Editor's Note: What a wonderful and touching post. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. It has been chosen as the Best of Forum. Congratulations! We have it as an article here for viewership by a larger audience. ----------------------------- Hi all! This is my first post in IL. It might be too long for a post...Its my deep hearted homage to my grandma...Thanks for your patient reading Prologue: Time at times, play spoilsport even before we realize that it’s already high time! Never do we turn back from our present unless we are forced to do so. I was in deep thoughts for the past two days. Memories of my past flashed into my mind and I could envisage how I miss them nowadays! The driving force actually costed too much! My grandma expired some days back creating a vacuum in my life. The sorrow which am sharing within myself is proving to be so challenging that it started ebbing out spontaneously in the form of words. My grandma, an octogenarian in her late eighties with a hunch back due to years of hard toil on field, was grace personified. An embodiment of mercy, she had a vision for life that encompasses true love, care and passion for whatever she does. Though teethless she was strikingly beautiful. Summing up she was my angel who took care of everyone around her until her last days. Right from my childhood whenever people asked me of my role model I would blindly articulate' Its none other than my achama (grandma in Malayalam)'... with pride! Vacations are the most anticipated part in everyone's life irrespective of age. In my case though people around me craved for something different and adventurous, my ultimate destination contradicting everybody's is to go to Palakkad. As rightly told by Britishers, Kerala is god's own country and Palakkad stands beyond expectations. People over there live in harmony with nature. Its awe-inspiring beauty is breath-takingly wonderful that we never tend to go back to our place voluntarily. To add a feather to palakkad's cap, I would say this is the place where my beautiful granny was born and lived until her death. This is the only reason that magnetically attracted me to this place untill last year. Right from my kindergarten days, as soon as these terrifying annual examinations were over myself , my dad, mom, later on my sister was added to the list started to palakkad extremely thrilled to see all our relatives after a year's gap which is really too much. The very mention of it brings smile in my face. I ll be at the pinnacle of happiness, I would be humming my favorite songs, would be a very good trouble free child to my parents, very generous and composed. I would be the happiest person in the entire world and my puzzled parents would plead stating,’ why don’t this same person be in you throughout the year?’ for which I would smile thoughtfully. Nothing happens by chance and there is a reason behind everything. The very thought of being besides my achama is enough for a drastic change in me. No chocolates, ice creams materialized when I was with my achama I truly loved her from the bottom of my heart. We generally boarded Allepey express which reaches Palakkad at 6 in the morning. As soon as we reach our ancestral home from the railway station, we could see an elegant soul with a poor vision sitting in the entrance clad in white attire with neatly combed hair and chandan in her forehead waiting fervently for someone .By the time our auto halts in the entrance I would blindly run like a puppy who has not seen its mother for a couple of months and hug my granny so tight. She starts enquiring me about my health (she always complains me of being lean irrespective of how Am!), exams, with tears of joy on seeing all of us together. By this time my aunt, uncle their family members all greets us in and we would go inside. Little did anybody noticed that this lady in her 80’s has got difficulty in getting up but my granny herself felt much younger of what she was and she would start initiating things like serving us breakfast and telling stories of what happened in the past 1 yr(only stories of happiness, she never shares her sorrow to anyone).Rather than roaming around to tourist destinations over there and visiting other relatives, I preferred staying with my achama in her small dimly lighted room with a small bed and a table fan. (This particular fan too has a great history for itself. It was my first gift in kind to my achama when I was still in my 4th standard. Each year when I visited her, she thanked me for the same and yelled how cool the air is from that puny fan. Miraculously, even after 12 odd years, this fan is still working intact with no history of repair despite its cheap quality ! Love made it possible!)She would be tired and exhausted after little time that she goes back to bed only after getting the satisfaction that everything is fine. I would just follow her and show all of my report cards, my belts which I got in karate. Forgot to mention, I had loads of drawings which I specially made for her and gifted her. As soon as she gets my drawing she feels elated and proudly displays it to everyone who comes home to meet us (even Van gogh would not have got that recognition!). Days rolled like nano-seconds. Most unforgettable were the stories told by her that emphasizes the victory of good always...She always told me lots of inspirational stories, the hard days of her own life, which made me feel that getting 1st rank is no big deal(though I ve never got it..).Each day she fed me up to my neck that by the time I go home people were a bit confused of recognizing me....A very bold ,determined lady by herself she becomes a very cowardly lady when it comes to me. She never sends me out alone at any cost and this was the only reason why we both used to fight and I would finally yield to this beauty. My parents would have gone leaving me to her for a month and when they tell me about my results after reaching home in a very casual way (passing with distinction is not a big deal), my grandma's face would turn pink with happiness and