and then he’s gone

i remember the wedding day so vividly. nov 15, 1984. at vellore, and it was raining heavily.
the day my cousin married him. rotund, gregarious, his conversation punctuated with smiles and laughs.
i was just 10. class 6. the wedding was a welcome distraction, as dad was just out of hospital. i was being disciplined in school, and my family was very angry with me for my misdemenour and the humiliation of being called to school (seems so trivial now. and i would do all those things all over again).
then they move to delhi, for years we would meet during vacations or family celebrations. the cousin i was always very fond of. she boarded with us through college and work… till she got married.
life was never easy for them… situation — both self-made and inflicted — has long been difficult. then last August he suffered a stroke. yesterday he died. just when things were looking up — his daughter in a good job, son set to join a MNC — he just gives up and dies.
sitting thousands of miles away, i wonder if his last thought was a joke. if his last expression was a smile.
definitely not the closest brother in law, because in a family as huge and mad as mine, very few one-to-one relationships were possible. but he definitely was the funniest.
rest in peace.

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