Tag Archives: parents

Visiting Bounties

Whenever my parents come home to visit me, they carry a minimum of three bags loaded with goods with them. My persuasion and dissuasion to discontinue this practice does not sit well with either of them. So it continues and I am the happy recipient of many goodies like’ chakka varatiyathu’, ‘kondata mulakku’, ‘nadan pappadam’, ‘veetile thenga’, ‘nadan manga’- ripe and unripe, ‘masala biscut’, ‘karutha halwa’, ‘kariveppila- veetil undayathu, ‘drumsticks- veetilethu’, ‘vendakka-terracil undayathu’, ‘kattar vazha thayyu, ela- ennayundakkan,’ and more.

This is addition to the saree that amma and achan choice fully pick out from the Mriganayanee out let in Calicut, 2 to 3 bath towels or torthu mundu, kerala sari,bag to keep in the car, chocolates gifted to them by some one, a box of cashew nuts a friend gave them, a pair of dresses for my daughter, a stylish hand bag and more.

I know the list is long and you must think that I am like those daughters, the ones you must be seeing in those daily sops, whose endless demands for goods and goodies leave their parents hapless.

Hmm, I am guilty to some extent, as I actually used to tell my little daughter before starting off from Calicut to Indore, with an evil smile to pack off as much as she could, to just see my brother laugh his head off. It was fun to do that.

Years later, I unsuccessfully continue to implore my parents to travel light which they indeed do when they return to Calicut having placed all the treasured items in my home.

I don’t even know how my mother and father bring to fruition what I think of!

Once when I was in Calicut, I had looked at my certificates and sighed, ‘I should get these laminated, I guess, they are tearing off almost.’

While packing after almost a month’s stay at home, I was packing stuff when I was surprised and shocked to see all my certificates laminated, how did this happen, I thought when Achan said casually, ‘Oh, got it done one day!’.

After all this giving while going back, Amma says regretfully, ‘I wanted to bring the other sari  too for you to wear to college’ and I am like ‘what???!’

Now while there is nothing  I can do to return this outpouring of expression of love, all I manage to do is to plan a one-day outing with all of us. This they say with excess excitement,’was the best of experiences in a long time.’

I know all sons and daughters of Kerala will agree with me that it is a struggle to convince your parents that you really don’t need the coconuts as they are available every where, because the argument is ‘it cannot be as tasty as those from our land’. Finally I am sure, each one of us will be convinced to carry at least 5 of them back home.

My parents always make me wonder if I am as caring to my daughter. Do I pay as much attention to the smallest of details?

Maybe I will change for the better with time!

Till then, I know for sure that these two people are the most adorable, loving and kind souls that I know.

 

 

Of fulfilling a promise

A couple past their prime inherit an old dilapidated house, which was once home to a farmer, an ayurvedic physician, a sanskrit scholar,his beautiful wife and their worthy children.

The home inherited by my mother was in dire need of repair. My father,a retired banker counts every penny and could have just sold the house and  pocketed the change. Much to the disbelief of all his friends and relatives, the man and his wife spend days breathing life sustaining and nurturing the old home.

I am surprised at the effort that goes into all of this. The love and care that mom and dad are willing to invest into what looked like a lost case. Wouldn’t it be easier to sell it off? I wonder secretly. Many others raise the same concern and laugh at the eccentricity of the old couple.How long will you be around?. They ask indifferently. .

20 years ago when the house was set aside for his daughter, the fourth in the line,grandfather had extracted a promise from my father. He said,this house has been built with my sweat and labor. I have lifted stones, painted it and agonized over it. I want you to take care of it.

My father said,I could have sold it off but  I wanted to build something of it to return to it, its former grandeur. I expect you to use this space for the betterment of the society. I am humbled and perplexed at this suggestion. It is a huge responsibility.

Before taking this responsibility,my parents had already tided over the worst calamity of their lives, the loss of their son,the youngest, their life, their cheer and everything else.When Balu, my brother was diagnosed with mitochondrial cytopathy, which the doctor at NIMHANS told him categorically  was causing the degeneration of every organ of his body,the boy was devastated, so were his parents.

Yet through the years that he survived, my mother ensured that there was a smile on his face.My father nurtured him as if he were a small baby.His friends Babu,Mani and Koushik stood by him,visiting him every single day. Cheering him up with odd jokes and pranks,only they were capable of. Until , his death on 10th of July 2012, my brother knew for sure that he was loved and cared for.

Today as I watch the house limp back to life, awakening a new interest among the neighbors, friends and relatives, I am proud of what my parents are capable of. Of their never say die spirit.

Just the other day, my mother addressed a young audience at a government school in the locality.It was her first public address. The students loved the honesty of her words and cheered for her. The adulation is much deserved,earned by unwavering spirit,hard work and an optimism that does not allow tears to be shed at any cost.

When sometimes I am told of the smile that does not leave my face, I have to agree modestly. I cannot be otherwise, I come from a family of great strength of mind and the spirit.

I have heard my parents being taunted for not studying beyond 10th standard.How does it matter? I ask.

In the college of life they have earned their doctorate:-)

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