It has been three days since I've dug your grave. I'm sorry, I had to tear your Benarasi Saree to cover your wounds. I didn't want them to eulogize the scratches on your body. The PWD had towed your car, now they want me to free it away. I wish I'd driven you that day. I wish I were at your seat. Why did you have to be so stubborn, Maa? Had you only listened to me? I told you your rare view mirror ain't working. You can't always be right, Maa. You get that now, don't you? They brought you to the hospital all smeared in blood and flesh. I didn't want to recognize you that day. How could you go away so easily, without settling the scores even? My heart plunges into restlessness, for you are not to be seen beyond that 16/9 photograph. There's no one to shout back to, to run down for cuddles. I don't wish to send your Sarees for dry cleaning. Maa, they still smell of you. I know that too shall wither soon. What will stay back with me is a non-palpable void! Do you know what it is like to sit beside you, to the humming crickets, the candle consuming itself, and the watchman asking me to leave for it is time to shut the cemetery gate for the visitors? You probably will never get that feeling. Granny keeps asking about you. She's been cooking for you as always. She eternally waits for you to come back, and ends up falling asleep. I sit on the dining table, serving dinner in two plates, for you and me. She wakes up at night to check if both our plates are at the kitchen sink. She recognizes you by your plate in the sink, and I daresay the truth to her. I fear I'll lose her too. Unlike you, the poor aged listens to me. She never fails to ask for you, despite knowing her daughter keeps at her office until late night and returns only when she falls asleep. You've done this to her ever since I've stepped into college. Unlike me, she expects the least from you. She barely speaks these days, remembers least. However she always questions, "Did your Maa finish her food? Did she take her capsules?" I fear the worms have begun to deconstruct your face. Maa, do they hurt you? Why don't you come to my dreams, Maa? I promise I won't break down. I haven't twice-broken ever since you left. I feel like a rock that is exposed to the heat and turbulence, yet irresistibly stoic. Maa the nights are breathtakingly deceitful, delusional. No Mozart distracts my midnight conscience. I've shifted to your bed, your room. I still don't realize how the office experience would be. They say I'll have to sit on your chair, run your dream team. Maa, I've always kept away from all of it, much to your discontent. Maa, I always wanted to travel and I've done nothing beyond traveling. You know how I never wanted to settle in a desk job. I know not how it'll be to step into your shoes. I've never felt so convoluted, so corroded from within. I gobble food without realizing how it tasted. My eyes burn in the morning. I wish I could sleep on your lap again. Did you find peace there, Maa? How does it feel to have left behind a septuagenarian mother with gout and senile dementia? She has my confidence, you need not worry. I tease her less and love her more. I hold on to her more firm because nothing remains or feels like before. The grave, your epitaph, few obituaries here and there, the Mozart playing, those scented candles, your Maa, they are mine now; mine solely. My propriety. My sovereign. Sans you, they mean so much more, more than anything else. My association with you feels stronger than before. My tantrums no more would disturb your sleep. Your rest. Your demeanor. Your poise. But I'll come back to you now and again. Also like never before, Maa, I love you more.