The unwritten letter

Thatha,

I never got to to tell you thanks. Tell you just how much you have helped me understand that there is innate good in everything; and set me on a path to find it.

You were there for my first cry, you were there for my  you held my hands to spell out லாவண்யா in rice. I wish I was there with you last night. An extra pair of eyes and voices could have helped. I love how you were fiercely protective of your only granddaughter; how you taught me to sing, taught me what it means to experience it. You showed me how words became poetry and poems became songs.

And thank you for always believing in me to excel in what I set to do.For your unwavering belief in science and religion and the juxtaposition of it all. From being morally right, to doing what is right and your boundless troves of words of wisdom, you taught me valuable lessons. You helped me appreciate the simple little things in life, the beauty of the early morning sun. Fresh milk from the cow, growing the garden, and being able to get your own coconuts and drumsticks and bananas. From our constant squabbles over banana leaf and planting rose bushes and cutting down the pink hibiscus tree.

It’s funny how you would side with me whenever Pree and I fought, just for a small moral victory. But you never did that when Raa and I fought, but it is all good. Thank you for spreading your sense of wanderlust in me. Right from taking the bus : Rani Meyyammai to beach and back, to taking walks on the Besant Nagar beach. I will visit Pittsburgh, thatha, as soon as I can drive.

I will never forget how you once decided to get halwa for the entire class going to Kanyakumari. It was such a beautiful and unexpected surprise. I remember your voice carrying across the street when the sun rises and I would be experimenting with the kolam. Or how you made idlis for my school lunch. Thank you for all the ghee and butter, the halwa and ribbon pakoda and mixture and everything to fatten me up. Thank you for the never ending supply of sukku and your elaborate procedure to make it.

Or your invested efforts in my education. I will never forget you  making me teach you all that I’ve been learning. You always supported my decisions as I experimented with the choices I had. You always asked for the positive stories from every place, from every teacher, even the ones I disliked.  Or all those news clippings about science. Or your stories of Kalam. Or anybody in science who you thought would inspire. You helped me explore the written world, showing em a world of endless possibilities and cathartic activities.

You’ve been an inspiration not just to us, but to everyone who knew you. I admire how you would be able to hold a conversation with anyone and everyone. How you helped anyone who crossed paths with you. You never ever questioned anything when helping a person out. I will always remember the time you helped TamilSelvi when Raa will still a baby. Do you know she still greets us with a smile when we see her on the streets? Or how the annas at Stores would always enquire about you when we bought extra milk and Mcvities.

Thank you for restoring the big old house, with the swing. Thank you for letting us explore the creaky attic and terrace. For letting us climb trees and break our knees. Thank you for trips to the big temple there, with the coconut chamber and the manjal chamber and to play with the animals there.

And thank you for the one time I need help the most. You stayed despite the situation, despite the hostility and despite the tension. And even then, you made me see the good in things.

I am sorry I used to mess up your TV schedule. I am sorry that I didn’t stay longer at your home the last time I was there. I am sorry I will never be able to tell you all of this.

I will forever be amazed  by the lives you and aachi have touched, and the stories that will be told about you. I will stay strong for amma.

I want to capture all that you were to me in this one little note. I want to do justice to all that you mean to me.

But words fail me, as my mind loops through all the times together and all that you have taught me.

As you always end the end the day:

குறை ஒன்றும் இல்லை மறைமூர்த்தி கண்ணா
குறை ஒன்றும் இல்லை கண்ணா
குறை ஒன்றும் இல்லை கோவிந்தா

P.S. I still have the Mickey Mouse spoon.

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