This is my second letter to you here, though I have written a thousand letters in my head already. Yesterday, I had a vivid dream of you and Ammumma where I am visiting you in your home and I am mesmerized by how something that haven’t been taken care in all these years you have left it could look so beautiful again. Then, you told me that you never left the place and that your heart truly lies in your home. How I believed it all to be true until I woke up with a smile on my face only to be vanished quickly. I looked at the pics of our heaven home yet again today and wondered how beautiful it would have been only if my dream came true.
Every picture reminds me of all the beautiful memories I have had there. Like this pond – everytime we visited you we have asked you to get us one lotus atleast – only that it never bloomed when we visited you. We have heard so many stories of amma taking a dip at the pond and when the pond dried up during summers, she would have a whale of time collecting the lotus roots. You know, the last time we visited the pond was in good bloom, how I wish you were with us then?!
I could never understand how can you not have fixed a gate infront of your house, but have a door instead. When I was really small, I thought this door opened into the hall 😛 Only later I realized it’s the modified version of the gate. There were seven steps to this door and at times I fought with Ammumma and Amma to get Muggu Pindi so that I can draw rangolis on all the steps to finally put a big one on the road. Both the sides of the door, there were big platforms raised where we spent the evenings as kids until you came home ushering us inside. I wish you were with us, the last time when everyone we met there praised you to no ends.
Then this door, what can I say? I have tried to open/close it multiple times but in vain. Ammumma is the sole person who could handle it with ease. Such an iron lady she was. Whenever there was pomegranate yield in the garden, we would select the best of best ones and put it in the creek between these huge teak doors and cut it through – the simple joys of life. You have told me several times on how you were the first person to import costly teak wood to make these doors. I was always fascinated by your initials put up on the doors and ofcourse the beautiful peacocks and grapes. I have tried to touch the top of the door, just to check if I have grown tall year over year. The last time I could well touch it, only wish you were with me.
The big room with a dismantlable door was one that has intrigued me a lot. We would await patiently until there is a need for you to open this room so that we could take a quick peek inside whats inside it. All the time the room was filled with sacks of paddy and yet times with the harvest of urad – a status symbol of how good the yield was and how we were doing that year. I have always wanted to help you re-build the door but you never let me no matter how much I pleaded. Same as that, you never took me to our paddy fields – something I will always feel bad about.
No matter whether we had Gobar gas or the LPG, you had always taken up the task of boiling hot water early in the morning. With a sleepy head, I would walk out to find you busily setting the wood on fire. I can still hear your cheery voice calling out my name as I walk to you.
Today, all this looks barren and there are very little plants left. The walls are falling down and there is no one to maintain it as neat as you could do. Those coconut trees are calling on to you, to water them and caress them as you do all the time. Thathi, this garden is not a garden at all without you.
The times I spent inside the kitchen are too less, mostly I was with you on the veranda if not in the garden. But then, I have enjoyed plucking flowers for Ammumma’s Pooja. And, what can I say about our little secret fridge? You successfully led me to believe that this cupboard is no less than a fridge that I duly kept the fresh milk that you would milk from the buffaloes in to this and I always thought that this fridge made it into thick curd by evening 😀 I should say life then seemed so magical and happy, when you were with me.
Hours together, we would sit outside and you would tirelessly introduce me with pride to anyone who cares to listen. I have watched a number of birds in twilight coming down to catch fish and drink water in the pond infront of our home. And when the little shadow of the bus could be seen on the road far far beyond the pond, you would say its 7 already and that we should better get inside before Ammumma scolded all of us.
Thathi, I miss you so very much. How I wish you stayed with me a little longer. No memories with you are enough for the bond that we shared together. The heart in me wishes for a little more.