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Beauty In The Ordinary!

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Srama, Jun 13, 2024.

  1. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    My dad was the greatest storyteller that I know! Not stories from his life, about his life or experiences, or from his years growing up; no, I don't recall him talking about his childhood at all, and come to think of it, I know nothing about it. It was always stories from mythology, Tenali Rama stories, and such. We, as kids, loved them, especially Tenali Rama stories. We were a brood of four, one right after the other. Our ancestral home had two kambas right in the middle of the house - you know the poles/pillars made of wood in ancient homes? Well, it served the purpose of a saree swing for all the babies born in the family, and when not in use, Dad would sleep between them, have us sit on his belly, and tell stories with all the intonations that would make us cry, giggle, laugh, and whatnot!

    As we grew older, we transitioned to TV, and growing up in the years of Doordarshan, we were at the mercy of the programs offered. Not that we are not at the mercy of media nowadays despite the choices! Anyway, we had a routine set at home. Every Sunday, Dad would take a towel, dust all the furniture and the showcase and the many Gods' photos while playing and listening to Ghantasala's Bhavadgita, shedding joyful tears and repeating "Hey Prabho" along with Ghantasala when the vishwarupa darshanam part came while wiping down the photo of Sharada Devi or Shankaracharya! We would then settle for Ramayana watching with a towel between us. Yes, a towel to share to wipe our tears while watching Ramayana! My Dad is the most emotional, romantic, and the happiest person I know in my life. Even his stroke, which did not allow him to talk and with one side completely immobile, did not faze him till the end of his days!

    Out of the blue, a friend of mine sent a video clip that was recorded in a class I had taken 5 or 6 years ago in which I had shared a small poem from Kalidasa, which I learned from Dad, of course, perhaps when I was barely 5 or 6 also. As I said, Dad was a good storyteller, and he introduced poetry with Kalidasa's famous poem that Kalidasa had written when the king challenged the poets of his court to come up with a poem that ended with ka Kha ga gha -

    का त्वं बाले ? काञ्चनमाला | कस्याः पुत्री ? कनकलतायाः ।
    हस्ते किं ते ? तालीपत्रं | का वा रेखा ? क ख ग घ ॥

    kA tvam BAlA? KAnchanamAlA. Kasya putri? Kanakalathayaha.
    kim te haste? TAlipatram. kA vA rekhA? ka Kha ga gha

    Who are you, child - Kanchanamala
    Whose child are you - Kankala is my mother
    What is in your hand - Thaleepatram (writing leaf)
    What are you writing - Ka, Kha, Ga, Gha

    I have never forgotten this poem; maybe it was my introduction to seeing beauty in ordinary things and understanding that it is possible to see that if we observe well and observe enough.

    I know, I know Father's Day is coming up. But that's not the reason I am thinking of him. It is his birthday this month, too, and he would have been just 84. I am not sure if that is the reason, either. I was watching the movie "Om Shanthi Om" and was reminded of the dialogue "Agar sache man see chhaho to...." and was reminded of "What you seek is seeking you." Perhaps thoughts of him were already on my mind, and that poem came my way to remind me to seek joy in little things, in case I have forgotten, as a reminder. Just this morning, my uncle sent something very meaningful about my dad that just affirmed. Perhaps he is telling me that he is watching over me, and if so, I want to assure him that I have not forgotten and say how grateful I am for him!
     
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  2. iyerviji

    iyerviji IL Hall of Fame

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    Awesome tribute to your father. Reading your post I felt I saw your father . Very nicely written as always. Happy birthday to your father
     
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  3. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan Finest Post Winner

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    Eyes turned moist. Nostalgic indeed. Choice of words very apt.
    I was reminded my days when I was still wet behind the years.
    Agar sache man see chhaho to...." and was reminded of "What you seek is seeking you."
     
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  4. shyamala1234

    shyamala1234 Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Sabita,
    Our experiences with our parents are very special. However busy they may be they always has time for us. They used to share and teach us values and finding joy in small pleasures of life. We remember them so much for all those teachings. One more thing.... they remain with us forever.
    My father used to work in Meteorology department. In summers... On the terrace he used to teach us about various kinds of clouds, which rain and which do not rain, stars, trying to find out saptharishi stars and on and on. When in London I miss stars very much. Always cloudy! But silver lining is clouds are always there.
    We all think about dad not only on Father's Day but always.
    Syamala
     
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  5. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan Finest Post Winner

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    Me too. I remember inter alia dad’s last words.

    You had - i trust read - my narration in the link below:

    Spouse & I With Dad - A Surgical Operation

    I remember my DAD everyday. Something or other would cross my mind that would trigger happenings with dad in the past.

    However the most unforgettable together- moment with my dad was events few minutes before he breath is last. When regular barber took leave, I gave him the face shave while spouse helped me along side. Few minutes later I gave him hot water bath. He took that scented veeboodhi from beneath his pillow applied on his forehead. He then applied it on my forehead raised his hands and blessed. He was 99+. a few minutes later the barber turned up went in to see him came out cupping his mouth sobbing. He announced “ Dady is no more”. I narrated this In link above.



     
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  6. shyamala1234

    shyamala1234 Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear sir,
    Very ver
    Y touching.
     
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  7. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan Finest Post Winner

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    Thank you sister.
     
  8. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    My dad never told me any stories but he was a subject matter of several awesome stories! Had he been alive, he would be 121 years old!
     
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  9. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Sabitha,

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful childhood experience with your dad. Contrary to your dad's story telling ability, my dad was more focused on his childhood experience and his dad's teachings of morals through his style of living. My grandfather was the principal of engineering college and was a structural engineer. He worked with Visvesarayya in building bridges in Sri Lanka and designed number of public utilities including dams both in India and Sri Lanka. Then he choose to teach students in the famous college in Chennai and he was assiged a quarters inside the campus for his living. My grandpa never allowed his children to lead a luxury life instead set an example for them to lead a simple life. While interviewing students, he encouraged even average students to join Engineering and if they students couldn't afford the stay in Chennai, he asked them to come to his house and attend classes. Literally, his house was a hostel for many poor students. My uncle and dad managed to leave with all these students and every meal involves feeding nearly 40 students including my uncle and father. My uncle and father had just two dhotis and two shirts that they need to wear washing it everyday.

    My father used to have Asthma attack when he was young and hence he had one such attack during his intermediate exam and could not go to an exam. Hence he needs to retake the intermediate resulting in his not qualifying to enter Engineering as per standards set up by the college. My grandfather refused to get involved to give his own son admission into college resulting in my father joining Madras Christian College. Six months later, one of the professors from the Engineering college visited MCC and found my father among the students. He asked him why he had not joined engineering and my father explained the situation. He just asked him to join engineering immediately and brought him back to the engineering college.

    My grandpa died before I was born but I had experienced his students who were retired and living in different cities in India and the US. Some of them asked my family background and when I explain our family, they used to talk reverencially about my grandpa explaining more stories about him.
     
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  10. Srama

    Srama IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Viji aunty, @iyerviji

    So very sorry about my delayed response. One would think summers would be less busy, but here I am scrambling every day, for all good things though!
    Thank you for your wishes and words aunty :)
     
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