Featured

Of Death and Moving on….

‘Death is inevitable’ a fact that is told multiple times by many. When there is the occurrence of a death the sadness, irritability, sense of loss, unable to move on are all inevitable to the person/persons close to the deceased. I have gone through this umpteen times in the last 13 years, but each time the feeling is as different as the person who left the earth. The first time I experienced it was when I was in 6th when Muthashan’s best friend who, was as much a maternal grandfather to me as my own was, but the loss of his demise didn’t strike me till a few years later.

Then in 2007, I lost Muthashan (maternal grandfather), whom I adored and loved beyond measure. My Muthashan was everything to me and he is sorely missed whenever I am happy or sad. Amma had a tough time getting me back on track. The person who loved him the most and had been with him the longest was Ammamma and trust me she was strong and made me realize how weak and incapacitated I was in the emotional department. Two years later, in 2009 I lost my Vallyachan (paternal grandfather) whom I adored, loved, and most importantly admired for he was a Freedom Fighter. Both grandfathers’ had been great men of their own accord and I feel immense remorse they never met Mr. B.

A week after our wedding in 2010 I lost a grand aunt who was a universal Chachi to all from my father’s paternal side of the family. My parents did not tell me about it over the phone, we met before they left for Muscat, in person and Acha told me. I was sad as she had told me that she wanted to meet Mr. B after our wedding and that I was to visit her at Kozhikode when possible. End of November the same year I lost another Grand Uncle in relation through Mr. B, but whom I had seen since I was a child. Who was very loving and concerned of the well-being of a few of us girls his grand-nieces as he would have said as he was a bachelor all his life. The other two were older to me and one was his own grand-niece. He had many quirks, but all said and done he was a great human and I am sure that, who had interacted with him at close quarters miss him immensely. He was famous in his own profession, but the profession never got the better of him, like it happens in some cases he was probably as level-headed when he started till he stopped working . He had a few tricks under his sleeve when he was behind the camera. The next year began with another death in the family this time Mr. B’s paternal grandfather. He had no major ailments, just that it was time for him to go to his beloved spouse.

A few years down the line I lost an Ammavan, a grand uncle (Ammamma’s brother), who I held and continue to hold in a high pedestal for he was a person, who showed me how much ever you help there is no end to it, as there will always be people who will need help of one sort or another. Then a grand-aunt (Vallyamma) with whom I spent my Saturdays in my mid-teens and who didn’t add a bit of spice in her food be what may, as she couldn’t have spice.

Noted ones were Ammamma (maternal grandmother) in 2016 March, and in the last one year Achamma (paternal grandfather) and my Ammavan (maternal uncle) and Amma’s 2nd Ammavan. Some of them passed on after a prolonged illness, some went with no definite ailments which we can say caused their sudden departures. I lost 3 aunts and 1 grand-uncle in the last 4 years in this criteria. There sudden deaths though they were aged beyond 60 and the Indian Law categorizes them as ‘Senior Citizen’. The desolate feeling they left behind on a spouse, sibling, child, nephew, niece or grandchild isn’t something those relations can ever explain how much ever they try.

I write this today as I have again seen another aunt a Vallyamma, I held dear pass on and her only daughter or granddaughters’ pain is something I can understand. It being Covid-19 times, they couldn’t get the flights instantly to come in from Mumbai and see their loved one leave on her last ride. People commented she was lucky in terms, she did not die of a prolonged illness, or suffer in that manner, true. My doubt here is, Was she lucky? She did not get to see her only daughter or her beloved granddaughters or her only brother before she departed, was she really lucky or is it just a sentence that’s been coined to comfort those who are hurting because of her departure.

I remember an incident long back where a person who had come to pay condolence after Muthashan’s death mentioned we shouldn’t go out to a movie or do fun stuff. At that time I felt so insulted by their attitude towards what the people in the house were going through as if we would and lets just say we did do it who is there to judge us, the society? Well am of the opinion that the departed soul would never want their loved ones to sit gloomily the whole day, cry and wail out non-stop. The departed one would definitely hope that the people they held dear moved on in life as death of a loved one doesn’t stop the oxygen of those who are alive.

