Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Paati.. I miss you!

She was a woman... full of love, patience and lots of courage. Her childhood was very good. Born to a rich family, she enjoyed every bit of it. She used to secretly like her cousin.. he was a handsome young man... Her joy knew no bounds when he also felt the same and proposed marriage. They were a loving couple. She used to dress up every single evening before he came home... She cooked for him, gave him 6 wonderful children, took wonderful care of his parents. She was the perfect wife. He was a perfect husband. They were a perfect couple. Alas! the world is not perfect... so her world fell apart when he suddenly died of heart attack.
She did not breakdown. After all, she had a HUGE responsibility on her head. Taking care of 6 children, with no income of your own is a hard task. His business partner took advantage of the situation and ate away all the money. Her parents were already dead and the wealth was already distributed among the sons... who obviously refused to give anything to her.,. when she needed it. It's another matter that she never asked for it. But they never offered to help either.
As any Indian woman would do, she sold all her jewels and managed to educate all of her children and sustained the family as well. That sure is some wealth management! Her children understood the situation and joined jobs as soon as they could. Sometimes the family went without food for days.. but never once did they go to anybody asking for help. They managed on their own. It was one mother and 6 children, all for themselves. But not once did she loose her smile nor her temper in all these difficult situations. She was a woman of substance. She managed to marry all of them off to good respectable families. Doesn't she deserve an applause for this task! I am sure she does... If only she could hear me applauding her...
My day never went without seeing her. She was everything for me! I refused to be with my parents! I wanted to be with her always! Since both of my parents were working.. they used to leave me in her house... And I refused to go back with them in the evening when they came to pick me up! NO!
"I have a stomach ache today... I can;t sit in the scooter with that.. I will stay back here...!"
"I am feeling very sleepy now.. can;t ride all the way back home like that.. I will sleep here only today!".
These were my alibis to be with her. Yes I loved her more than I loved my parents. She was my grandmother.. my paati... my love... my everything.
I never used to let my mom touch my hair... it was always to be plaited by paati. All my school books had labels written by my paati. She had a beautiful handwriting... even though she had studied only till 10th class.. her English was flawless. Her Tamizh and Kannada were perfect! She was my tutor at home. My homework was never complete without her nod of approval.
I still remember those wonderful evenings after school... when she used to make coffee and bajji for me.. and we used have our little chat. We exchanged stories.. we went vegetable shopping... we went to visit houses.. we were the best of friends! She taught me how to make koodbale, chakkuli etc.
I still remember the warm feeling of sleeping next to her in the night. The way she used to hug me and put me to sleep... the way she used to tell me stories... she snored sometimes, and I used to make fun of her for that.. she laughed it off... but was concerned if my sleep was disturbed because of her snoring.... why can't i hear the snoring now! I promise paati.. it's not at all disturbing.. it's in fact nice... very nice....
She used to stand near the gate and wait for me to come from school... the smile on her face when she saw me in the corner of the road is unforgettable. So where is that smile now? where is she now?
She took me with her when she went to visit any of her relatives. She bragged about me so much... that I did this and that.. and that I was cute and adorable.... and she always bought chocolates from me after these visits... or ice cream on the way back... who will buy me all these now?
The one above all of us... the supreme God can sometimes be very cruel. Something happened to her. She fell unconscious one day in the bathroom... and there was blood all over. We rushed her to the hospital.. and yes we were late. She was in the last stages of uterus cancer.
That is when I started seeing the other side of her. The smile was slowly fading away. The chemotherapy was eating her from inside. She suffered all night.. the snores were replaced with subtle cries of pain... She was reduced to the thickness of a stick. But she smiled in the day... If I took her fruits.. she would make me eat them first.. because you see I was a growing kid and needed it!
When I was a kid.. she used to bathe me every day. Now it was my turn.. she could not take bath all by herself.. and she let no one other than me to do the job.. I was happy that she chose me... but at the same time I just could not stand the sight of her.. so sick and so fragile... and yes.. the dreaded word... so dying..... I would finish the job as soon as I could and run away to the room to cry my heart out. God! why did you do this to her?
I prayed to God every single day to end her sufferings.. but how was I to know that he would end it by taking her away...
It was early in the morning. I had just brushed my teeth and was having coffee... a call came from the hospital.. it was my mom. She spoke something over the phone with my uncle.. and my uncle just put the phone down and sat on the floor..staring at nothing. Death of your mother is not an easy news to digest. I knew from the looks of it what had happened... but didn't believe it. How could she do this to me? How can she leave me? Does she not know that my life is incomplete without her?
They brought the body to the house.... I fell unconscious... I could not see her that way! No this was not her... this was not my paati. I cried.. and cried.. and cried.. did she listen at all? Why can;t she just get up and come and hug me? I kissed her goodbye anyway... She was as hard as a rock... I put rice in her mouth.. I bid her farewell... after all what am I in front of God's will?
She left me exactly 10 years ago.... I HATE ekaadashi in the month of November! And it is tomorrow! This day of the month took away my paati.... took away my love.. my everything!


