Its been two years since FIL departed from us. Can’t believe it. A man of few words and many actions. I made semiya payasam and offered to him today. I am feeling low in general. Trying to recollect all my good memories with him. I have written many posts about him in this space. Today is dedicated to thoughts about him.
My personal memory about SPB is when I was in my middle school. He sang breathless in one of the film song and I remember buying that movie song booklet, memorize those lines and practice for weeks to sing breathless. There are only some memories that stay with you forever and this is one of that.
Listen from 1:39 to 3:26
He is immortal through his voice and I am going to pay tribute to this legendary singer by listening to his playlist in loop.
A man who has touched many many people’s heart including mine and gave company to them through his voice when they feel down.
Very recently I watched the entire series of Kavithalayaa’s “Jannal – Adutha Veetu Kavidhai” in which he acted in lead role.
Its just so tough to say good bye with him!
Rest in peace SPB Sir!
The day I was not looking forward to as this day last year is when we got that dreaded phone call from India about my FIL departing this world to go to a better place.
I woke up at 8:30 and started with cooking as Adi had to leave for her piano exam at 12:30 and I wanted to offer some favorites to my FIL and pray as a family before we have our lunch. I couldn’t exactly find what is his favorite but heard from Amma that she heard relatives talking during his 10th day ceremony that he liked Chapathi very much. That is the day we cook elaborately and offer to him.
When I lived with in laws, I have always heard him saying “Let’s do Ani.. dosa” as one of the dish when any guests visits home for dinner. He was referring to the crispy dosa that I used to make and try to impress everyone (newly married girl and all that) with non stick dosa pan. My MIL usually makes that thick dosa (kal dosa) in an iron skillet.
Also, I know men of his generation usually like eating non veg dishes. So, it was home made Chapathi, crispy dosa and fish fry that I offered to him today.
My heart started beating fast as the time was getting closer to 11am as that is the time we got the call. I really wish he had stayed back for few more years to come and stay with us. He would have helped me setup a beautiful garden in this home. I always wanted to bring him here and take care of him as my own father for all that he has done to me.
I don’t know much about him as a young father as M barely shares anything but he has been the best father in law that anyone could wish for. He used to give me Rs.100 and bless me on my birthday when I lived with them. He even called me from India on my birthday when we moved to US. It means a lot to me. A lot! A gentleman who treated me for what I am worth!
Its better to let the tears flow through as I type this. I think he is the elder from my family that has most appeared in my blog.
I thank God for this relationship from whom I learned something good and have become a better person.
My childhood dear friend’s mom lost her fight to Cancer today. She was diagnosed few months back and it all came down to this day very soon.
I wish my friend great strength to sail through this toughest phase. Please keep her mom in your prayers for her soul to rest in peace.
Today’s post is dedicated to her. I remember Aunty as a very active lady running the popular pharmacy in our small town. I see her pharmacy on my way to school every day and when I frequent to the “Arun stores” stationary shop adjacent to her pharmacy.
My prayers to the lady who has relentlessly worked all her life. May her soul rest in peace. I am sure we cannot fill her position but we will support her daughter as much as we can. Hugs Bharu!!
Today is my FIL’s birthday. We have celebrated his birthday in person for the past 3 years with the yearly summer India trip. Thoughts about him are flashing in mind all day today and I have decided to follow a simple ritual on this day every year in his remembrance. I am sure he is in a better place, watching and guiding us through every step. A man from whom I have drawn many life lessons, A man whom I respect the most, A man who lived his retirement life as an example to others, A man who loves gardening, A man who has nil expectations and absolutely no ego.
The way he took me and my children under his wings when we shared same roof for about 2 years and every time we visit him will be etched in my memory for ever. I am telling you, it is very hard to find a person like him. He has not hurt anyone I know of and always ready to help those in need. A lifetime inspiration to me. I miss you mama. You have made me a better person and I promise to carry forward your legacy through your grandchildren. I will share stories about you with all and sundry as long as I live.
I might just end up reposting this every year on his birth and death anniversary as every word in this post is a fact and nothing less.
I am glad to have taken a picture of my Alto and write about it. He is gone forever. Too soon that I didn’t get a chance to say a goodbye or see him one last time to capture the picture in my memory. M’s relative was coordinating the selling task, an interested party came to see it on Monday, they instantly liked it and took it on Wednesday.
When they came on Wednesday morning, I was at home folding clothes, arranging the closet upstairs and didn’t bother to come down to witness the scene as somehow it didn’t strike me that they were here to take my Alto with them forever. Or may be lack of communication. Whatever it is, I didn’t get to see him one last time and say a final good bye.
I wish he stayed with me for couple of more days.
I wish he was given away after my travel.
I wish I had drove him knowing that would be our last ride together.
I wish I had said a personal thank you for all the places he has taken me to and be one of my best companion in India.
I have very few things left to call as my identity and have lost the best of them!
I hope the new owner takes good care of him!
Just yesterday, I have checked the number plates of few grey Alto’s on road in the hope to see him again. Maybe some day. After all it is a small world!
Kids and I are traveling back today. I feel like that school kid returning to school after annual break. My tummy is churning and I feel restless. People are my strength and lifeline. I don’t want to travel to an alien country leaving behind my people. Yes, I have lived in that country for more than a decade yet it feels alien to me. My head spins if I think about the logistics, kids, work, financial needs and all other sundry demands of life and realize that I have no choice but to move on!!
My MIL, the husband, his cousin brother, his sisters, my parents, cook/helper lady everyone is struggling in their own way to move on without the pillar of strength. I must do my part too without being a trouble!
We are traveling in few hours, Adi is running temperature, LHB says he is hurt and limping, I got my monthly special. Still, I am trying to stay up, count all my blessings and tell life to bring it on!! Let’s face it!!
