Inscrutable Grief

My toes feel the sand as it oozes through the gaps, a sludge of water and sand. The debris the waves deposit and pull back from the shore sometimes grazes my naked calf. I don’t quite like the sensation, or the imagination my mind conjures. It feels like someone is churning the ocean, generating ripples, … Continue reading Inscrutable Grief

Losses Unknown

“Can you show me a picture of thatha?” Laddu asks, thrusting an old album at me. “Sure!” I say as I flip open the book. In my head, I am thinking Giri thatha, my Appa who never knew his granddaughters. I know though that she is talking about Rajamani thatha, the only one she has … Continue reading Losses Unknown

In Rainbows And Colors, She Rests

It arrives in the form of a grave email, the somber tone, the weight of the words taking time to sink. It steeps in me, slowly. I feel it in my eyes, in my throat, in the pit of my stomach. I call out to my children who are working on Math. I share with … Continue reading In Rainbows And Colors, She Rests

Of Saying Good Bye

The sky is endlessly grey as we drive back home from the airport. The children are squabbling at the back while Saathi concentrates on the road. I am ostensibly looking at my phone but my head is trying to wrap itself around the fact that the world now does not contain my father in law … Continue reading Of Saying Good Bye

On Dying, Death And The After

The past couple of weeks have been rough. As forty-somethings wedged in the middle, little kids on one end and the aging parents on the other, we have seesawed between caretaking for both, sometimes continents apart. A routine phone call had us scrambling to find tickets for Saathi. He waited at the hospital where his … Continue reading On Dying, Death And The After

Triggers

My eyes are crusty when I wake. In the dim light of dawn, I scrub my face and realize I have been crying. The kind of heaving, sobbing, heavy crying, deep in the throes of sleep. I went to bed thinking of my father in law who is recovering from an infection. Somewhere in my … Continue reading Triggers

Imposters: Life and Death

I lie in bed, in the dark, under the covers, the backlit screen of my phone casting an eerie glow. I am furiously typing or researching what a hip surgery in advanced age looks like. I look at the process, the preoperative parameters, postoperative care and mentally ready myself for all possibilities. I can do … Continue reading Imposters: Life and Death

Grief And Regrets

I sit up wide awake from what must have been a light sleep. The clock reads 4:00 AM. I pick my phone as is habit. The first status on my newsfeed is a cryptic message mourning the loss of someone who was once dear to me. A childhood friend, a friend from my teenage, a … Continue reading Grief And Regrets

Imprints of Souls Past

Ammu, Pattu, Laddu and I clamber into an auto that is standing a few feet from our home. I throw my bulky bag at the back and adjust the baby on me before the auto jerks and moves. The traffic is minimal and the breeze feels lovely in the morning sun.“Your Appa went to the … Continue reading Imprints of Souls Past

Morbidity and Mortality

This new year has brought with it a slew of deaths. News trickles in over the phone, through email, over whatsapp. Each day seems to bring with it one more person I knew that passed away. Facebook seems to have caught in on the theme, popping up writing by Paul Kalanithi who passed away last March … Continue reading Morbidity and Mortality

A life snuffed too soon.

Late evening, darkness falling silkily over the apartment on the 10th floor. The balcony is open with the evening breeze wafting in. The kitchen bustles with activity as dinner is being made. We sit in the modest living room. All of us gaggle of cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces. Voices rise and fall, laughter being the … Continue reading A life snuffed too soon.

In memoriam

Today marks four years to the day since Appa breathed his last. As my mother, sister and I stood around his bedside and watched the monitor mark the end, it also marked the end of an era. A period of my life marked by unconditional, silent love. Today as I grieve the loss of my … Continue reading In memoriam

The place of understanding

Phone cradled between my ear and neck, I stirred a creamy concoction of butter, milk and cheese all the while listening to a broken soul on the other end. My chitappa, voice breaking, was trying to make sense of the loss in his life. As I held on even if just in silence I realized … Continue reading The place of understanding

The woman who was a child

I remember her first as a bride, milk white next to my rather dark chitappa. I was in fourth grade then. The competition was fierce to vie for her affections amidst a brood of siblings and cousins. Snatches of images crowd my brain. Her in a six yards saree when my mom and other chithi … Continue reading The woman who was a child

I remember

The sound of the phone droned in my head in deep sleep. Rubbing my eyes awake I saw the clock show 3:48 AM. A phone call at that hour only meant one thing. Death. So it was. My cousin was calling to share the news that a great-aunt passed away. I put the receiver down … Continue reading I remember

Atheist, Agnostic or just plain clueless?

Looking through a cousin's profile on Facebook, I was struck by her declaration of being an Atheist. As much as it surprised me I wondered if she meant to say Agnostic instead. Not sure if I understood the difference myself I looked both words up. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Atheist as one who believes that there … Continue reading Atheist, Agnostic or just plain clueless?

Linked by loss

Plate in hand with pure white curd rice, I hesitated a moment between the curried vegetable and tomato thokku and helped myself to a generous helping of the pickle. As I ate taking care to keep the white of the curd rice unsullied by color, I was reminded of my Appa. "He used to love … Continue reading Linked by loss

At crossroads in my belief system

I grew up in a conservative, rather traditional tambram family. Observing practices like ecchal, patthu, theetu and madi*. I never thought too much about it but for the theetu part. I know much has been said about it in various posts on the blogosphere and I am not bringing it up again. I also grew … Continue reading At crossroads in my belief system

Rest in Peace Uncle

As is my customary ritual I emailed my cousin V detailing my weekend jaunts. She replied back in an hour talking about her weekend and finished of her email with news of a family friend's death. Somehow, reading her email made me feel sad. Real sad. For the longest time when I lived in CBE, … Continue reading Rest in Peace Uncle

In grief we unite

As my mom spoke of yet another good friend who lost her mom this past week, I slipped into a melancholic state. The raw feelings of grief that washed over me when I realized my dad's loss revisited me all over again. No matter our age, it is always hard to deal with the loss … Continue reading In grief we unite

Then and now

Photographs have a way of making me melancholy. I look at pictures from my past and relive the moment the picture was taken. Sitting on my desk at work is a picture of my dad in his blue collared tee shirt with red horizontal stripes spaced wide apart. He has a nice smile and his … Continue reading Then and now