 This philosophy strengthened in magnitude about 2 years back, when our neighbour an Uncle whom I adored for he was sweet, kind and considerate and spoke what was correct with no hidden malice, passed on and his wife, children and grandchildren did mourn his death, but celebrated his life for what it was worth. His spouse the aunty who I realise today I cherished immensely passed on earlier this year, 2 days before their Wedding Anniversary, her daughter, whom I call Aunty and I joked that she left as she wanted to celebrate it this year with Uncle above.

People who come home to pay their respects/condolences to those living should remember that the ones in the house have a lot of pain and are finding it difficult to move on and they don’t need the fact that you tell them how they should lead life in the mourning period, for as far as am concerned for the loved ones the mourning period never ends as you constantly remember your loved one in sickness and in health for you wish they were with you to celebrate or give you a shoulder to cry on. People can be insensitive in terms that they tell/ask absolute CRAP to people at home regarding what might have caused the death of the loved one. My next irritation is with the word BODY yes the body is a word that defines a physical structure, but as soon as death has occurred people around seem to be inconsiderate to the people living by calling the deceased material substance body as if the person had no other identity, she or he happened to be a parent, sibling, child, grandparent, to someone and as far as I am concerned you are insulting their memory, their life on earth by calling them that. All should remember where you point fingers today, will also be your place sooner or later, as ‘Death is inevitable’.

Featured

A Semicolon

A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you, and the sentence is your life,” explains Project Semicolon’s website.

I will never be able to explain it in words to the closest people in my life how, when and why it began. All I know is am suffering from it and its costing me a lot in terms of how I treat my family and some close friends. Have distanced myself from many in the last few years, missing them terribly, but the choice was made by me at a weak moment. A decision that’s regretted today. “Feelings of severe despondency and dejection” the meaning given in the dictionary to the condition. How, is a question that needs an answer, even in my own mind, as whether its seeds were put in 2007 after Muthashan’s death or in 2009 after the accident am not sure, but one thing is clear to me one of these was a major drawback and something that pulled me down. His death impacted more than I can ever put in words. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about him, even though its been 13 years, 3 months, 19 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes, 24 seconds since he left.

In 2009, the accident made sure that I had to take ample rest, couldn’t read something that I cherished, as concentration was a major issue then and the frustration was immense since I felt lost, incapable and paralyzed not physically, but mentally. The only solace was, Mr. B had come into my life and made me happy in every aspect, but then the feelings were still there.

In terms of my career, it was a crossroad and I ended up taking a path that I had not thought about until then. 2010, was a year full of surprises and happiness as the next phase of life was beginning, was over joyed and thrilled with the prospects that lay before me. Worked and stayed in Mala for almost a year. Soon, shifted base to my hometown and started life in a different atmosphere with Ammamma by my side which was a boon in more ways than one. Here the major change was the fact that, judgments were being made on not how I kept the house but, how she was taken care of. The love for her was immense, but the fact that I was under constant scrutiny made matters worse inside the head. I needed some alone time and when was offered a Medical Transcription work at Coimbatore, it was received with open arms. Left for a year and a bit more and then returned as Ammamma hadn’t been well and was constantly rambling that I should be home.

She had a fatal fall a few months after and that took her memory for a toss and she recognized her loved ones only occasionally after that. She left in 2016 the same month as Muthashan had. This affected more than his death as she was and will always be Amma first. The feelings of inadequacy, hatred towards self, irritation, the blames increased. Rocco came into the house to spread joy. Though certain things that weren’t expected began happening inside the head and it got worse with time.

