My arms are sore. We lifted my Daddy up 10 times yesterday. Some were small transfers. Some were lengthier. Including down seven flights of stairs. As we carried Daddy out the front door of his dream house in Ahmedabad, I heard a rustling. Breeze? Leaves?
A light rain. A light sprinkle. Extremely odd. Because it never rains in Southern California, or in Ahmedabad in February.
As we descended the stairs the sprinkles, the “chhatna” as we call it, stayed light and steady. At each flight’s midpoint, the stairs turn at a landing, with a waist high level wall and an open window to the courtyard. At each turn you’d be able to peek out the open window and see the pavement and roadway slowly getting clean. Raindrop pointillism. Like how light rain freshens up the driest concrete, the dustiest sidewalks, and makes all grass look fresh and new. No puddles. No accumulation. Just a light sprinkle to freshen up the ground.
Then we got downstairs.
We had to carry Daddy outside briefly to get him into the garage where the ceremony would begin. During that quick turn the rain…stopped. Not a drop of exaggeration.
It sprinkled just enough to freshen up the ground and clean up the world for my Daddy. Who did that for everything he owned and interacted with. Clean. Precise. Fresh. Presentable. Mother Nature did that for him when he couldn’t do it for himself.
I found the timing beautiful. I’m not religious and barely spiritual, though there’s something hopeful about believing in the magical as possible, just not relying on it.
But as I spoke to my Daddy’s eldest cousin, who I sat with for 90 minutes to hear stories going back to toddlerhood, he mentioned this idea of the “Ami chhatna”. An auspicious sprinkle, that happens just as did for my Daddy, for the loftiest of souls. As his rises to universality (and to become a star) it has been beautiful to watch the outpouring of support for our family and in memory of how he loved and in recognition of how he will continue to influence them in the future.
But I know my Daddy. And I know how loved he is. So I expected all of that outpouring.
I was humbled though when the skies, literally opened up, with their own outpouring. Perfectly delivered. Freshening his path to the crematorium. And clearing his path to whatever is next for him.
#iamgrateful and #iamthankful for the support and symbolism. He never let anyone make a big deal about him while he was here. Happy he gave the human, material and spiritual world a reprieve as he leaves us. Love you, Daddy. You’ve earned all of this and More.
Also, does this dude look 77? The pic was taken just a few months ago just after that birthday.
Note: I’ve collected all the posts and thoughts I’ve shared about my Daddy’s death in one place. Some people have found it helpful as they’ve navigated through their own experiences, or, as they’ve had to step in to support others. This is one in a series, and you can find the full list of posts here.