Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Not All Birthdays Need To Be Happy or Worth Celebrating

I didn't celebrate my birthday this time around. Reason being my grandmother (mom's mom) passed away two days ago. Reality is yet to sink in and somehow I find it hard to believe that I won't be able to ever see her again when I visit my ancestral house. We cousins are forever teasing her (in a fun way, of course) of how she "never feels hungry" and then goes on to eat around 5-6 idlis for supper with ease. She had a peaceful death -- and we are thankful to God that she was taken away without feeling any pain.

I didn't even realize it was my birthday today till I got those 12 o' clock messages and calls. Funny how life changes. Before, I used to literally remind everyone that my birthday is coming up and here I'm at a phase where others have to remind me about my birthday!

I was able to see all of my cousins at the funeral. When we touched her feet, we realized we won't be able to do this anymore -- and all the emotions just came out like a flood. She has been a wonderful grandmother. I haven't heard her raise her voice at anyone, including her children. She was a very bold woman who took everything in her stride when grandfather passed away. During most of the day, she was alone in the house, only with an old aunt (who happens to be very timid) for company. But never once did she ever complain that she's scared of living at such a desolate place. I admire her for this very courage. She used to sing like a nightingale (a quality which has not unfortunately transcended across generations :)), and I remember how I and Pri (my cousin) used to sing along with her whenever she started singing. A favorite being - "Vara Veena". It's a beautiful memory with a dream-like quality to it. One of my favorite memories of her is the way she used to call me "Ponma"(deer) whenever I called her "Grandma". She apparently found the word "grandma" very funny.

We all are taking comfort in the fact that now she is at a place where her true love is - her husband. They were meant for each other even if they were poles apart. My grandfather was a well-learnt man as far as I know and can talk about anything under the Sun. My grandmother, on the other hand, loved talking about people and not about current events as such. He was a strict disciplinarian whereas she was disorganized, sluggish in a way. We all were dead scared of grandpa, but showed no hesitancy in teasing our dear old grandma. Our grandfather used to give us little gifts like gems and poppins which used to make us smile with glee, whereas grandma didn't believe in giving gifts as such. There were so many differences, and yet they lived peacefully together.

We did cry our hearts out, but then realized she might just not like the fact that we are so sad here without her. She would be happy considering the fact that all her grandchildren got together again after such a long time -- each one of us being busy with marriage, work, school, college etc. All of us got together for a round-table conference of sorts and chatted our heart out about everything. We had a look at all our old pics together, talked about how color blindness exists only in the male folk of our family (weird but true!), and just about anything that connects us together. I'm sure our grandparents are looking at us from up there and realizing now THIS is a type of happy joint family that is very hard to find nowadays. I'm glad I'm part of one such rare joint family.

Getting back to my birthday, I wasn't really bothered about it and thanked everyone cordially for all their wishes. But yes, a number of posts/messages did make me feel a bit better. Unexpected wishes came in form of a popular RJ, VJ and hot-shot photographer respectively. I was expecting these people to shy away from wishing others in public, but I was wrong.

Sandeep Balan again managed to surprise me. And why wouldn't he? He is into marketing and very well knows what appeals to the public! :) He made MTV VJ Jose Covaco wish me, yet again!

To everyone who is reading this post - instead of wishing me, please say a silent prayer for my grandmother tonight. It would be the best birthday gift you could ever give me! Peace.


  1. My nani has also had a stroke.
    and she is improving everyday.

    Here's a little prayer for both your and my grandma :)
    I love how soft they are.

  2. May her soul rest in peace! But as U said, she is now in safe hands, with her husband. Moreover she had a peaceful farewell. And indeed she must be feeling happy now, watching from above, all of you getting together again. You are indeed lucky to have been born into a joint family and children happen to have some of their most happiest moments with their grandparents.... priceless memories. Just be happy always and that would be the best gift for them.
    Wishing U a very Happy Birthday, have a wonderful year ahead and God bless :)
    And prayers for me for ur grandparents. God bless their souls.

  3. ohh sorry.. rest in peace grandma.. and she is lucky to leave without pain.. n belated birthday wishes to u.. tc

  4. May your grandmother's soul rest in peace...

  5. Ur granny was one cute lady!!! She must be smiling up there and looking down at u with one proud smile.
    My granny used to call me little pony :D i remembered that when i read ur granny used to call u a cute :)

    May her soul rest in peace...may God give u and ur family the strength u need... take care...

  6. This post of yours made me relive those moments when my grandmom (nani) passed away....I never saw any of my grandparents so she was the only link and she had a peaceful death herself....and reading you I felt like someone penned my thoughts....ur grandmom was just like my grandmom too :)

    And the last para...of how the funeral brings the family together is sooo true...I think the time the family got together in full was when our grandmom left...and she must have smiled seeing it ...

    May ur grandmom rest in peace always :)

    And Happy Birthday once again...and Sandeep does know how to make it special for everyone :)

  7. Anonymous9:38 PM

    Please don't cry. Your grand-mother could have become the goddess herself after death because of the days spent in silence and solitude.

    Those are rare qualities you have mentioned in your blog post.Strength of the spirit and unassailable frame of mind is very hard to acquire.They have endowed her this one complete beautiful life-time.

    You could carry her picture in a wallet every where you go, as she would grant her rays of blessings and protection from there. May be she would come to you in different forms in the every day life that you encounter!

  8. May your granny's soul rest in peace!!! And yeah I'll pray :)

  9. May her soul rest in peace

    My birthday is this weekend and I too am not that excited

  10. Aw yes, we'll pray for her for sure :)
    and this kinda reminded me of when I lost my dadi .. And don't you worry, nani ma would be looking down at you :)

  11. And I'm following you nowww :D

  12. Many Happy Returns Of The Day!! You do enjoy surprising people with gifts but today is your day to enjoy gifts from your your loved ones! What was the best gift you got today? :)


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