Friday, May 20, 2011

Ode to Her

My grandmom(Muthashi) was one strong woman who used to be the source of strength for the entire family. Being the mother of 9 children it was obvious that by the time she was in her 90’s all her children were tied up in their own families and had children and some their own grand children. Also some of them had health issues which did not permit them to move around as freely as they would want but Muthashi would go meet them once a day walking through fields till she was 93 and then by auto. She had evaded all kinds of ailments till the age of 94 but the cancer that she got took her away at 95. Anyways that’s the least of things that we remember her for.

As a kid she has taken me to school for a long time when my amma was expecting bro and she very patiently bore all the idiosyncrasies of mine on the way picking stones, flowers (oh yes you could do all that once upon a time in Bangalore when there was hardly any traffic). Also she would not hesitate to whack me for anything done wrong.

When I was in 10th I was a huge salman fan and had a big poster of his (Maine Pyar kiya one) on my room wall. When Muthashi came to stay over I had given up my room and after a few days she calls my mother and says ‘Can you please take that lady’s poster from the wall’ I don’t want to see it the first thing when I get up in the morning. Just imagine my expression to be told that my hero who I thought is all macho being called a woman

In college I had started experimenting on hair styles and the first time I had to go to kerala sporting it amma was worried how all her sisters would react. By the way amma is the youngest daughter so you can imagine how many sisters she would have to handle. Predictably everybody reacted as if I had done a huge crime. But then Muthashi came to my rescue telling what’s wrong and that am looking nice. Oh my ‘hero’ she was.

Muthashi with her healthy lifestyle habits used to hardly fall ill except for gastric issues but with that also she used to love creating a ruckus at home and in 2 days time she would want all her kids to come and meet her who would all come tumbling from Bangalore, Mumbai, baroda etc. By the way I have to admit I can identify with her trait because I have got it too. One small cold and I bring the roof down with the melodrama. Anyways coming back to Muthashi at the same time in this condition if you take her to a hospital or even a clinic she will dress up in the best of clothes and at the clinic will sit so prim and proper that we get worried thinking what the doctor will say that we got a healthy person to clinic. Aristocratic she was.

Once when my cousin was taking her pictures on a digital camera (by the ways she had just discovered that in this photos can be deleted and new ones can be taken) she made him take atleast 5-6 times because she didn’t like the way she looked. She was way too fast in catching the logic of gadgets at her age.

She was not very interested in watching tv but her one weakness was watching Kathakalli be it on tv or if its happening in the village. If she’s in Bangalore of course she would watch it on tv but when she’s in the village and its happening she would go with everyone with mats and stay through the night to watch it. For her 90th birthday there was Kathakalli performance which was organized by her children in our Tharavadu (ancestral home) and it thrilled her so much.

These were few of the interesting and humorous memories of her.

Can’t remember her for the last few days of illness but can remember only for all the strength, humour and inspiration provided throughout. As for us she was like a permanent fixture in our lives never thought she would go away at all and with her passing away so it came as a huge jolt for all.

It would be a year now in August that she passed away but can still see her smile and life full of energy in front of my eyes.


  1. Loved this post. Very few have the time to respect the others, and u wrote sucha beautiful post on ur grandma, Kudos.

  2. Bhagyashree - Thanks for stopping by...It was a year since i had been thinking of writing and managed to do only now....

  3. That was a wonderful tribute that only a granddaughter can give her grandmother. I could virtually see her there through your word picture :) As a grandmom myself, I have written a piece from the other perspective. Maybe you could read and comment on it?

  4. Thanks zephyr for reading it....I had read your post but had not commented yet will do it.