Happy birthday, Sharat

September 28 th is a memorable day for me as my eldest son Ananth ( Sharath/ Kuttan for me ) was born on that day, over forty years ago.
Those moments the parents wait to have a first look at the face of the first child ( or the faces of the subsequent children) are always packed with unalloyed joy and anxiety and so many other feelings which can’t be explained in words. In the case of my wife and myself, not the moments but the months we waited to see our first baby was explainable in words- we simply wanted to have a normal child! . We had no other ambition. Reason- we feared, threatened by a gynecologist friend, that there was a possibility that the child might not be a normal one, consequent to the effect of certain medicines, my wife was taking during pregnancy.

‘Come what may, we will have the baby’, decided we both, despite discouraging suggestions and advices from some medical friends we were surrounded with, then. And that was the best decision we took in our life. And the happiest moment in our life was when on child birth, the pediatrician certified that the baby was perfectly normal.

Sharath, like his mom and unlike his dad, is a man of a few words, good, intelligent, meaningful, timely and apt. He likes, again like his mom, the best of everything and there can’t be a better example for that than Megh, his life partner. ( you may like to add that his mom’s selection of me proves my point!😌) He resembles his paternal grand father, whose name he bears, in looking after his parents and I can never forget the affection and care I received from him and Megh, when I fell seriously ill last year.
I wish my Kuttan a long life along with his wife and children and the best of it, as he always opts for the best.

Happy birthday Sharath.

 

 

 

My mother

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All children are god’s gifts for their parents but I was more so as I was a Bagavath prasAdam, god’s blessings to my mother’s soul-full prayers after she lost her seemanthaputran, first child hardly one year old, who bore our ancestral name for the eldest child of the family, Vancheeswaran. The tsunami of small pox which swept Palakkad during those days, snatched the child as well as her one eye, though it spared the life of my father, luckily for her, for me and my siblings and also for our grandmother. My mother too would have become a prey to the fearsome virus but for the day and night vigil of her mother in law, Ammalu, my paternal grand mother, a very kind and capable woman and that debt was paid back to her by my father by caring her in her old age, like his own eyeball.

‘I have observed ‘Shasti vratham’ during the entire period I carried you and I’m confident that you won’t go the wrong way, now or ever’ – those words of my mother has been my safety belt throughout my life.

I feel guilty for not paying back to my mother at least a portion of the affection and care she showered on me, as like my sisters who left home during their early twenties, I too left home and subsequently my parents stayed with me only on a few occasions. I was lucky to be with my father to take care of him during his last days and also do the last rites but in my mother’s case, I could reach home only after her cremation was offer. The destiny allotted that duty and fortune to my brother, Vicha.
Is the task if attending him now allotted to me, just to clear a portion of my old debts to my mom?

The work allotment and wage payments are made by the Master strictly as per our deserving. Have no doubt on that.

You will get what you are due to.

Anantha Jyothy’, my Habsiguda house

 

‘Anantha Jyothy’, my Habsiguda house – takes birth. Bhoomipooja, nearly four decades ago, in the presence of my mother, who was fortunately available at Hyderabad then. She did stay for short periods in this house later, but my father did not, though I was happy that he lived to see the completion of the house to comment ‘a hundred people can be served food at a time, in your two halls, Konthai!’. (The old people always thought about serving food to others! )

Earlier, when he came to see the vacant land, the approach roads were not good as the housing colony was just taking shape. He had to pass through a water -clogged patch when he commented: ‘ to reach your house, I have to swim or fly’.

Swimming was no problem for him and I would have brought him by a helicopter, if necessary, but he passed away before I could shift to my house. That house, though a Nalukettu, a big one, didn’t have modern facilities but my parents preferred to continue to stay there. To reach the bathroom and toilet, they had to carry an umbrella during rains, but that was not a problem for them- for us too when we were children. When I went during holidays, I saw a snake happily crawling over my sisters when they were sleeping on a veranda with openings to the backyard! But for them, that house was Swargam , paradise, as my mother used to claim proudly!

I say the same now, to my children !

As my son Atchu said, ‘it is not the walls and doors that make the house, but the memories and sentiments surrounding it’

My children are aware of my sentiments but they insist on my staying with them, considering my age and health aspects. Let me hold on here, as long as I can!

But how long?

The lady with dark glasses in the foto is Dr. Malathy Damodaranmy, daughter of EMS Nambudiripad.
Dr. Malathy was my college at NIN. Damodarans were my neighbors in the NIN campus too and we chose the neighboring plots hoping to live close by. It didn’t happen.

Oh man, how greedy is this man!

 

I would like to have more hands and legs at least a dozen more, to cope up with my present assignment. It is not the lackadaisical behavior of my mind or brain that haunts me, but my inability to do ten jobs at a time as my daughter and daughters in law are doing, which I have been watching curiously, admiringly, during the past few years.

But, of course, it is foolish on my part to compare me with them but I do need additional hands and legs and wonder why God is not providing those!

‘How greedy is this man!’, wonders God. ‘Last year, around this time in America, you were struggling to sit, stand or walk! You were even on medication to prevent bones becoming brittle and cracking!

And this year, you are asking for more limbs!’

God laughs, as He has provided me with many eyes, ears, hands, legs, young, strong, anytime prepared to help, willingly!

‘What else do you need, when I have provided you with such a caring family?,’ He asks.

‘Yes, Dada, I have no complaints. But do me one small favour. Keep my remaining teeth intact!’

‘For what? ‘ God knows everything. Still asks.

‘To eat pakodas and other snacks which my friends will be sending!’

‘How greedy is this man!’, God admonishes again. ‘He expects a pakoda packet everyday from friends!’

Ammalu is always right

Ammalu, what will be your reaction if you happen to see me dancing with another woman?’

‘Let me see your action first; then you will see my reaction!’

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There are several similarities between us and Pattu-Pattabhi couple. You agree, Ammalu?’

‘Yes, Pattu talks sensibly’

‘Pattabhi and me talk nonsense?’

‘I don’t know much about Pattabhi’

‘That means I talk nonsense?’

‘Do you want me to prepare your lunch or waste time in arguing with you?’

‘Food is my priority and you know that’

‘Now, you talk sensibly’