Ode To My Paati
Happy, smiling, you know….
that word that escapes us –
something more than happy,
funny, she made us laugh
told us stories of you as a child
…This is how my kids described
the woman they knew as kollu-paati
– spent time with, on visits back home
as for me, she was all that symbolized patience
cups of strong chai, magically
appearing anytime I needed it
oodles and oodles of tolerance
stories that made our worlds so magical
under those long-ago starry nights
I have those memories alright
but her voice, I wonder now –
will i hear another that makes me feel
it sounds like her?
but paati -thank you for those memories
they make me feel, you know
that word that escapes us –
something more than happy
…as of today, I have no one to call paati
kollu-paati – great grandmother/paati – grandmother (in Tamil)
Today, my kids lost their great grandmother (the only great grandparent they had known) and I bid a heartfelt goodbye to this wonderful human being who was my grandmom (my maternal grandmother). She lived a full life, of that we are all glad; and she will be missed.
If I had to describe her in just a few words – she was the epitome of patience and years ahead of her time. She was a perfect complement to my grandpa, her patience and calm acting like a soothing balm to his more fiery nature. She was calm, but not meek, diminutive in size but not strength of character.
She could not hear very well and that served her well – it used to be truly cool to watch grandpa ranting about something or the other that had annoyed him, and she would keep walking or doing her things as she had not heard him at all (sometimes i wondered!!) , but no matter, the end result was peace and calm were restored pretty soon, and the main point was she never lost her cool. I do not recall her complaining about anything or anyone either. I used to think i had inherited some of that patience/that cool from her (and also my dad – so from both sides of the gene pool), but there are times that I disprove that theory.
I am going to try, to emulate that characteristic of hers – of calm and patience, more consciously…
12 thoughts on “Ode To My Paati”
What a heartfelt poem… so many memories in a voice and in the stories… I hope the memories will stay also when the voice go silent.
thank you Bjorn… i know we will miss seeing her when we visit home next time.. that has been one of our major highlights of our past trips – visiting my grandmother’s place..(and luckier when she has been visiting my mom)
I am sorry for your loss. That was a beautiful remembrance of your grandmother.
thank you Frank!!
A lovely tribute to your grandmother ~ Condolence to the family and may you always have those loving memories of her.
Thank you Grace
If only we could emulate our grand mothers and lead in their footsteps. Beautiful ode.
that is so true, Pratibha.. both my grandmoms were inspiring wonderful women who would have achieved so much if born in our times..
Oh really!! May her soul RIP. I too enjoyed their hospitality and warmth. Brings a smile on my face when I remember all that we inflicted on them in our growing years.
I recall all those days with a smile too, Shubha…am glad that they spent so much time with us then.
What a lovely tribute! I smiled throughout.
Thank you Sarah..