november 18, 2023

Maruti Naik
3 min readNov 20, 2023

Crows, for some reason have dominated my thoughts for the last three weeks or so. Few pages written featuring them and the food we serve on death anniversaries still remain unfinished — scribbles all over the place, random lines that stubbornly refused to fit in any kind of sequence. that’s how they still are and possibly will remain in my note book.

You will get acquainted as the years pass by, Zizou; of this sort of romantic thing that the dear departed stay here as crows. Weird theories abound of them refusing to touch the food until a certain someone is remembered or better still turns up near the plate, unfulfilled wishes et al. There seems to be also some kind of code among them, only a certain crow pecking at the food first despite a murder of them around the plate kept out. I have come to realise over the years that this is yet another mechanism evolved by humans to cope with grief. And if it helps someone cope, we should not deride it.

Maushi passed away in her sleep — this 18th of November 2023. Battled as hard as she could against advancing age, the ravages of time all manifested into some scientific term called dementia. She maintained memory up until the last few days though, devising her own way of remembering people through links to some one else — so if she forgot a name she would say “oh — X’s son”. It was just her being her, figuring out a way in any situation. By all accounts, it was a beautiful life. One of always striving to extend ones own boundaries and never be intimidated by the situation at hand. One of always treating people well, with respect and providing help without making the other feel small. One of always looking after people, of the small enquiries which had a large impact, of making sure no child left empty handed — actually no one left empty handed. Of the realisation that an opportunity to help people, look after them, must be handled like a duty that life places upon us, a reponsilibility it affords to a select few and which we must always respond to selflessly. And not be too worried about the rewards or recognition sometimes even by the people we help.

It's a weird age this, one when we will steadily lose the generation prior to us and in a way also confront our own sense of mortality. The crows on the window sill will be another constant, in a manner of speaking a symbol of the change we must be increasingly cognisant of. A change of us entering a world without the protective shield of people who have always been around — even their presence was enough inspiration to move the mountains we moved.

And now we must all face life without her counsel and the strength we derived from her. We will figure out our own way of coping, our own methods of cherishing her memory and also a collective one, when we meet and tell her stories to each other and the ones that follow.

We will face the world again in sadness and in hope; with hope tilting the balance, spirits fallen a bit but not broken and most importantly always being there for each other. She would not have it, any other way.

Adios, my dearest Maushi. Travel well. Baabdi boom.

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Maruti Naik

I write to remember. I write to remain honest. I write to leave a bread crumb trail for my daughter. I write to relax. Trying to impress my better half, I write