Soon, Mr. B had to be blunt about it to me and requested I get help. After nearly a year of not much progress, ended up changing the person I was going to and that brought about a lot of change. Never thought, about experimenting in the kitchen, but now that’s some kind of entertainment at times, but if there is a failure, however minor it’s hard to digest and the howling and wailing begins, much to the annoyance of Mr. B. Reading not as much as I used to, now the movies have taken the precedence since that doesn’t involve mental work of any kind. I am enjoying teaching students abroad whether its English, grammar or the college entrance tests the career that I decided was the best as I tried a few others along the way.

Am still recovering taking baby steps, the person who should be applauded here is Mr. B for standing with me even though, he has been driven up the wall more than once because of my idiosyncrasies, antics and mood swings. Though his question is still unanswered as to how people end up with it and why. This was penned out today in the sole hope that I would have a written piece on how it was like to be going through Depression and how much it impacted me. The Semicolon symbol has taken a lot of importance in my life as I could have ended it at the lowest moment, but had to courage to pull on and still trying to do the same.

A Rainbow

28 Great Quotes From LGBT Authors And Books

“The only queer people are those who don’t love anybody.” ― Rita Mae Brown

Love knows no gender

Pin on Homosexual quotes
Love these quotes as they tell how I feel.

Pride means, a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired is the explanation given in the dictionary. Over the last 20 years the meaning Pride took a whole new meaning, in 1999-2000 when the then President of the United States of America, Bill Clinton named it the Pride Month honoring the LGBTQ Community (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer). Gay: lighthearted, carefree, bright and showy are the meanings that were in the dictionary the meaning I knew for this word, till it also meant in the LGBTQ form. Now, I tend to associate those original denotations to the entire LGBTQ community.

I remember hearing the word Lesbian for the first time when watching the sitcom FRIENDS when I began watching it after 2000. Never talked about it to anyone though even though I was intrigued by the whole thing at that time. Had a conversation with Amma a few years later about this and how we discussed may be some of the earlier generations many in the families did not get married due to this. Been a silent advocate for the LGBTQ community in the recent years mainly since, I feel am a bit more progressive than many in my generation. Many haven’t been able to accept the fact that their can be same gender love or accept the fact that many individuals feel that they are more of a woman inside a man’s body or a man inside a woman’s body. This kind of acceptance comes when you know people or you have a love or affection towards a particular being. The younger generations in India have been more open and have been ‘Coming Out’ more than any in my generation or prior generations in the country. I have heard of a few marriages falling apart, mainly because one of the individuals was gay or lesbian. Their is an age old misconception especially in India, get the person married and everything will be alright (not only in this matter even in regards to mental disorders this is a total different blog if I can put it together). There are many humans who fall prey to this, because either they don’t want to be shunned by the society or the family is thinking of this as a ‘Phase’, hoping when they have coitus post marriage such a ‘Desire’ comes to an end. Whereas if the family has to accept the transgender in the family I think is equally an issue, mainly since the parents expect a boy to behave ‘like a boy’ and not prefer makeup or feminine stuff and if you are a girl not try and behave like a boy and grow out of the tomboyish stage.

As a parent/sibling/cousin/friend/relative the best one can do is accept the person as they are. There is a couplet that I quote here from the movie Mohabbatein: Koi Payar Karein Toh Tumse Karein, Tum Jaise Ho Waise Karein, Koi Tumko Badalke Payar Karein Toh Woh Payar Nahin Dhokha Karein which literally translates to: If someone is to love you, may that person love you for who you are, if they want to change you then its not love its just a lie.

These issues were tackled and spoken about on national television in Aamir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate’s episode aired on August 18th 2014 Accepting Alternate Sexualities (episode is available on YouTube for those interested). At home we used to watch all the episodes of Satyamev Jayate as Mr. B and I are big fans of Aamir Khan and the topics he was addressing seemed very relevant to us. I still remember after this episode was aired we spoke about it and I realized he couldn’t accept this or rather couldn’t relate to it, whereas I was a bit more okay with the whole thing.

