There are some days it feels like 5 years. And there are most days.. it does not. On the days it does, I’m most reminded of all the things that have happened since. The voice in my head that whispers “I wish you were here to see this, Thatha”.
On the days it does not, I’m reminded of the man who’s injected in me the permanent love for travel, photography and an occasionally half-decent sense of humour.
A lot has happened since. To say that is in itself is an understatement.
You have two incredible grandchildren-in-law. They’re intelligent, quiet voiced and most definitely spent a good while wondering what they married in to (amidst the normal cacaphony)!
You’re a great-grandfather to two ridiculously adorable babies. We’re quite sure they’re here since you decided it was about time us cousins had something new to find marvel, wonderment and awe in. And so you could show us Appa’s soft side that we never knew existed, or Chitappa’s earnest and eager enthusiasm that we all almost forgot, or Athai’s unbridled glee at being a Grandmother. B Akka’s wonder-mamma Avatar, and Bushkii’s downright positivity and strength in being a new mamma.
The love of your life quite enjoys her new status of ‘Chief Great Grandmother’. There’s a new gait to her walk, a new sparkle to her smile and a lot more hope in her every day. Needless to say she misses her handsome husband, but we’ve always got the eternal love stories to discuss that drive those blues away.
I’ve had this consistent dream on and off these past few years. Where you and me are chatting on the Thinnai outside home. It’s 4pm, I hear you shout ‘Saranyaaa. Sumanaaa.. Come downstairs’. We’re sitting and chatting. Doing the crossword and jumble. You’re listening to me talk about work. About how living alone has changed my life. How Bombay and Pune have been great. About how much I love work. About the men I’ve met and who haven’t managed to land that “this is who I want to marry” impact. If I listen close I can hear you say “you are my gorgeous granddaughter.. whoever he is he needs to be worth you”. I smile. This is what you told Akka and me every single time we got dressed up to go out (minus the part about men) and ran to ‘say bye’ to you, showed off our clothes by twirling and gave you a kiss on that cheek that always smelled of Eau De Cologne.
You saw smile lines where we saw wrinkles. You saw wide-eyed grins where we saw dark circles. And you always said “why do my granddaughters need to go to the beauty parlour. You are beautiful already!”
I didn’t know it then, but today, those were warm words of comfort to a 19 year old who worried a tad too much if she didn’t go to the parlour and thread.
The best part about this dream is waking up each morning with a smile, knowing we’ve had another one of our chats.
The most precious 3 years at MOP where I discussed every single JAM with you. Every single pick-up line I’d used on boys in the event. Every single trophy presented to you first, every single time. If there is anyone in the family who understands that side of me, what jamming gave to me, it is you. What jamming gave us*.
My grandfather, also my best friend. Our best friends, all of ours.
I could write on and on, but a certain lump in my throat reminds me that there are stories that are meant to be told another day.
I end this by telling you, I’m glad you’re watching down on us. I’m beyond relieved you not once told me that marriage had to be the end-all I did in life. Instead you told me more often than not to travel, be independent and live life.
More than anything, you, though it was just past when you left us, instilled in me the love for the written word.
So it’s our 5 year milestone of you inspiring me, motivating me, and giving me new things to find joy in, and to just..write.
And what a journey it has been.
Thank you. Love you. And miss you every single day, Thaths.
The curtain will always be open, and the stage will always be ours for the stories we weave.