Friday, April 20, 2012 | By: Reenie

A Tribute

My uncle passed away a few days back.

We haven’t been in touch for years- he had never married, never had children or furkids. For the last few years of his life, he was a lonely man- with no family or friends- unwanted due to his sometimes eccentric and paranoid nature… the only family he had any kind of contact with in his last few years is my dad.

But there was a time we were close. There was a time we used to live in the same house- in a ‘joint family’ house- as the East calls it. I remember him humming silly catchy tunes with his own lyrics, I remember him whistling along with the radio, I remember his love of a then-famous Indian actress- Madhuri Dixit, his crush for a beautiful neighbour, his closeness to my dad- and the loud brotherly laughter (of him and my dad) echoing through the nights…

I have met him two years back when I went to Dhaka- I do not remember where exactly, but I remember him asking me if I lived in Melbourne or Sydney and if I liked it there. I fear my reluctance to have anything to do with my extended family (I have issues too), had made me a little distant; my answers were short. If I were to do that meeting all over again now, I would do it differently. I would at least remember what he said when I politely asked him what he was up to now-a-days.

But the fact remains- I do not. So I am doing what I can. I am remembering him in his best light. He wasn’t perfect, neither am I... and as I always say, he is not a better person when he’s dead- but I believe he wasn’t evil; he was paranoid, bitter and rude perhaps- but he was also very very lonely. He made poor choices, he was sorely taken advantage of- and in the end he died alone. I think it is a sad life.

I wish life was kinder to you, Reza Ali. I do not believe in an afterlife, but for your sake- I wish I were wrong… that there was a life waiting for you that balances out the loneliness you endured with something nice and good. We will never ever meet again- but I will remember you every time I watch a Madhuri Dixit movie for the rest of my life.
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