Fast-forward to a few years later when we learn that someone close to us, U prefers same gender instead of the opposite gender. A new realization dawned on me that this was something that’s probably our new normal. When this truth came out U was going through other issues in life and was at a place were some nuns tried to talk to U saying they had ‘saved’ people from living such lives they made it seem like U’s sexuality was something that could be corrected, was appalled that people could be so damn narrow-minded. Thankfully, a good Psychiatrist was found, who was able to get U of the lurch as their were suicidal tendencies as well at this point. Not many know about it even today and I am protective and proud of U. Of those who know not many have been able to accept it and move on, whereas between Mr. B and me this topic has never come up after this. U has a life and has probably continued to date and hopefully finds a match soon.

Transgender was a topic that needed some reading to be done and that was being postponed by me indefinitely, then I came across a social media profile of a youngster from my days with my parents in the bank flats. I had always seen this individual dress mostly like a tomboy (which frankly was a phase I went through so….) as a child. Now T is a man, undergoing testosterone injections before going for surgery. As Amma remembers T well I had shared this news with her and her reaction was at least T is happy now. I have no idea how T’s parents took the news hopefully they’ve accepted T for who he is. T’s sibling who again is younger me by years but older to T has accepted T for who he is.

Hopefully, there will be more acceptance to these, as I said this is my new normal and trust me when I say I wouldn’t have it any other way for both U and T. This is still an alien topic, something that’s considered a sin, in many parts of the world, its even been called an ideology. In India homosexuality was a criminal offence until Article 377 was amended on 6th September, 2018. Though the film world seems to have more movies talking about LGBTQ now than before. Even known actors in the Theatre, Film world are not shying away from accepting such roles, though these movies are not widely acclaimed even though its been showcased. In many cases its still a topic that’s discussed within closed doors. However accepting and progressive I am I wouldn’t discuss this topic with most of my older/peer or younger family members even now as the acceptance is still an issue. Just because the verdict has come doesn’t mean my older relatives on either side of Mr. B’s and my family will be okay with the topic in a discussion, homosexuality’s a big no here, but that doesn’t mean they can accept the transgender topic either. The verdict was only the beginning in the country, many are yet to accept this and many are still alienated by families, but as social media has shown over the last year or so especially the Humans of Bombay posts on Facebook families are slowly accepting this after some initial confusions. Many parents have issues accepting and later tend to become counselors and advisors to other parents, much like my parents Amma accepted I was dyslexic, but Achan and my grandparents (both sides) took time and soon they all were advocates for me.

This was a topic I was edging to write about for a long time what better time than when its Pride Month. October (USA) and February(UK) are considered History months for LGBTQ respectively.

The mentions of both U and T were done after taking their permissions. I didn’t act like the Didi/Chechi (older sister) and assume they would be okay with it ;). Like T just messaged me when I asked if I could call him tomboy when talking about his childhood, he mentioned a line from a poem ‘what is a tomboy if not a transboy in hiding?’ Here I request all readers not to get ideas that all tomboys are transboy’s. I am learning so much from those younger to me these days.

Today…

I still remember you cooking me dishes.

Remember you sitting on the ground making dough at the grinding stone.

Memories of you walking and working in the kitchen are many.

Today, you are in bed, unable to recognize me.

I miss you telling me what is right and what is wrong.

I was your child and you made sure I got to eat all that I loved – the Ari Pappadams, the ladoos, and even eggs .

You made sure my favorite items were stocked when I reached for summer hols.

Today, you are in a world of your own, and it hurts to watch you like this.

You and Muthashan let me sleep till  whatever time I pleased…

Stood by me when the rest of the world was angry with me for my tantrums.

You pampered me to the core in ways only you knew.

Today, you are in a world of your own, and don’t know how much I miss all that and more.

You made me run errands for you, but let me have things my way too.

You have always been a strong pillar of support

Mental strength like yours is hard to come by.

