I agreed on the drama, but not death when I was born !!
There was thunder, lightning, and rains the day I was born in Tirunelveli. There were eight children born in that nursing home that day and I was the only girl and my mother wanted a son so badly. Since I had agreed with God that I wanted drama, I got enough of it – lights went off, the doc had a social engagement, my mother ate when she was not supposed to and in true filmi style my eldest Maasi (Periyamma) was asked to sign off on her sister and save me …. Again in true filmi style, that piece of paper was stuck on my mother’s hospital bedpost and I was delivered.
Since I agreed on no death, my mother came back from the dead. She went all blue and the doc gave an earful to my Periyamma but Tirupati Balaji intervened and pulled my mother back from the happy floating away that she attempted. Thats how the first person to see me on this earth, this time around was Padmasini, my mother’s eldest sister and my eldest aunt (Periyamma).
What can I write about her ? She was the eldest daughter in a 6 daughter, 5 son family. Married off to a gentleman when she was 16 or thereabouts and off she went to Calcutta. Didnt know the language, had to travel without knowing any other language other than Tamil and had to learn the customs of a new family. What a colorful life she led …. in retrospective, but while she was going through it, what a tough one it was !! An unknown person as her husband at the young age of 16, a very different culture than what she was brought up in, an autistic younger son, and in-laws that were difficult. Her elder son, was sent off to a prison school so that he would not be influenced by the difficult environment at home and he ended up calling his mom and dad as “mama and mami” till their death since they visited him at the hostel and he didn’t live with them. My Periyamma didn’t know the meaning of the word fear and never wasted time crying over her circumstances – she took it all in her stride, all the while helping anyone that she could in any way.
No one went hungry from her house …. no one went without a pep talk and it didn’t matter who you were, where you were from and what you did for a living. I doubt if she let the door to their house to be closed ever, lest she missed someone who needed something. She truly lived fully and without any limits of any kind.
It was a privilege to be welcomed by Padmasini – a woman who had several doors shut on her face, but lived through it all with amazing zest, and kept opening newer doors, windows or breaking down walls, all with a smile and never once asked the question, why me…. So I started life meeting inspiration.