Ten years ago.

Ten years ago on this day she passed away. She was my best friend. My closest confidant. An ardent well wisher. With a loud mouth. Fair skin. And a giving love that holds my imagination to this day. She was my great grandmother.

It was in her arms that I grew. It was she who is said to have fed me with “Arai Keerai” ( a variety of greens, that she used to buy from the market for 5 paise ! She used to call me ‘5 paisa aria keerai’ !

I don’t know where she was born. However, I do know that she was wealthy. Regaling me with stories about her father’s horse drawn carriage, and my great grandfather’s whisking her away to marriage. I remember eager to see her through my school and college.

As age & small family feuds took a toll on her, she caught me by the neck one day, and told me sternly, “You will never ever fight with your brother. You and your brother are my hopes for this family’s glory to be restored”. It didn’t mean much to me back then. But today, her words ring in my ear every time a mood swing catches me and my brother on the wrong side.

With a penchant for teasing me, she used to tell me that I would marry a ‘bell bottom’! I used to take fancy to it until, she defined what she meant by ‘bell bottom’: “Anything other than a saree! The churidhar fit in right there. Which anyway is what my wife prefers these days. She was right. I married a bell bottom !

Its ten years since I last heard her speak. But her words ring in my ears even now.

  • “If you need something, beg if need be. Never steal”.
  • “Hard work has no substitute. Don’t bother about what the world tells you. It will always tell you something or the other”.
  • “Respect every human being”

Values that shaped my belief system.

The stories that she used to regale me with are still fresh in my memory. I wonder if any man or woman has that story telling ability. An ability to hold a childs mind and inspire him to think and grow.

She stands guard, I know. In the most trying times. And I know, I have escaped with bruises when an arm could have been lost. In those times, I know for sure she is watching over me. My best friend. My closest confidant. With a loud mouth and fair skin. And a giving love that holds my imagination.

To this day. Especially this day.

9 thoughts on “Ten years ago.

  1. Keshi says:

    Big Hugs Kavi!

    Ur great-granma has instilled great human values in u. It’s not common. She’s a legend and may her soul RIP!


  2. priya says:


    A beautiful dedication out ther for her.

    She is definitely watching you as an angel at all times. I believe that in my life…

  3. Jeevan says:

    You really had a great grandma!! Some of the words by our well wishes keeps on transmit inside us. My grandma also used to tell stories about his husband and the times with his horse drawn.

  4. unbelievable. The more i hear of the older day stories of people, the more we realize how rooted they are. Amazing values, my grandfather used to say something of the same thing. You had a great guide, your future will be perfect.

  5. Kavi, you have a gift! You are able to to flood the reader with a wave of emotion even before we finish reading the post and you pack a powerful punch at the end, sometimes nostalgic, sometimes instigating a tormenting introspection, or other times simply leave us in awe!

    I am sure the old lady would give you a pat on the back for this post. Probably has already, while watching over your shoulder!


  6. shark says:

    You are so lucky to have grown with your great grandmother 🙂

    We all have to agree on one thing, our elders never had any formal education, but their value system so so strong… I wonder where we/our kids loose it (sometimes) along the way of so called formal and classy education!

  7. Nice to know that you still remember her words! I too remember many things told by elders in my childhood ! I keep telling the same. As everyone had told in the comments our forefathers had a great value system. One westerner pointed out to me, when I was going to the Airport to receive my Mom. He said that my children are lucky to have someone of previous generation and learn from them as well as from me. True! That is how our values survive for centuries.

  8. Shiva says:

    That’s a nice way to remember her and her three gems (teachings!). It’s very true that granny are attached to the kids more than anyone. May be because of the similar bandwidth they have with the kids – a synchronization of innocence born out of ignorance and the innocence born out of intelligence.

  9. Extremely sweet post:). Love written all over it! ‘escaped with bruises when an arm could have been lost’…wow beautifully put as always… so subtle and wonderful!
    So the ‘5 paise arai keerai’ was pampered and taught too…life’s most wonderful values !:)

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