Ammi.

Stories are something which will always have an important place in my life.
But not all stories have an end. Some stories end right in the middle of a sentence.
Stories actually have made me what I am today.
All thanks to Ammi. She gave me the best gift anyone could ever give. Stories.
Ammi was not my mother.
My mother brought me to existence. Gave up on her own. And left.
Ammi was my mother’s best friend. Almost like her sister. They grew up together. People used to say that they’ll end up marrying the same man.
Ammi somehow never got married. It always used to make me wonder how can someone so beautiful, not have someone to be loved by.
After mother died, dad begged Ammi to take care of me. Though it wasn’t needed. It was an unsaid promise which Ammi made with my mother.
So, I grew up in Ammi’s presence and her father.
Dad used to travel abroad for business almost every month. Sometimes, he used to not return for weeks. He would send the required cash to Ammi and write emails asking about me.
But, what was the point after all? I needed him, not the mails and the money.
Ammi used to read stories to me, every single night. I wouldn’t sleep without one. I was so habitual to it.
No lullabies, only sound of the flipping pages made me fall asleep.
 I would cry if Ammi wouldn’t read one. Sometimes, she used to read the same story. I would still want her to finish it.
One night, when she was reading a story to me, she stopped. It was raining quite heavily.
Ammi heard something happening outside and rushed out immediately.
I was alone in my room staring out of the window. I could hardly see anything because of the heavy rain. All I could hear was some people abusing and shouting.
Nana jaan was sleeping while all this was happening. He woke up after 15 minutes and came inside my room to ask about Ammi.  I couldn’t stop crying that night. Nana told me to go to bed and that he will tell Ammi to come back home.
When I woke up the next morning, Ammi was still not home. I got up from my bed and went to Nana’s room. He hugged me tightly and told me that we are going to meet Ammi soon.
“But nana, where is Ammi? She has to complete the story which she read last night. I want to know what happened to that little girl.”
Nana just nodded.

Ammi was hospitalized. Someone hit her on her head with an iron rod in the communal riot. Some local people rushed her to the hospital and she was very  serious.

I didn’t know any of this. Nana didn’t tell me anything but took me along with him everytime he went to the hospital. I knew something was wrong. I used to think that Ammi is not well and she will come home soon.

When I met Ammi for the first time after that incident, I remember how curious and excited I was. Nana had told me to not say anything to her but
“Ammiii. Come home soon, you have to finish your story! I want to know what happened.”
She blinked.
Ammi had lost her memory.

She didn’t remember who I was to her.
And I couldn’t forget what she was to me.

Not all stories have an end. Some stories end right in the middle of a sentence.

Like Ammi’s.

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