Srik said...

Even I have seen the ruggy claw of cancer taking away my loved one, Its such a pain that we can not overcome something as dreadful as it. :-( This post made me so reminded me of my Dodamma. :-(((

WinterBlue said...

Shark... you know exactly where I stand to express my feelings on this.

So-far, I have not lost anyone who I love the most... I'm sure you know this... all I can say is I'm speechless because somethings can't be expressed in words. There are no subsitutes for such people in our life. Beyond these, only my tears can express the million words I want to say to you.

priya said...

I know how it feels and it just happened few months back. She will always be ther in your thoughts on what she has taught you.

Her love will always be ther and will watch you as an angel.

pavan kumar said...

this reminded me of my grandpa.. got nostalgic!

Vin said...

it is really nostalgic... My grandpa too wud pick from school everyday and buy me a chocolate....
our grandparents mean so much to us right.. they touch our lives soooooo much

GuNs said...

This really is unbelievable. If I wrote a post on my grandmother, it would be 90% similar to this, I'm sure.

The only difference was that she had 7 children, was literally illiterate, she stayed in our native place and we in the City. We only visited her once a year. She died early this year. I missed her funeral by a mere hour or two.

I could write a post on her but I wont. I just dont have the heart (or the guts) to.


Veena Shivanna said...

Very heartening!
The line which said about perfection is so scary! I feel evertime when we think about life, we need to feel that incompleteness for something.. Once you feel its complete & there get an absolute void!
I too dislike November, I miss my dad so much! It is exactly a month back when I heard the news & as you said it .. Its hard to digest the news which came over phone from my elder brother.. It was too shocking, It made me learn a lesson! EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED... The Life has to move on!..

shark said...

@srik: Loosing a loved one hurts isn't it...?:(

@wb: Thanks for being with me!

@priya: I am so sorry for your loss too... Thanks for the soothing words..:)

@pavan: grandparents are so precious aren't they?

@vin: Yes they really touch our nobody else.

@guns: Awwwww I think most of us seem to have the same feeling for our grandparents...:( we miss them so much.. don't we?

@veena: I am so sorry about your father's death.. please accept my condolences.
In a way I also "expected" her death.. Cancer does not leave anyone alive.. does it? But still, when the actual news came.. It took me a lot to digest it :(

Thanks for visiting my blog :)

Eroteme said...

Very touching... Kaisika Ekadasi is supposed to be a special day, and if you were Vaishnava then you might console yourself slightly that your grandmother surely reached paramapadam. But consolations can't assuage the grief that you portray in this post.

Kavi said...

Touching post. It reminded me of my paati. She was my lifeline too.

She is my gaurdian angel. And i guess your paati is yours too.

shark said...

@eroteme: I know it's a special day.. In a way, I should be happy that she was relieved of her sufferings...

But it was a heavy loss for me!

@kavi: Yes mine is too.... A guardian Angel...

bellur said...

paatis are so loving and caring. i miss that everyday. very well written post.
take care.