Thursday, August 24, 2006

One comes and one goes.

Bragadhambaal.. passed away Aug 21st @ 12.55pm. Wish I could have been there with her.


I lost my grandmother couple of days back. She was 93. The stalwart of my family is gone. 11 children, 17 grand children, many others who have come into the family, and the numerous great-grand kids have all felt her warmth and fallen in love with her. She will always be my wonder-woman. I don't know any woman as resolute as her.. as solid as her.. as warm as her, as simple as her. I don't know any woman as patient as her.. as disciplined as her. I don't know any woman as optimistic as her or as religious as her. I have always felt that my family (and by that, I mean my extended family also.. uncles, aunts and cousins) has been my strongest safety net. I would attribute every bit of it to her. Everyone in my family carries a small bit of her in us. Some quality, some value, something we have picked up from her. I would say that it is her essence that keeps us all so well knit. I have no words to describe the warmth I have felt just by holding her hand. The feeling of calm that always set in me after having an extended conversation with her is incomparable.

Everyone back home is shaken. I was shaken too, but for a short while. I remember that the last 3 years have been a little rough on her. Her age was starting to tell. She had fallen ill more number of times in the last 3 years than she had in the 90 years before that. I remember how I was shocked to see her when I'd come back in December 2005. She had shrunk in size, and had aged considerably in the two years I hadn't seen her. And this March when I moved back to India for good, I had the chance to spend 1 month at home and with her. Her spirit had started to flail... constantly battered by the pain of illness. I remember my December conversation with her when she asked me "What have I done to deserve so much pain? What have I done to outlive everyone from my age? What have I done to watch my young ones go before me?". I was dumb struck. I had no answer for her. I have never EVER heard her say any such thing before. She was one who had seen too much to complain. It was at that point I realized how much in pain she was. Her body was failing.. and the constant battering was defeating her spirit.

I sit back and think now how it must have been for her. 93 years on this earth. She must've met so many people. Seen so many eras pass. The British Rule. My grand dad. Her children. My grand dad passing away. The struggle to get her children to support themselves. My whole family migrating to the city. Her grand children growing up and supporting themselves. The great-grand children.. Changes in life-styles. Changes in values. Changes in morales. Then watch the people she grew up with leave this world one by one.. till she was the only one of that era. I vividly remember the last conversation I had with her before I left for ISB. We were discussing how my maid Mariamma was helping her out through her daily chores. Mariamma has been with my family for the last 25 years. My grand-mom smiled and reflected about how in the early 1930s and 1940s, they never let any servant of some other caste enter the kitchen.. and things had changed over time and now we ate what Mariamma cooked. She reflected on how stupidly important this had been once upon a time during her younger days and how the world is slowly attributing more importance to the quality of people than to where they come from. My grand-mom was not an educated woman, and all her knowledge was just through experiences. It tired me just to think back so long ago into her life. I realize how tired she must have been. 93 years is a long time. All the way back to the dawn of the last century. Now, I tell myself.. one comes.. one goes. I was ecstatic just a few days before this incident.. for the birth of a new life.. and now.. I am otherwise. Such is the way of life I guess.

Paati.. I will miss you. Always. Your life has been worth every second here. I hope to be half the person you were. I hope to do you proud.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Touching post...May your grandma's soul rest in peace...May by your grandmother has reborn as Kavia...

-Bharani.

1:28 PM  
Blogger chiranth said...

Sorry to hear about your loss, Manu. Hope you're taking it all right.

7:15 PM  
Anonymous mathangiashok said...

I am so sorry. I heard about it from prabhus amma. I hope you are doing ok. Mathangi

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry to hear that manu .. vaish told me the news .. May her soul rest in peace ...

parthiban

12:59 AM  
Blogger NK said...

Sorry about that Manu ....

2:16 AM  
Blogger Manu said...

Hey guys.. thanks for the concern. I guess life moves on :-). Here I am, already caught up with the preps for the exams! I guess I"ll be just fine.. :-)

9:28 AM  
Blogger Sivaram Gopalakrishnan said...

I am generally a regular to your blog but its been a while since I've visited it. I think this is a wonderful post dedicated to your grandma. Believe me, I know exactly how it feels, as I've been through my Grandpa's death, during the SVCE days.

May her soul rest in peace...

-Sivaram

1:46 AM  

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