she cries yelling again and again how I made her proudWhoever passed by would be stopped by her and she would enthusiastically articulate her grand daughter's heroic deeds in annual examinations. Things went on similarly each year until I completed my schooling. As days went by, her health too detoriated. Gradually people started speaking of her death. The very mention of it made me go mad and fire them irrespective of who they are. But I need to accept the reality. She was no longer able to be active as she used to be. She started getting asthma attacks and used to fall down owing to instability. Once during my college days, I planned to visit her with my friends. As we got down from the auto, the same white cladded angel was waiting for me. Except for her appearance had changed, she had become too old and wearied, her infallible love for me was the same! She had a big wound very near her eyes which was a rude shock to me and when I enquired my aunt, tears started rolling down my cheeks. It seemed that she had fallen the very morning when she hurriedly ran towards the hall hearing some auto pass by mistaking it for my arrival! Poor grandma then too she was having the same elegant smile and said it was nothing and enquired me as before. In the recent years whenever I started back home she used to cry and tell' Dear this is the last time Iam seeing you. Next time you wont see your achama. I love you. Take care of yourself and your parents too'. These lines literally killed me and the thought of it is giving me tears even now. The last days of achama were really pathetic. I still don't know why god did this. I hated when people sympathized her for her fate.(Even Jesus Christ suffered before he died!)She was attacked by slow killing Alzheimer's disease and the impact was she started forgetting everything gradually. Her beautiful hair was all gone, she had only bones left, her body was full of bed sores, her eyes became totally blind, she was paralyzed to her bed. A person who always believed,’ Cleanliness is Godliness’ was no longer able to carry out even her day to day basic chores. When I went to her, tears of recognition from her side let me back with surprise. She kissed me and told that everything will be fine for me and then went to partial coma. For the past one year, her diet was only water, she never opened her eyes, she never talked to anyone and I never dared to meet my achama like that so I always kept aloof .It was the first time after hearing about her sufferings that I started praying that she should go to heaven sooner keeping aside my selfishness. After six months of prayer, god answered me by taking away my angel. I had been visualizing this dreaded day of irreparable loss right from my childhood. But her sufferings made my heart less painful but I can never be convinced. In fact loss is a loss...If god is going to ask me for a wish any day I would blindly ask him for my childhood once again!(in the lap of my dearest grandma) The rituals was supposed to be held in the banks of a sacred river called ‘Bharatha Puzha’ . History claims that it was the very same place where all of the pandvas were cremated. This added the required divinity to the place. I treaded towards the river slowly. Everything seemed dull and lifeless. I closed my eyes and rested on my dad’s shoulders. That miraculously gave me the necessary soothness to face the impending rituals. Every one of us were crying while offering our last rites to the sacred immortal soul of my achama. This farewell is the best which any human being can get and it’s solely attributed to my grandma’s true love. People crave for monetary gains always. Of course Wealth, prosperity and financial stability all matters in this materialistic world. But there is something which gives immense pleasure of no bounds irrespective of what, who or how we are. It gives us freedom to do whatever our heart desires! It doesn’t put a fence to all of our dreams and ambitions and accept us as we are! It is nothing but ‘unconditional love’. The security which we feel, the words which we exchange, the small misunderstandings, the faith which we have on our loved ones cost more than a billion dollars! Now almost everything was over. I went back to my granny’s room. The glory of the room was no more. Though dim lighted my granny’s smile gave the necessary radiance and brightness to the room. In this beautiful birth of mine, I am eternally grateful to god for giving her to me. Now her absence is leaving an impact in me. She was the person who stood besides me during my odds and evens accepting me as I am and blindly supported me for whatever I did. This love did miracles in me and I am what am today because of her. I owe all my success to her and dedicate it to her beautiful feet. The emptiness left by her cannot be filled by any soul in this world. Though she is not with me physically, I could feel her love that is spontaneous, involuntary and unconditional! There's nothing I could do to make her come back, There are no words that would replace hers, which I long to hear There is no love that will replace the love which we shared together, My heart is heavy and incomplete, But I know she hears me when I speak, She loves me irrespective of distance, I know she s in a better place with my grandpa and ll greet me with the same classic smile one day(waiting!!!) She is in the air I breathe, Whenever I see a child smiling, I see her in it. Whenever I feed a poor soul, I remember her words on philantrophy. Ive spilled in only a quarter of my emotions and a bulky portion of it remains untold. Only my achama can read the rest of it, "the emotions which one cannot express in a lifetime". I always love you my angel.....I miss you a lot! P.S. People who consider their parents/grandparents a burden can never experience what is known as unconditional love.....True love gets authentic ingredients only when its mutual! Though we are busy with our own lives spending some quality time for the ones who loved, loves &will love us deep from their heart does not cost too much!