The World for the Old!!

My great-grandmother passed away in our village near Thiruvarur recently, she was 102. She is survived by six children and numerous grand and great-grand children. I’m one among them and that very day, I was sad to lose my last connection left with a village. I didn’t want to see her during her last days because I usually like being left with good memories of people. My grandmother told me that she had become frail and her whole body had shrunk like a baby. Shakespeare’s words came to my mind that time from the poem, “All the World’s A Stage”,

“…………….Last scene of all,
That end this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything..”

By God’s grace, until her last few days, she didn’t suffer from any major ailment but that made it hard for death to take her. The doctor said that her heart was pumping healthily till it was the last day and virtually every one there at the village saw her breathe her last. She was there in that village, in our same ancestral home close to 90 years. In this generation of rapid changes, can any of us even imagine staying in the same home for 90 years? Next to impossible! It’s not fair to compare ours with theirs but being in the same place for such a long period of time is a rare feat indeed. These days, expecting such a longevity itself is a luxurious thought.

I’ve had wonderful memories with her and let me share a few cherished ones. Once, I took blessings from her doing the traditional namaskaram and she wished me, “Nooi Nodi illama kozandha nanna irukkanum.” (translation “Have a hale and healthy Life, Child!”). She also gave me a 50 rupee note and said, “Ennala evola than pa mudiyum! Ana nee 50 ruppa illa 50 laksham sambathikanum.” (translation “I can only afford a 50 rupee note. But, you have to earn 50 lakhs”. I was 17 then and that wish was an excellent motivation for me. I’m not taking about the money factor here but how affectionate she was with me. One evening when I was in our village, she called me hastily and I went near her. She opened my fists and gave me cashews which she had kept for me from the mixture she was eating. She said, “Ottharukum theriyama saptudu.” (translation “Eat this without telling anyone!”). I ate it (who would say no! :P) but the thing was the amount of affection which was hidden inside the cashew more than the taste. Nowadays, buying cashews isn’t a big deal but will it have the affection is the question. Whenever I go there I used to spend time with my great-granny. She always used to question me the moment I see her there, “Thilaka! Ippo than intha paatiya paaka thoonitha! Vaa, Vaa! Paakathula ookaru!” (translation Thilak! You just found some time to meet your great-granny? Come.Come sit here”). Not many a time, she used to talk except some occasional stories. But, I’ve had good days with her and reminiscing those moments will always bring back a smile on my face.

I’d already written about grandparents through my post Grandparents out pour infinite Love!!. I’m blessed being with them but I still want to stress to the people of my generation. We may be occupied throughout the day through social networks, instant messaging applications communicating with our friends in a jiffy but for our grandparents, the only source of enjoyment is US. Spend quality time with them and never underrate their importance in your Life. What I do is to find their interests, learn about it and speak with them about it. I speak about politics, economics and cricket with my Thatha (Grandfather) at home and about serials, traditions with my Paati (Grandmother). Some of their views maybe old-fashioned but don’t rebel, give a ear to whatever they say and appreciate what you like. By this way, I spend quality 15 to 20 minutes each day with my grandparents. Whenever they call my name, I feel special and when they ask me for opinions I feel honored. Our grannies, do not approach us to use us but just to be with us. They are like a child who needs someone to see their smiles and address their cries. So never ignore them, never. Once you get yourself drenched in their Love, you can never come back. Feel it! if you have an opportunity to.

One last thing which I’d like to say is that the present world we’re living in is tuned only for the young and the fast. We can’t ignore the old and move forward. We should also remember that, one fine day, while moving forward we’ll also become old. At that time, when you’ve left the old during your days then you’re also going to be left.

Ram Thilak..

Image courtesy: Internet

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