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An ode to my Paatti

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Radheshyam, May 10, 2010.

  1. Radheshyam

    Radheshyam Senior IL'ite

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    I am supposed to check-in my application design tomorrow and here I am thinking and writing about my paternal grandmother. :hide:I am feeling nostalgic and all I could think about is her face, mannerisms and the conversation I had with her.

    Parvathy Ammal, my "Paatti", my Father's mother was a very interesting character. She died a few years ago on a wintery morning longing to see her last grandkid- a.k.a my second daughter.
    I was her least favourite, she considered me a rebel. A typical conversation between us was something like this...
    Paatti- Endi 10 nimisham late? Cinema parthuttu vanthiya ? (Why are you 10 minutes late ? Did you go for a movie (after college) ?)
    I respond something like this – "10 nimishathula newsreel kuda parka mudiyathu Paatti" ( It takes more than 10 minutes to watch the newsreel/advertisement that are shown before the movie )

    We argue and we publicly display our irritation towards each other. But secretly, I admired her and to my surprise a few years ago when I visited her for the last time, I came to know that she is very proud of me, something he hid from me for a long time !!
    My Paatti- Parvathy Ammal was born in Trichy and was very good in studies. One day she came home ecstatic as she stood first in her class- 8<SUP>th</SUP> Standard English medium. She was very proud that she got better marks than the 3 girls and 35 boys in the class. She was rather impatient to tell her parents that she went straight to the "koodam" ( living room) but was dragged into kitchen, hurriedly changed into a pattu pavadai ( long silk skirt) and was asked to serve coffee for an middle-aged man. Little did she know that it was the last day she went to school, the last day of her playful childhood. She got married when she was 13 to my grandfather who was 30 at the time. She had her first child when she was 15 and the last one, 14<SUP>th</SUP> one when she was 40. A dozen kids survived while one was a still born and the other died as a toddler. She survived the WW II, travelled all the way from <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:country-region w:st="on">Burma</st1:country-region> by foot with 3 kids ( My Grandfather owned a highly profitable restaurant in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Rangoon</st1:place></st1:City>), managed to settle in Orissa, learnt hindi and oriya and top of it raised all her kids without any help. All my Periappas, Chithappas and Athais are all graduates.

    My paatti was a great entrepreneur. She was running a number of home-based businesses. She had cows and used to sell milk, cow-dung cakes. She would stich blouse, frocks, skirts and also ran sewing and cooking classes at home to get some extra income. She had great communication capabilities, extract all kinds of personal information from a person who she had just met and use all that information for personal growth. In short, she was a combination of Martha Stewart and Oprah :thumbsup

    My paatti ruled our house and the whole family(all periappas, chithappas households) sitting in the "easy-chair" in our koodam. The house would be super clean as she will supervise the maids while they clean our house. The house will be so organized that everything had a place in the house, so everything was easier to find. She is the ultimate time keeper so we are all never late for anything ! She is an expert when it comes to dealing with money and her mind was very sharp that she never needed a calculator to keep our home finances in line.

    We all hate to admit, but believe it or not, she was a stress buster for all of us. She made my mother's life easier as she would decide the menu, plan the invitees for occasions, decide what to give for thamboolams ( parting gifts for ladies), even what to watch on T.V :spin .She made decision making and managing finances easy for my father as she was in charge of all the things. Ironically, she made my sister's life easier by taking great interest in selecting, filtering :) and interviewing prospective grooms before they got an opportunity to meet my sister. And to me, she kind of made me what I am today. She would always say thing like " You cannot do it, You are not brave enough to risk it,etc.." which used to make me furious :rant and go for it !