Today, you are in a world of your own and all the strength that I can gather ain’t enough to watch you like this.

You praised and appreciated my writing

Kept copies of the printouts and asked me to write more

Somehow that didn’t happen till now

You are getting ready to depart and I am writing this

Today it’s the irony.

You will never ever know how much you and he meant to me in my life.

I have been missing him more since you have been ill like this.

Today, you are in a world of your own, and I miss both your stories of olden times and you.

It hurts to watch you like this and the pain has become unbearable….

Watching him go I thought was the most difficult thing I had seen

I was wrong; watching you like this is far more difficult.

Today I ask what you or he did to have such a painful end….

You taught me some basics of cooking even as I posed as if I knew better.

 Your praises for certain dishes meant more than any other praise.

I will forever remember your praises for my Pooris, Semiya payasam and Cake…….

Today you are in a world of your own and I miss all those times…….

I miss lying on your lap or beside you in bed hugging you tight.

You will forever be my amma, my ammamma and ma ……

No one can take it away from me ever…..

Today I miss all that and more.

What Love Is

I remember asking once a long while back
What love is I wonder.
I can say now, I know or rather I feel what love is.
It happened unexpectedly and with no prior warning
Many will ask “How can you think love will happen with a warning?”
That is true. It does happen unexpectedly but all am trying to say is
“I didn’t expect it to happen the way it did and nor was I even thinking of it.”
But it did happen and am happy it did.

It wasn’t love at first sight!
Will anyone believe that I’m yet to meet you in person
And the only memory I’ve is the one of meeting you when I was in my teens.
Am surprised at all the things that changed in the short span of time.
I never thought in the beginning of our conversations that the mere talking
Would at some point take a new turn.
But, it did.
Aren’t I happy about it.

It took a turn and what a wonderful turn that was.
The relationship I thought we had, had changed suddenly
And so did the feeling, which I had towards you.
One fine moment I felt a new feeling that I had never felt before for anyone.
It took a while for me to realise what it was.
But, I did.

Deep inside I realised that my feelings towards you had changed forever.
For it had changed into something that couldn’t be altered
At the drop of a hat, or in a mere argument
For where I felt regard for you
I felt a different kind of feeling that I had felt for no one before.

Before long I realised
It’s Love.
Which meant it was
A new feeling, a relationship and a commitment for life.
Some area I had never dreamt I would venture into so soon in life.
A few years more, I thought it would take me to think of such a commitment
But, fate had other plans and out of the blue
I realised I was ready for this big commitment and this new turn in life.

What I had read so long back is true
“Love is a feeling that can only be felt and never can it be expressed in words.”
Today when people ask me to explain how it all happened.
Or at least tell them about it I just can’t do it.
As I’m out of words
Even if I try am unable to express it.
At certain times all I’m able to do is blush.
But on the whole it’s a wonderful feeling which I am thrilled and elated to feel.

When I had thought of love, the commitment, my future partner
I had only hoped for someone who would understand me and accept me for who I’m.
And today I’ve found that and more in you and am I thrilled at my luck or should
I call it fortune.
I don’t know whatever it may be am happy about it.

Whatever it is am pleased with the way it has turned out
And at this point no longer do I say
What love is I wonder.
For I know it is an unusual feeling
Something that makes the world go round even today
And many have walked and many are still to tread on this wonderful path
And feel for their someone special, what I feel for you

In Class

I sit in class trying to pay attention
But unable to do so.
My thoughts are wandering all over the place
While am in class.

The professor is lecturing away on a topic and
The class seems least bit interested.
Many are listening with apt attention
But am not in this nor are many of the others.

In a far of land…..
Not in class for sure.
Am thinking random thoughts
At times day dreaming too.

Wonder what the others are thinking,
Or are they day dreaming?
Would I know what’s going on in their minds?
How will I know about it?

There is amusement in me that someone is lecturing
And am writing poetry in class.

