Saturday, October 31, 2009


My grandmother passed away 11 days ago. I loved her and yet I have shed few tears. I don't know if this is because she suffered a lot for the past few years and (from my perspective) is finally free. Or is it because the tears are there within somewhere, waiting to be released at the right time, whenever that is? I don't know.

We looked into her cupboard a couple of days ago and found a dairy from 1985 written by my Thatha (her husband). My parents meant to toss it and instead I held on to it and have been reading it on and off. I am amazed at the intensity of emotion in my grandfather's writing. I was nine years old when he passed away. Old enough to remember him in many ways but too young in other ways to have known and understood him.

In particular the dynamics of the relationship between my Avva and Thatha are fascinating, sad... and maybe even a tad scary. All the drama of lives lived and intertwined over decades. Just because the participants are no more, does it make it all meaningless?
Meanwhile more lives are lived and more dramas unfold. And left unrecorded, they are lost. As if they never happened. But it was real. What does that even mean? I am confused.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

And yet its different

1. More dazzling fireworks. Lots more.
2. More smoke. Lots more.
3. Less social interaction and people coming over with sweets.
4. Less people stopping by on the street.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy Deepavali

I am at home in Madurai for Deepavali after a long time. Home for Deepavali, with everyone around me celebrating the same festival in an explosion of color and sound. Instead of solitarily trying to celebrate it in a distant land, surrounded by snow and people who haven't a clue about what it all means. Very different! Celebrations are always so much nicer with a whole lot of people around you...

So here I am clad in my new Salwar Kameez, having eaten my fill of a vellai appam and idli breakfast and way too many sweets! There is the incessant sound of crackers and bombs and other things that explode too loud. And on the streets, people are walking around wearing brightly coloured sarees and churidhars and pavadais and long strands of malligai poo. Every now and then the phone in the living room rings and greetings are exchanged. Some one drops by with some sweets and other sweets are given in exchange. I've missed all this!