On their 25th anniversary, Dadi gifted a radio to Dadu. “What’s the point of spending so much money on a radio when I can listen to you sing the whole day”, he had said. One thing that had never grown old in our house was their love. In fact, we’d even take love lessons from them. “Who else is going to sing for you when I’m gone? The radio will always remind you of me”, she had then told him.
Dadu never played the radio until Dadi passed away. After that, it had become a ritual for him, a schedule that he’d never fail to follow. 5 hours of listening to radio in a day. No one was allowed to disturb him, not even if there was an earthquake. Once in every two weeks, he’d go to the bazaar to get the batteries changed even if the radio was working perfectly fine. “I wouldn’t want to lose this like I lost your Dadi”, he had told me one day. There was one fixed place where he’d keep the radio, right beside dadi’s bedside. It truly reminded him of her.
As time passed, things changed. We bought a mixtape player, a television set and even changed a house. But Dadu never let go of the radio. One day the radio broke down. I went with Dadu to the bazaar to get it fixed. “This has become too old now. It can’t be fixed”, the shopkeeper told him. But Dadu wanted to get it fixed no matter what. “I’d give away my life to get this fixed”, Dadu said. The shopkeeper insisted on buying a new one instead but Dadu didn’t want to do that.
After coming back home, he tried to fix it by himself but it didn’t work out. That was the saddest I had seen Dadu ever. On the next day after lunch, Dadu thought of trying his luck one more time and turned on the radio. It started working again. That was the happiest I had seen Dadu, ever. Later that night he passed away while listening to the radio, leaving his soul in it. It’s been almost 10 years now. We’ve still kept the radio with us. Strange how we’ve never changed its batteries since the day Dadu passed away and yet, the radio works perfectly fine.
-Written by: Purvang Joshi