Last weekend I had to go through something that was extremely strange to me, a person who was of least importance to all of us, a person we never cared to even check if she was doing fine grabbed all our attention and the whole family had to fly down or travel through any means possible to visit her, but she was not aware that we were there to visit her. She was not talking to us, but she had that subtle smile on her face, her beautiful shining eyes were closed like she was sleeping, her calm face and that golden complexion did not allow me to believe that she was dead. I saw the first death in my life.
23 years ago, this 95 year old woman retired herself to Trichy in a very beautiful village called Kambarasampettai where she and her husband lived. She stayed there alone till the time she died. I have not had much chance to be with my great grandmother I would have visited her 3 – 4 times when I was a very small girl. But I know she is a very lovable person. Her food tastes so yum. It was a perfect vacation spot for our family. We go to this place and stay there for a week or 2, every morning we would go to the Cauvery river which is just a street away from our house and have fun in the river for almost 3 hours and when we are back the most delicious food on earth will be ready. Everyday we had a different delicacy and she cooked with so much passion and love that we could taste that in our food. For that small age, I still remember how her food tasted! So you can imagine!! My dad loved her more than his own mother he was practically brought up by his grandmother.
For the past one year her health condition was dripping and we had been expecting her departure. So when my mom woke me up with this bad news. That was the first time I heard the death of someone I had been with for few days at least, so the reaction was, “Oh! But we expected right?” My parents, I and my aunt and uncle set out on our car to the village. The moment I saw my uncle and aunt I was all energized and it was like a family trip. It was a very enjoyable journey and we nearly forgot that we were going to attend a funeral except for my dad of course. He was devastated and so we kept our laughter levels minimum. When we reached there we composed ourselves and my mom asked me not to giggle unnecessarily anymore. The moment I saw her corpse lying inside a ice box I felt a pang in my stomach. I went near the corpse and saw my dad crying for the first time. He cried real bad. L
She was 95 years old when she died. A source of determination and courage she was and was never afraid to live alone! And trust me she is one of the most beautiful women I have come across. She is gorgeous! Osho, in one of his books says he had never seen a woman as beautiful as his granny. If he were alive I would have told him you can come see my granny I am sure you will change your mind. Her complexion is not fair or wheatish, It’s Golden! Such soft skin and those beautiful blue eyes. I don’t know she must be some kind of angel who dropped herself down on earth and raised our family. Her foot used to be so soft she walks bare foot. I am not exaggerating but my great grandmother is such a beautiful woman! She’s just breathtakingly beautiful!
For 23 years she used to take of the households herself (of course she had to!) A day before she died she was taken to the hospital due to cardiac arrest and she had trouble breathing at that very moment the woman who was known for her pride and determination had begged the doctor to save her so she can see her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren once before she dies. When I heard this my heart sunk. Almost all my cousins their kids and their parents even their in-laws had arrived from all parts of the world and she was not there to see it. Had she been alive, I am sure she would have been the happiest person in the whole world her house was full of her people. That moment I thought we never realize the value of someone until they are around. We spent the whole night talking about her and my grandmothers (Her daughters) cried for a while, later we dozed off. The next day it was time for them to take her to the burial ground to cremate her. She was taken out of the ice box (I am sorry if it was supposed to be called something else) her beauty was never gone. Her daughter and my dad tried to wake her up. Everytime someone touched her I kept hoping that she would wake up but that never happened. I started crying when they performed the ritual where a rope was tied to her hand and the priest took it to the doorstep. It means that yama dharmaraja has come there to take her with him. I made him a request to keep her safe in heaven near the Gods because she was really loved and she did love all of us. She was finally taken to the burial ground to be cremated.
The whole family had come there to bid her the final good bye, she was not there with us. But I know she knew we had come for her and all of us expected that she would wake up at some point of time and smile that beautiful smile and see us with those dazzling eyes of hers which never happened. The old lady died with a regret or wish!
At that moment I thought and promised myself no matter what happens and no matter how bad the person treats me I will make sure that I don’t leave them. I also thought that all of that fight, ego and irritation we have for each other is for nothing all of us are going to die someday and that day everybody will come, every single person will miss your presence and shed a single drop of tear! No matter how much you hated them they will! I also felt that everybody should attend a funeral once to realize the meaning of life and the purpose of living.
I didn’t react much when I heard about her being dead but on my way back home I did not speak a word and after coming home I was not able to believe the fact that she was dead, it is still taking time for me to assimilate the fact that she is not on earth anymore. But I know she is somewhere around seeing us and protecting us every single second because she loves us so much and she never has expected anything in return.
This blog is dedicated to a beautiful lady, an awesome cook, a brave soul, a determined mother, a proud grandmother, most loved great grandmother. Even when on her death bed she had cleaned the kitchen and the complete house was really crystal clean! I don’t know if I will ever come across such a lovely lady and if any one of the ladies in my family can be like her.
A BIG salute to the woman who became my idol and I will always take her as an example for determination and courage!
I love you paati and I am sorry for not being there for you when you died!! I know you are hearing me.