NostalgiaFebruary 28, 2007 at 9:59 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
These past few days I faded away because one thing led to another leaving a blank in my already depleted mind. My network was down, I had an ulcer in my mouth and I had to remove my lower denture for a week till the doctor permits me the use of my full denture faculty. I also felt the pangs of nostalgia and loneliness and was disintested in things much.
I got to thinking how the loss of a close person can leave a big void and how a lot of links with people get delinked. Having been a loner all my life, with so few personal friends whom I can count with just three fengers, I was used to being happy with my personal preoccupations. However, the passing away of my wife over a year ago meant the loss of contact with all her kith and kin and friends who also were mine by association until she was alive and with me. Her presence had given a purpose to my life though it is now my children who give me a purpose in life.
My wife was a big draw among her circle of relatives, friends and casual acquaintances. She could charm people with the mere volume of her volubility and her positive outlook on life and her inborn nature to go out of her way to give solace to people in distress, people who are in sick bed and people who need a moral boost. The only person I can remember in her life who didn’t benefit by her association must be me because I never had drive, initiative, imagination, concentration or convictions. She could make friends with a vegetable vendor as well as a doctor with equal ease and cheerfulness. She was ramrod straightforward and never minced words. There have even been instances when people had a dig at me by introducing me to my face to others as Mr. Kalavathi, Kalavathi being my wife’s name. I had a redeeming quality namely nothing can fluster me normally even though I am really sensitive inside. It is simply that I am very meek, cowardly and undecided in any thing where a quick decision had to be taken, that it is a God-send that I had a wife like my consort who had salvaged at least some of my self image and self respect.
She becomes so lively when conversing with people that, once when we visited an acquaintance and she was talking with them and they to her, animatedly, suddenly she stopped talking to them, looked at me and said that she almost forgot I was there with her. All this without any guile, or affectation, that though I was put off for a moment, I recovered immediately because I know her so well, though strangers may not understand it.
When she left me, her friends in Hyderabad simply vanished from our lives, her close family relatives dropped away becoming involved in their own affairs. Not just that. Her absence also took with it a lot of activities like long outings, a lot of conversations, a lot of breathing on my neck, and in all these processes, I have become a better man now.
I have given up all religious rites and rituals, except the daily morning lighting of the ‘Deepam’ in the puja room, chanting of a few tiny mantras which I have memorised, and remembering her and seeking the blessings of my parents by just standing before their photograph for a few moments and seeking their benevolence on our children.
One day suddenly I thought about the futility of things with your daughter staying and pursuing her education so far away and visiting us just once a year, and my son and daughter in law going away to their offices and leaving me alone at home to ponder alone at home, and all my kith and kin away in Madras. Those few moments I felt very very lonely. In the old days Brahmins used to stay together in ‘Agraharams’ in their villages attending to the spiritual needs of those around them, and all the grand parents, parents, uncles aunts, children, cousins, nephews and nieces, living near each other in a very close community, when a good or bad event is shared by all and sundry. Now that we have made even exceptions on religious taboo barring a Brahmin to cross a sea, and the joint family system has all but disappeared, not just from the Brahmins’ay of life but also from all communities of people. Effectively many youngsters do not even interact with their cousins and nephews, not even the nearest uncles and aunts. Life now is in the fast lane and people are more materialistic. It is not to be construed that religiosity is also disappearing. The more distant people are from their native land, the more faithful they are to their cultures and traditions and way of venerating God.
Enough of this rambling for one Post.