Over the last one-and-a-half years, the MIM and I have been building a dream, vacation home in the idyllic town of Shanti Niketan. Yes, of Rabindranath Tagore fame.
Two days ago, on Friday, 23rd July, 2010, we finally had our Griho Prabesh. It was a dream come true for many there.
For my mother, who did her MA from Bishwa Bharati University in Shanti Niketan. Even after she and my father were married and had moved to the States, a huge part of her remained behind in Shanti Niketan. She always knew that she was going to come back to India. She had even started making queries about purchasing land and building her dream home there, way back in 1974.
For the MIM's late tamma, or dadi. She was Rabindranath Tagore's student. In fact, he had composed his well-known song, 'Godhuli Logone Meghey' especially for her. She was the first to be conferred the title of 'Geetashree', the female equivalent of 'Pandit' or 'Ustad'; lesser known than it's Hindustani counterpart of 'Vidhushi'. She always wanted her own place in Shanti Niketan. Her daughter and son (my FIL) watched proudly, as the Grande Olde Dames wishes were fulfilled via her grandson (the MIM).
For the MIM and me. He wanted a holiday home. I wanted a place that I had a deeply profound, almost spiritual connection too. And thanks to my intense love of Rabindrasangeet, that place was Shanti Niketan.
However, for me, the ceremony was incomplete.
No, no. Everything took place and the pujo was beautiful. But BIL-ly Boy, SIL, the Nephew and the Niece couldn't be there thanks to the viral. The Bro, because he's busy earning a living in the States.
And most of all, because my DaddyDearest wasn't there.
At least not physically.
But he was there with me in spirit. I felt him traveling with us in the car as we drove down from Calcutta to Shanti Niketan, as I carried his photograph with me. I saw his face in the clouds as I looked out the window, at the sun-dappled tree-tops. I remembered him standing next to me, proudly and happily when we had gone for the Bhoomi Pujo, last year in February.
And I remembered the last pujo I sat for. For him. On 23rd January, 2010. Exactly six months ago.
The man worked his magic with dates once again, just so that he could be with me, somehow.
1 day ago