Today is your death anniversary. It’s now three years since you left this world on the day chosen by you.
Though you have left, we are full of memories…of the extraordinary life and times that we were together. Amma, if we have to describe you in words, they would be…selfless, giving, disciplined, full of grit, crazy and the fulcrum of our family. We have learnt so much from you and not just Nachi and I but your daughters-in-law have also imbibed a lot of traits from you. Be it grit, giving or being disciplined.
As a growing boy, I was notorious for creating trouble in more ways than one. While you had to face the wrath of our neighbourhood, I had to face you and get what I deserved to get, a solid beating. I can’t forget the innumerable days and times when I accompanied you to the nearest pawn shop to pawn your jewellery or silver items to manage expenses and emergencies. You went through so much Amma to raise us, protect us, and you have always given your best for us, every step of the way. We just can’t ever forget what you and our entire family went through when we became bankrupt and had to run away from Chennai to start our life afresh. We are forever indebted to you for standing behind us like the Rock of Gibraltar defending and supporting us during the worst time of our life.
Just two recent incidents related to you that I want to think about today …
- Sometime towards the end of 2016, Nachi called me late in the night and told me that you were unwell and would like me to rush to Chennai to see you. He did not want you to know about this. I took the early morning flight and reached home. I was expecting you to be resting, lying on your bed. But when the door opened, I saw you eating mixture (South Indian snack) from a plate. You were pleasantly surprised to see me and even before you could respond, I took a photo of your eating the mixture. Am sharing that special photo here.
- The second incident that I want to remind you happened in 2017. You were staying in our Pallikaranai home, and you had just then recovered from the phase of hallucinations that you had gone through for a year or two. Remember Amma those days we used to discuss and share a lot. You then told me that you have never kissed any of your children ever and I saw tears rolling down your eyes. I calmed you and told you that its still not too late. Since that day, every night, before you went to sleep, you made it a practice to kiss me on my forehead. I savour those moments Amma. Priceless.
Thanks to your giving and compassionate nature, ShikshaDaan is doing very well, and we are able to make a difference in the lives of so many young boys and girls, helping them to continue their higher education, leading to better employment opportunities.
After you passed away, I went to your room and took photographs of all your worldly possessions. Amma, I know, books were your most important possession and they were stacked neatly. Then there were address books, records of various events within our family, a few sarees and a few other knick knacks. You had such few possessions .. You had already given away anything of value to all of us. Just reminded me how little you had accumulated in your life and how much you had given away. Our thanks to you for keeping all our family relationships together, they continue to be in touch with us. You will also be thrilled to know that Dhanush, your one and only grandson, uses your room now, and he too has inherited some of your great traits, being punctual for one. He is growing into a very fine human being and I am sure that he will make our family proud with his achievements and accomplishments.
A long post Amma, just to let you know that you are always etched indelibly in our memories. Wishing and praying that we are born again as your children. Kannan, Nachi and I, will always remain ‘Vedavalli pasanga’!