I was sprawled over the sofa on a Sunday afternoon when I saw daadi slowly creep into daadu’s room. Switching the Netflix drama off, I craned my neck to watch her put the blanket over a blissfully unaware, steadily snoring daadu. Daadi pulled the curtains close and I pretended to scroll through my phone as I watched her tiptoe out of the room, not before throwing a subtle glance at daadu. She walked to the table where they kept their medicines and where daadu’s carvaan radio sat atop a faded album. She carefully blew the dust off the radio and adjusted the channel. ‘Abhi na jao chod kar’ spread its aura in our house.
She stayed there for a while as though reminiscing the times she had spent with daadu. A sigh escaped her lips. Keeping his medicines ready for the day, she spared a smile at me and walked into the kitchen. Daadi never knew to stop. Learning and loving. Theirs was an old school romance. Daadu – the hooligan, daadi – the nerd. Luck by chance, their horoscopes met and just two years later, daadi helped at home with my dad in tow. She was resolute and relentless. The convoluted norms and traditions of the then society never stopped her from educating herself. Taking lessons from her life, her now new family, her routine, daadi was always a step ahead of the others. Meanwhile, daadu, inspired by daadi’s unwavering ways of life, set up a business. Loving and learning. Together, amidst the pandemonium, they built the life I should now be grateful for.
My daadi and daadu, they bring to life, Yin Yang for me. 52 years of togetherness, one would think familiarity breeds contempt, but daadi and daadu? They were always madly in love. Still are. I crawl off the sofa and out of the corner of my eye, I notice daadi sneak into the bed, rightfully pulling her half of the blanket. Soon after, daadu turns on his side only to hold her tight as the carvaan slurs ‘ke dil abhi bhara nahi’.