If you ask me to pick the top most thing that connects me with my FIL, it is our car. My Alto that I took along with me when I joined his family.
I have been driving car since my college days and quite comfortable with Indian driving style. As a matter of fact, I feel more connected with driving at India than in US. A colleague was so shocked with this statement that he says every time he sees me he can only think of driving as I am the first one to chose Indian driving over US driving.
I love changing gears and to move the car in second gear. Driving in busy streets gives me that adrenaline rush. I love bring a chauffeur to extended family when they visit us. Dropping and picking up from bus stands and train stations. I love driving Amma to T.Nagar. I love adjusting the front passenger seat for her. Knowing all this, my family gifted this car for my marriage so its easy for me to move around in Chennai after marriage.
I have been actively using the car for the first two years but then life happened and we moved to US. My FIL who doesn’t know how to drive until then, learned to drive just to keep the car under condition. He maintains it all through the year so I can use it during my India visit. He does full service to the car and keeps it ready right before I land at India.
He has a pillow on the driver seat and reminds me every time to use it as we both are short and according to him the pillow will help to have better clarity of the sides. He comes near the driver side when I start the car and gives me instructions every single time, reminds me of all the pits and holes in neighborhood, how to avoid it and how to stay focused while driving.
He would clean the exteriors and keep it ready if he knows I am going to take the car out. He has followed this routine every single day when I was taking the car to work for few months during the short stint at India in 2013. He would remind me duly about fuel refill. He will keep track of the kilometer details.
After they moved to our hometown, my parents started using the car for important occasions and yesterday Amma was saying how he always hand over the car with the fuel tank fully filled.
All this by a man, who has never used the car for his own needs, not even once. He is happy and content with his TVS XL Super for local needs and takes bus or train to travel out of town.
The car was parked opposite to our home for past one week and we decided to sell it soon as that is the most sensible thing to do in current situation.
I took it out yesterday to run some errands. It was only when I started driving. I realized that this car is an emotion to me. And my mama has only made this emotion very deep with his care and actions. I just couldn’t hold back my tears while driving yesterday recollecting all the details I have written in this post. The emotion hit me hard. My car is my pride.
Thanks to you mama, wherever you are to help me own this pride for 15 long years.
I will miss this Alto guy and my mama whom I have known for 15 years and who have only given their best to me!!
I never imagined in my distant dream to part them forever in 2019! My India trip will never be the same!
Old post about him – https://anisnest.wordpress.com/2010/08/16/f-i-l/
Every single word in that old post holds good even now. He has only exceeded himself over the years.
A man who has lived his life to the fullest and even planned his end without troubling anyone around.
To me, he is a man of action, a man of few words, a keen observer of other’s needs and a man to refill from hand soap to surf excel to vegetables to snacks corner at home.
In the past one week, we have turned the home upside down looking for pen, tape, rubber band, rope, scissors and all other sundry items which would have magically landed in our hand when he was there!
I do believe that we are surrounded by his soul. Where else would he go leaving behind the land he purchased, the home he constructed couple of years ago and the beautiful garden he has grown surrounding the home. We could feel him around. His voice calling out for Adi and LHB is lingering in my ears all day! This home will never be complete without him.
His room has become the office room for me and M. His shirts are still in the hanger staring at us. I am using his TVS bike to run local errands. Every time I take the bike out, I hear him saying, come to a full stop and look to your left and right before crossing the main road.
I will write more about him in the coming days!!
May your soul rest in peace mama. You are in our thoughts and we feel you in every nook and corner of this home.
Friday, I took my own time to get ready in the morning so that means I get dropped at the train station only after dropping LHB at his school. We were on the way to LHB’s school and I got a call from my colleague/friend. His voice was trembling when he said my name and I could sense the bad news in the air. His Father in law expired back in India. He sounded totally blank in the call. So, off we went to their home after dropping LHB at school and rest of the day was spent in wrapping up all the stuff and helping them board the flight.
I took over kitchen, made them eat something for two meals, cleaned refrigerator, sorted out all left over items, helped with packing, cleaning home et all. M drove him to check all outside work, visit his daughter’s school to fill out of country form, book flight tickets et all.
I came back home after sending them off and M came home after dropping them at airport. It was very tough to see his wife. She was crying now and then recollecting about her father. I did my best to console her.
May they have the strength to sail through this tough phase.
So I am not counting this post as part of the happy days challenge but things I could count as blessings in this day are
- bachelors living near their home coming in with a flask of tea and egg curry for lunch.
- situations in favor to work out all logistics.
- her father’s soul decided to leave his body at his hometown and didn’t trouble his body. It was a quick end with no prolonged illness.
- I did not take earlier train and M was also available and we were able to quickly reach them to help out.
- Kids need not take extended absence from school as school will be closed for winter holidays.
I shouted at Adi today.. Uncontrollably like a histeric person and feeling shameful to say that I broke the top part of a lid as I was working at kitchen at that time. I feel bad about myself. I don’t have the energy to explain why and the details but I feel bad.. very bad. Tears are flowing non stop.. I am sitting at living room typing this post and Adi is at bed room lying upside down on the bed. I don’t know how I will make it up with her.. Something is bothering me.. I am not able to pin point at the issue and something is bothering me very much. I have become a whining girl, crying every other day for no reason. Absolutely no reason from the surface but there is a reason deep in my mind that is triggering all this. At this point, I am not able to decipher this reason and even if I do, I don’t know if I will have a solution for it. So, why bother to know the reason? Is this how life treats every body? why is grass is always greener on the other side? where does all my gyans for others vanish when I am at it.. Like I always promise myself every time, I promise now that I will not shout at Adi anymore and be harsh to her and sincerely hope that she will erase this incident from her memory… Today is just another bad parenting day!!!