By T S Sudhir
It was an early morning call. Lord Yama, the mythological God of Death calling. The person at the other end was my Paatima.
Seetha Mami called from Coimbatore at 5 am to say the end had come about half an hour ago. Mami always called on the landline. Early morning and late night calls on the landline, for sentimental reasons, have always had a “bad news” ring to them. It turned out true this time.
Did I see my Paatima smiling? Or was it just my imagination? For the last one month, she had not been eating, I was told. “She is eating just nothing,” my uncle Rasu mama had told me three weeks ago. So was it a fast-unto-death that my grandmother had undertaken to force the powers-that-be up there that her application for a visa to the next world had been pending for a long time. The pressure tactic worked on the 31st day.
My paatima turned 101 this February. ( https://umasudhir.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/my-grandmother-is-a-sachin-tendulkar/ ) Her lament for some years now had been that she was tired of waiting. Waiting, while younger people, who deserved to live longer, jumped the queue, she would say. The stroke three years ago reduced her sharp faculties. Her memory began to fail her and she would gape at people, putting immense pressure on her brain to tell her who the person was, and then she would look away, when it didn’t respond. The person who had always loved to talk to people, in her last years, had become a lonely person.
During my recent trip to Kochi to cover the Kerala elections, I woke up with a start at 5 one morning. I had seen my grandma in my dream. She had become so weak that it was difficult to recognise her. I spent the rest of the day very disturbed.
But today I know the Gods must be celebrating. They have taken away an endearing and noble soul from earth. Am sure she is getting a warm welcome up there. For us, she has left behind wonderful memories that will keep her alive in our hearts. No Yama can take those away.