Thursday, May 22, 2008

Madras Memories

When I was around 6 years old, I had a drawing contest in school. I was to draw the three bears from Goldilocks. You spent hours looking for a picture of the three bears for me to draw from. You tried helping me draw it properly. In the end, you ended up drawing it for me. It was quite good.

I had no cable TV as a kid, so whenever I stayed at your house in Madras, I would park myself in front of the TV everyday and watch Cartoon Network from 9 am to 9 pm, till it changed to TNT. You would get amusedly exasperated.

You made me help you pluck mangoes from the tree growing in your garden. We used a big stick with a hook on it. We plucked chickoos too. We also watered the garden with the whole family. You showed me different plants and told me about them. It was fun.

You would make all sorts of spicy powders and pickles almost every week. When I was there at your place, you would fill up big Bournvita containers with them, place them in cardboard boxes (it would take at least 2 boxes to fit them all), tie them up with green thick twine, using a staple machine of some sort to hold it together, to take them home. If we were not in Madras, you would courier small packets of powders in big envelopes. It was hilarious. I always wondered what would happen if it was intercepted and someone suspected it to be gunpowder and drugs. For the record, they were all delicious.

You would use any and every occasion to send a cheque. Be it my birthday, or new year, or Tamil new year, or any festival whatsoever. Invariably, there would be a cheque in the mail, sent by you.

You would give me books to read. Soon, we started exchanging books and discussing them. You were one of the very few adults I discussed books with. And especially even authors like Sidney Sheldon. And definitely the only one above 70 years of age. And you were the most interested one of the lot.

You could never sit still. If you got bored, you would roam around the house fixing things you suspected needed fixing. You were usually right.

You were the head of the proverbial family. You ran the whole show. You made right out of wrong. You helped everyone in the family, and not just those who asked for it. You were the most concrete of them all.

I’m sorry we couldn’t discuss that last book I lent you. I’m sorry you suffered so much. I’m sorry that it was so painful for you. I’m sorry that it had become so that you couldn’t even make pickles and fix gadgets anymore before you left. I’m sorry you’re gone because I’m sure you would worry about the ones you left behind. I sure do.

I’ll miss you Jai thatha. More than you would have thought.


another brick in the wall said...

and u say u can't bring out emotions well.. this is an awesome post.. seriously.. now i'm writing on my grandma :)

new age scheherazade said...

this is wonderful.the post I've been meaning to write for two years now but can't coz it's still too hard. but I love this.

oh, and you're the only other person I've ever heard talk about cartoon network changing to TNT. I used to watch that. till the last minute, till the funny countdown until with a BANG of a gunpowder keg Cartoon Network would disappear till the next day.

arunabh said...

Very touching :)
It feels so bad when someone so close leaves you all of a sudden. The worst part is that it does happen quite a few times. And the world expects us to move on :(

raghu said...

i dint meet my thatha n paati when they came to mumbai this time.. my thatha lost most of his memories.. i dont want to remember him like that.