03 March, 2009

Memories .........

A flood of memories, a deluge of reminiscences …….is what has been happening lately.

Little little bits and pieces of memories from my toddler days thru childhood have been coming back to mind over the past month or so – memories so clear that they seem startlingly vivid, memories that were not meant to be forgotten, memories that I hold close to my heart, memories that have left and still continue to leave imprints upon my heart and psyche, memories which have distinctly helped shape my life in a multitude of ways, memories that have withstood the test of time, memories which I treasure, memories which I’ll hold on to as I move on with life.

Little snippets of conversation from decades ago have been registering within the conscious mind – some serious, some hilarious. At times, it feels as though there is a photo reel playing over and over again – a photo reel that had hitherto been lying deep in the unconscious mind, covered in dust due to lack of use. Toddlerhood, childhood, school days, college life, marriage, leaving India and settling abroad – it’s all coming back with distinct clarity.

I cannot put my finger on when this deluge actually started but the one thing I do realize is that I’m feeling the full force of these recollections over the past couple of weeks ….. It has been two weeks since appa passed away and never before has his presence been so very acutely felt.

Everytime I venture into the kitchen for something as simple as a cup of coffee, I can almost visualize my father standing there early in the morning, making fresh coffee decoction and then making coffee for the rest of us. And all through the kaapi making process, he would be humming along – either something classically Carnatic or something classically appa.

Everytime during the past couple of weeks, boiling milk in the afternoons reminded me of appa – for it was a chore he took very seriously. He would repeatedly keep stirring the milk till it bubbled and boiled. Despite the rest of us telling him that the milk need not be stirred repeatedly, he still would – because he claimed that it added that “little something extra” to the milk.

The slightly chilly weather that is persisting in HK took me down memory lane instantly - I remember how on chilly winter mornings, as he took me over to school, he would distract me and keep my attention fixed on something on the roads or the buildings so that me, all bundled up in a sweater, would not decide to complain about the cold just for the sake of complaining.

Any grave mistake of mine would be greeted with a look of gentle reproach – there never was a verbal rebuke or admonishment of any kind. But it was that look of gentle reproach that had the ability to make me acknowledge and correct my mistakes. It achieved what a loud verbal criticism or reprimand could not have.

Of late, when I wake up in the morning, I still hear my father’s voice in my head – reciting the Lalitha Sahasranamam – like he used to – every single day during my growing years. All through my childhood, I used to wake up to the voice of my father chanting the Lalitha Sahasranamam – each and every single day.

There have been plently of situations over the past month that have reminded me of his absolutely wicked one-liners. There was indeed a streak of humor that was his own brand. A sense of humor so well sheathed that when unleashed, it would create a situation dangerously hilarious.

Through his life which saw many episodes of hospitalization due to his chronic asthma, right down to about a month back when he was hospitalized when ALS progressed through his body with alarming rapidity, not once do I remember him asking “Why Me ?”.

Through life as I can remember it, what shines through strong and bright is the totally selfless nature that my father was blessed with. And through his life he did not let that value pass him by – both during his good days and the bad ones. I am yet to meet a person more selfless than he was and I sincerely doubt that I ever will come across such an unselfish person ever.

In the unobtrusive, unassuming, unpretentious approach that has always been his trademark, he has left a vacuum in our lives.

Pretty much like the tide which recedes and leaves behind seashells on the wet sand, pretty much like the sun which sets and yet leaves its warmth …………… memories, treasured memories remain etched.

Like William Wordsworth once said

Ye that through your hearts today
Feel the gladness of the May !
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now forever be taken from my sight.
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind.


post signature

30 voice(s) said so:

Tharini said...

My dearest Gauri...love you!

Its good to have you back...*hugs*
....................

~nm said...

Hugs.

All I want to say here is however sad we feel when someone so close goes away, but these memories should only bring smile to our faces. Not tears in our eyes.

Sujatha said...

Gauri, I am so sorry for your loss and for your family's loss. Lots of love and hugs.

Just Like That said...

Hugs. Just yesterday, wanted to send you a mail asking how you were...Big Hugs.

Anonymous said...

Hugs Gauri. Take care - beachesandhills

Rohini said...

Am so sorry to hear about your dad, Gauri. Don't know what else to say but to leave behind a big virtual hug...

Priyanka said...

Gauri, I'm so sorry to hear about your Pa.
Thats a lovely poem, esp the last 2 lines.

B o o said...

Im so sorry for your loss, Gauri. Hugs. Take care.

Sands said...

I am so sorry to hear about your dad. You are in my thoughts and prayers to get through this difficult time.

Sundar Narayanan said...

sorry to hear about your dad Gauri.

was wondering where you were and how you missed the game..

our prayers are with you

Radha said...

I am so sorry for your loss, Gauri. Take care

starry nights said...

I think sometimes it is these memories that help us when we are sad and down and allows us to live.Take care .

dipali said...

So sorry to hear of his passing away. May his soul rest in peace. And may you and your family be sustained by memories of this wonderful human being.

Suma said...

i had been wondering what happened to you :(

hugs, gauri... take care...

The Inquisitive Akka said...

I am so sorry Gauri. My dad had the exact same brand of humour. I can recollect a lot of things my parents said/did with a certain amount of joy now. Sometimes I feel like calling up my mom and telling her about something funny that happened during the day but the moment passes.
I am thinking about you. Take care.

Random Thoughts said...

I wish our so called blood relatives have half the concern and sensitivity you guys whom we have not even met are showing...

Thanks for caring...

Shobana said...

Gauri, sorry about your dad's passing. A great big hug and of course, isn't it natural for u to remember him and the great times you had with him? Hold on to those memories.

choxbox said...

Hey Gauri. Not done da. All through that yacking on the phone, not once did I realise why you were in des.

Hugs.

Gauri said...

@ All : Thank you all so much for your support, prayers and concern.

G said...

sorry to hear about your dad, gauri.. Hugs

Ardra said...

Dearest Gauri!!
Savour those memories...
His immortality lives through you...
You were in him
he is in you...
Love, Hugs and Prayers
ardra

Neera said...

I am so very sorry for ur loss Gauri. You had been in my thoughts cos you hadn't posted for a while.

BE strong and take care of urself sweetie.

Hugs

Sandhya said...

Dearest Gauri,

May Almighty give you all the strength to overcome this grief.Take care Gauri.

Hugs to you

Sandhya

gau said...

Gauri,

Was wondering where you were; just saw d's message on the group. I'm so sorry, dear girl. May you have the strength to pull through this. Knowing the strong person that you are, and the three terrific people with you right now, I know you will.

From all the wonderful qualities I have always admired in you, I can tell your dad was a remarkable man.

Take care, and God bless.

Hugs,
gau

Adorable Pancreas said...

You made me cry. Your dad is a lot like mine, and God, how I miss him. Sometimes it feels like there never was such a person, at other times it's like we're waiting for him to return. I am very sorry for your loss. Some day, it won't hurt quite so much. Until then, we just have to plod along.

Aparna said...

Gauri,

I am so sorry. Your father sounds wonderful.

Hugs to you.

Lots of Love,
Aps

Mimi said...

Gauri,
So sorry to hear about your dad.I had been thinking about you,wondering why you weren't posting.Sending a big virtual hug.
Love
T

Nishita said...

Gauri, It's so sad to hear about your dad. Hope you re doing ok.

Hugs and love,
Nishita

Suki said...

Big hugs, G. So sorry to hear this. Take care, ok?

AMIT said...

Memories are the one which stays in our heart forever.

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