i could see bajai lying down on my bed at home in kathmandu. she was wearing a white dhaka shawl. she had not come to kathmandu in years and i was talking to her through Skype for the first time.

she said to me, “mann daro rakha hai…malai thaha cha timro mann kamolo cha…ma jastai. timi narau. timro baje hami sangai cha ajai pani.”

keep your heart strong…i know your heart is soft…like me. you don’t cry. your grandfather is still with us.

i couldn’t say anything in return. here she had lost her husband and i had lost my grandfather. we were miles and miles apart and it was she who was consoling me.

i cannot understand my grief and i cannot put it into words. i have never experienced someone so close passing away in all of my life. i can only say to myself that i am fine and that i will not cry, but in between the hours, i breakdown once again. i didn’t find out until last evening because yesterday, i had exams and my ama knew i wouldn’t be able to handle it. i passed my exams. but my family and i have lost so much more.

dearest baje, i hope you are in peace.

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