slowly, I started putting myself first; I knew Kaushik would have wanted that.”
“It’s been four years since he passed, yet sometimes I do break down. The memories rush through my mind. I feel like I am stuck and then I think about what he’d say and do exactly that,” says Ramnathan.
“Though Kaushik left four years ago, he left behind seven years of memories for me which will last until my death. Will cherish each moment of my present life as if he is just next to me. Holding my hands, kissing me like before,” says Ramnathan.
Death, undeniably the most scared and loathed term in our everyday vocab, yet one cannot deny that it will come one day, in any moment. Till then, life has many things to teach you. Cherish each moment, enjoy and understand your existence.
*Synopsis from Humans of Bombay and NDTV