Just as I finished cremating my aunt, Mamoni Raisom Goswami, I went totally blank for a moment thinking what did I do??? I burnt the person I so admired and loved, with my own hands… Holding the fire… bending over as the deu said, “Hold straight and see to it you put it first on her face.” There I stood after the ritual not noticing the flock of media people surrounding me, waiting to ask me how I “felt.” How I felt??? How could I answer that question? How could I ever explain the emotions behind it in a few lines… It was just then that a journalist friend of mine came forward with a question. “I know you are a singer and sing western songs. Tell me of one song you think you could describe what your aunt wanted?” I promptly said “Imagine” by John Lennon. And how true it was! Today I realize how true it is…
The answer came easily to me, because music is my life.
It’s like my aunt put those words into my mouth cause I was completely blank not wanting to talk at all. My mouth felt dry and body, weak.
I have always been a person who never followed conventional rules. I just knew one thing in life- to never hurt a person and offer to help others, you can never be wrong in that. Have always been the blue eyed girl of my family because I always put in 100% in whatever I do and I love and respect my elders a lot. Perhaps God had destined things for me that way.
So, when I said I wanted to cremate Mampi no one actually objected as I was constantly with her during her last few years. But, never for a moment did I think that doing the act would get me so much attention and respect and would change my life altogether.
The expectations from people post that was phenomenal. Many said I have to carry forward her legacy.
But today, as I sit in her room, all alone, I realised one thing- Mamoni Raisom Goswami was what she was because of her sacrifice… her devotion to writing. Her heart was full of empathy and she was never someone who thought she was the best or took pride in it. She was always keen to learn new things, learning from the smallest of persons to the greatest. That is what made her special! That apart from her giggly laughter, her elaborate eyes, her big bindi, her flawless skin and most importantly, her beautiful heart. It is not easy to find a person with such a beautiful combination of qualities. And the best of all was, she was ever so humble!
You will be missed forever, “Mampi,” that’s what I would call her. I still connect to her and it is she and her values that make me a stronger person today.
Mrinmoyee Goswami, a vocalist and an entreprenuer is writer Mamoni Raisom Goswami’s niece. Follow the link below to a tribute to the great writer and thinker by her niece, the author of this piece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMjz6glQ7PU
(This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. TIME8 neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)