Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 713

Of loss and Tau

Department of Neurology, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India

Date of Submission14-Apr-2022
Date of Acceptance14-Apr-2022
Date of Web Publication14-Jul-2022

Correspondence Address:
Divyani Garg
Room 837, Department of Neurology, Super Specialty Block, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi - 110 001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aian.aian_342_22

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How to cite this article:
Garg D. Of loss and Tau. Ann Indian Acad Neurol 2022;25:713

How to cite this URL:
Garg D. Of loss and Tau. Ann Indian Acad Neurol [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Jan 31];25:713. Available from:

Today was my grandmother's birthday.

My grandmother, golden and fierce,

Loose with the change

And liberal with me, her first grandchild.

She ruled for decades with an iron rod

Never turned away an urchin

Without a kind word, and a cookie.

Later, she gradually took to bed,

Refusing to walk, citing painful knees

Laughing a little less generously

And beginning unceremoniously (uncharacteristically)

her slow arduous journey

Into forgetting.

I sat by her side in the later days

She, a still shadow of her former glory

Me, flitting faintly through her present

Trying to uncover that childhood kaleidoscope.

Did you see me then, I wonder?

On whom you had bestowed

A childbirth prophecy to be a doctor

Whom you had taught–

Charity, humanity, letter writing.

As it turned out, I became trained to diagnose

PSP-FTD only too well.

In your massive reversal–

–your apathy, your language, your tremulous hand.

These were not you, I knew,

These were your disease,

Like clothes, I wished you could discard them,

But they clung, a hard new skin.

In those last days

Every vestige of you was gone

As if your very will was bidding adieu

I could not locate you

In those dark eyes, that slack face, that immobility

That non-grandmother, non-mother person.

I hope that, in passing, you emerged victorious

Against those demons that had chased you

for so long

My memories of you, warm as winter sunlight,

Reassure me that you would have.


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