From a distance

When I got married and moved to Melbourne, I left behind a BIG family of parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles and 1 loved grand-mother. When you leave home, you don’t understand time doesn’t stand still. It doesn’t. I visited Bangalore 8 months after I moved to Melbourne and knew things haven’t changed in my absence. I came back satisfied it would remain so.

2 weeks backΒ my mother called me up with news of my grandmother in the hospital. This time, things were much more serious and she stopped talking after a week. She responded to noise and voices but there was no spark of recognition in her eyes. My mother and her siblings were so unhappy with the turn of events.Β When I listened to all this over the phone, I couldn’t relate that to my determined-strong-strict-loving grandmother I know her as. Disoriented? No way, not her.

She was always firm and loving, wise and goofy with us. How could she become that way? I told myself this phase was temporary and it will end. In my mind, I was visualising walking into her room at my uncle’s place, her eyes bright and shiny with tears of happiness and her saying – “bandya, baa” (oh! you are here, come).

Last sunday, in my post valentine’s day bliss, I was cleaning up the dining table. My husband was vacuuming. The phone was on the kitchen counter. It rang and my husband answered. He said “Hi Sham (my sister)! Oh, okay. I will tell her” in a very solemn voice.Β And I knew. I knew she has departed from us. I knew and tears were running down my cheeks. My grandmother, my last surviving grand parent, who I always felt was invincible, wise and strong was no longer around.

That jolted me awake. In spite of constant updates on the hospitalisation, the grave news, I had it in my head that she would pull through and be as she was. As she has always been. No longer.

She’s gone to a better place, to be with the love of her life. But I miss her fiercely. Being this far away, having not seen the deterioration through my eyes, I can’t fathom my uncle’s house without her. I can imagine not seeing her. I can’t relate the news from my eyes to my ears.

The next visit is going to be so painful.

I miss you Ajji. You were my strength in some ways, my idol in many others. Don’t have much else to say, but the reality from a distance hurts. From closer quarters, it is unfathomable.

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13 thoughts on “From a distance

  1. Firstly, my condolences to you & your family.
    Your blog reminded me of the loss of my maternal grandmother almost 30 years ago. Grandparents are a special category of beloveds. I have hundreds of small anecdotes about both my grandma’s and recount a lot of them to my son (somehow, talking to your kid about your grandparents is more special than sharing it with your spouse). Badari, oon the other hand recounts anecdotes about his paternal grandma.
    As one who misses my ajji’s years after their passing, my advice to is to remember them with a smile. Remember how special they were to you or othere, their comments, anecdotes, advice, their special dishes, laughter, their sorrow etc. You are have a flair for writing. Put down your thoughts in words, so you can share them with your future. That way, your grandpaarents will never be forgotten. They are ordinary people to the world, not to us.
    Love

    Shashi

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shashi

      Thank you for your words. I do that a lot to Samant, he gets way more than he bargained for. But sharing that with my sister and siblings makes it all the more magical. I can only imagine how special it will be when I share it with my own kid, by your words πŸ™‚
      This blog, this space has become a store house actually πŸ™‚ I would like to continue storing memories here, one anecdote at a time and have my child read through this. That’d just be awesome.
      Thank you for your compliment on my writing. Above all, your thoughts resonate with me. I do remember everything with a smile and try my best to imbibe their teachings/way of life into my own. That gives me continuity.

      Love
      Vaishnavi

      Like

  2. May your grandma’s soul rest in peace vaishnavi.Take care.. Our generation is lucky because we have so much memories with our grandparents staying close to our heart. Coincidentally tomorrow is my grandma’s death anniversary and your post made me recollect my childhood memories. Her blessings will always be with you 😊❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello!
      Its amazing to see you here. I secretly wished you’d see this ma’am. But I never wanted to send the link to you. Thank you for your words. Sorry, I am so late in responding to the comments, I just haven’t been myself for a while now. Can you share your email ID? Would love to keep in touch, more often.

      Like

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