Missing You

Missing you….

Missing you a lot!

Missing our talks, the laughter, the teasing

And a whole lot of other stuff that I can’t put in words.

Why am I missing you?

Why should I miss you?

These are some of the many questions

That I ask myself.

Missing you isn’t a compulsion

It’s a part of me and my everyday life.

Something that can’t be just done away with at a seconds notice.

Its, so nice to sit back and think of all the times we’ve spent together.

The jokes, secrets and the laughter we’ve shared.

We are no longer the mere acquaintances we used to be.

It was just an acquaintance at first.

Then it was friendship and then it has

Gone on to a level where am missing you.

Thinking of you when I don’t have anything much to do.

This is almost all the time at the present.

There isn’t anything to keep my mind occupied at the moment.

I read, I listen to music or I watch the television

But, for how long will I do all that.

So once am fed up with all these

And when I can’t find something fruitful to do

I start thinking of you

This seems the most fruitful thing at the moment

To tell you truthfully.

Missing you hurts deep inside.

Yet, it makes me realise how close I’m to you.

So my missing you will continue till am with you again.

Till then all I can say is

I miss you!

No More

It seems like yesterday that you were
Leading me to kindergarten
But now you’re no more.

Seems like yesterday that you were
Agreeing to all my whims and fancies
But you’re no more.

It seems like yesterday that you were
Making me laugh at your jokes
But no more.

I still remember that even though you were a vegetarian
You cleaned fish for me as I had refused to eat without it.
But no more will I see you do things like that for me.

When others would scream at me for my mistakes
You were there to support me no matter what.
But you’re no more to support me.

But if you knew I did a wrong
You would reprimand me but never raise your voice….
No more will it happen that way.

I’ve always been told that you struggled to get milk into me.
If it weren’t for you I doubt if I did be alive today.
But apparently you’re no more.

By the time you neared your end
Our life came a full circle,
What you did for me when I was a child, I was doing for you.
Feeding you helping you to bed.
But will you ever do it for me again?
Guess no more.

You’ll never ever know what you meant to me.
Missing you loads today as I decide to pursue new goals in life.
I am sure you’re seeing what I’m doing in every moment of the day

Wishing you were here.
Love you more than you will ever know.
Wishing now that I had told you
But, now I never will be able to
As you’re no more.

What Love is I Wonder

How I have wondered many a Year
And how I still wonder
What is Love?

Love is a special and unusual feeling
I have been told.
But I’ve thought many a time
And I still think
What can be so unusual about such a feeling as love?

I have asked many years till now
And I still ask
What is being in Love like?

I have got only absurd answers to this day
And I still get absurd answers
One even said, “You have to fall in love to realise
What it is like to fall in love”

Once I said, “There can be nothing different
In this Love”
For I love my parents friends and all of mankind.
To this a lover replied “Its not the same feeling of love
That you have for others and that special person in your life
That is a special love that makes you feel great.”

I read many things about love these many years and still read
‘He is walking in air because he is in love;’
‘She is head over heels in love with him’
‘It was love at first sight’
And I have thought what does all this mean
It does not make sense to me.

Read somewhere
‘Love in the heart wasn’t put there to stay
Love isn’t love till you give it away’
And have wanted to know what so great about giving your heart away
Even felt once that this feeling is not special after all.

Have heard people talk
About their First Love; Second Love….
And I have tried to get a reply to the
Question that I have that if falling in love is so great then
How can one fall in love again and again?

When they fall in love
Why do they hide it for some time?
And then tell the world they are in love
If it’s such a great feeling as they say it is
Why not tell it the moment
They fell in love.

I have always tried to imagine
And I still try to imagine
How it will be when I fall in Love

I have always imagined and still imagine
That when I fall in love
It will be something special
And have that great unusual feeling that I have been told about

At least at that moment I have hoped and still hope
That I will understand
What love is!
And till that moment
What love is I wonder!

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