Days and days go by. Many a times I begin a blog. Then leave it after 3 lines. Maybe I should make a blog of all the unfinished ones. The things I thought I wanted to say. And saw words stopped mid-way. Words refused to travel the distance from my mind, through my fingers, through the keyboard, to this space. But today, I
Happened to meet my extended family after ages today and met my grandmom's younger sister. There were so many similarities and so many differences. Sitting there and observing all the myriad faces, words, attitudes, expressions its amazing how families stay together. Amazing how families decide to be together through thick and thin, tough times and happy ones. And amazing again how families decide NOT to be together. My grandmom would be quite a sport, learn a smattering of English. Proudly announce the word "Chemistry" and say "Naan Ingleeesh Katthunduttaen di!!" She figured out a way to remember images of English words and every time she looked at the cover of my text books she would say Chemistry or Biology. Ammamma was a lady, that dropped out of school at 10. Got married to my Thatha, a man who served in the Indian Army then, went to jail during the freedom movement, produced a film too, I hear though I wonder what came of it, started a printing press and did a lot of million other things, spoke immaculate English and had a bearing that I hardly find in men of today. For that matter, I found the same bearing in Mr Pattabhiraman, the late Sulochana ji's husband. In a Mr. Padmanabhan, whose son is a journalist of repute. The bearing which I rarely see in men today. Maybe it belonged to the men of that era alone. And didn't pass down with the family heirlooms.
Meeting the younger Ammamma today brought back a lot of memories. She just refused to smile at the camera. But she was amazed to see the picture as soon as it was taken on the phone. "Photo eduthuthtta dee. Gettikkaari!!" Couldn't help laughing. If only she knew the gettikaarathanam of kids wielding IPads today. She had her trademark exclamation. And blessed me with words I usually hear from people her age. And gave me very sound advice. Advice on men which is so in tune with today's 2011. In the few hours that flew, so many memories, so many words exchanged, some remained unsaid, but felt. Holding hands with the lady who is almost 90, a hold that seemed so similar to my own Ammamma's hands, but yet different. A hold that conveys a lot more than words ever could. And maybe it is not supposed to convey anything at all. Its something that is left open to interpretation. Like a blank paper - a paper that allows only beautiful things to be written on it.
A lot of times I wonder how the school-uneducated Jayam had a successful marriage of 80 years with my Thatha. How several different people could live together in a joint-family set up then. But then, I guess people just decided to do the things they did and be with the people they wanted to.
Choices that many refuse to take today. Decisions many refuse to make today. We choose to tread down paths. Attempt and succeed at creating new ones. And when its time to leave, when we look back, what would we be looking back at? Love and laughter, hate and prejudice, tears and anger, joy and contentment, friends and those who could not be friends, family and those who could not be family, friends that became family and family that ceased to be friends. Would we only see us take ourselves at the end of it all? Or would we even be taking a 'self'?
What are we supposed to learn from this time we spend here?
And just as I don't have answer to that question, I have no answer to What do I name this post? My eternal search for titles continues.