    Having said all the above, she was never like a regular paatti, never interested in pooja, rituals, no long hours of chanting slogams and never observed vrathams. She was interested to know things, how they work, who invented it. She wanted to come to the <st1:country-region w:st="on">USA</st1:country-region>, see the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Niagara falls</st1:City></st1:place>, but her health prevented her to hop on a plane and fly for long hours. She enjoyed YOUTUBE videos, ARR's music,birthday parties, buffet dinners, designer sarees, movies :-o. She watched every news channel, wanted to be aware of the happenings in the world. She was fascinated by technology and change! I always thought she was interested in worldy things.. But never understood her quest for knowledge, her interest to explore the world.

    I don't remember her teaching me any slogams, but I do remember her arguing with my dad to get me a two-wheeler. I don't remember her making paysams for my birthday but I do remember her reminding me of the last date to fill out the NIIT entrance applications. I don’t remember her hugging me or my father but I do remember her feeding the street dog. I don't remember her insisting us to plan a pilgrimage but I do remember that she was very particular that all her grandkids go on a honeymoon trip !

    Here is an ode to my grandmother on Mother's day ( belated)! A mother who taught her kids to be strong and the ways to survive in this world. A mother who was always misunderstood when alive, but completely missed after her death.

    Cheers !
    Radhesyam.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2010
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  2. Pavithra55

    Pavithra55 Gold IL'ite

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    hi
    very nice write up about your granny. even my gran mom is similar to your patty.
     
  3. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Radheshyam,

    Enjoyed this ode to your patti. She was a remarkable woman and that's why she has occupied your thoughts during this Mother's day season.

    After reading about her, I think she would have told you to do your application first and not write into Indusladies!:rotfl

    L, Kamla
     
  4. plakshmi

    plakshmi Gold IL'ite

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    hi radheshyam

    if its ur fathers mother for me mother's mother. i lost my mother two years back, but i do not know any kitchen work as i am always working and whenever i am free i will browse in the system. after my mother passed i entered in the kitchen to cook but my patti was scolding for each and everything still now she is doing it but now i am an expert. i able to do now even kolukattai, poli (all the sweets and savouries) without any one's help. thanks to her. she taught me all the tricks in cooking and how to prepare it easily and quickly. also i learnt the pakkuvam etc., but still she is not appreciating me and complaining me i should have learnt it before and helped my mom.but i think its fate.
    lakshmi
     
  5. Sriniketan

    Sriniketan IL Hall of Fame

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    Radheshyam,
    :bowdown to your Paati and also to her quest for knowledge..
    Your last line speaks it all..

    sriniketan
     
  6. ganges

    ganges Gold IL'ite

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    dear radheshyam

    I simply love the charecter of your paatti. Like always we should not realise the value of one when they are there. Without much education the old people were very good in finance, economics, maths etc. My mil was like your grandma but was a very soft person. she liked pooja etc etc of their generations same time she liked all even me to have good education, she like my hair trimmed, she loved me going beauty parlour to do eyebrows or pedicure, adviced me to go for job and liked to mingle with all my office people when they come home. It is nice if we can get back them no?

    very nice writing dear. It is nice to realise the positive things of the elders than taking their negatives seriously.


    ganges
     
  7. karunamurty

    karunamurty Bronze IL'ite

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    Radheshyam
    An excellent ode to your grandmother. The fact that you remembered her and wrote about her for all of us to read shows your love and adoration towards her.
    :bowdown Bowfor your Paatti on my behalf.
     
  8. Padmasrinivas

    Padmasrinivas Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Radheshyam,

    I am filled with admiration for your Patti, there aren't many like her

    You are very fortunate to have had your life shaped by such a remarkable lady...

    If she had been born in this day and age, she'd have achieved so many things, the world woud have been her oyster...

    :bowdownto your grandmom...

    Love,
    Padma


     
  9. Mindian

    Mindian IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi Radheshyam,

    that was a lovely tribute to your paatti.a very interesting woman indeed ! I also enjoyed the battle of words between her and her rebellious pethi.:biglaugh
     
  10. Aarthibhuvan

    Aarthibhuvan Senior IL'ite

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    Very Interesting and excellent write up.

    great job!
     

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