From my very infancy, I haven’t been living under the protective shade of my paternal grandmother ‘Rowshan Ara Begum’ and therefore I could never envision her persona, never understand her sorrows and joys, until quite recently when I stepped into her secluded life, in an old house, all to herself, a sanctuary for her Alzheimer’s.
Once every now and then, my grandmother had to visit the place she despises the most, hospitals for her gradual degradation of health. I witnessed how unfit she looks on the sheets of bare-minimum beds which reek of chemical odor and somber metamorphosis.
Spending time with her, I comprehended what she holds close to herself the most in her derailed psychological state and that is the space around her where every inch is a memory of her journey, where every act of survival makes her not feel lonely, in spite of being alone. I stayed with her but I saw a million other grandmothers of our society who might have sung sweet lullabies to our ears when we were babies and are now sleeping every night with the fear of eternal sleep; alone, left to decay and become food for worms.