This is where my rattled brains shoot away at the world.. take a tour

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Will you remember me?

Her benign wrinkled face had a kind smile on it as she sang an old song from her childhood. She was leaning with her hands on the table in the small room that had more furniture in it than it could contain. She looked at me, gently singing, half smilingly, a faint flicker of a question mark, a tinge of love, the bygone 83 years reflecting on the smooth skin on her face. Age had hunched her back, took away her teeth and her once-lustrous hair. She does not understand what the mobile phone in my hand is. For her, only I exist in that space in time.

 To every visitor, she had learnt to say one sentence - 'Sorry, my memory is weak these days, my kids say. I remember you but please do not ask me more' and - smile! She remembers people. She remembers the day I was born, that I was a rosy kid. She remembers my brother falling down from a cycle 17 years back and hurting his left arm. But her memory cells can not really contain if she had medicine or coffee today morning. She barely remembers the names of my nephews/nieces born in the last 5 years. I wish Amnesia had not hit her so badly that she even forgot how to cook my favourite dish that was her preoccupation every summer that I visited her as a child. She had the best hands in kitchen that I ever knew. A trip to Guruvayur one summer during my early teens is still fresh in memory ONLY for the lemon-rice that she prepared for me. Her patience, virtues, all-forgiving nature - I could describe her forever.

As I write this, a drop of tear unknowingly escapes my eye when I remember the lullaby that she sang for me as a child. My mother says - "She sang this song even before your memory was set in and yet it makes you cry. May be, the song will go on in your heart till your last moment". Yes ma, it will, for no other song ever touched me like that lullaby that she sang even before I could remember anyone. No other taste will remain in my mouth like that of her food that she cooked with just my face in her heart.

My grandmother - Mrs. Sridevi Amma, I call her Vellimma- I wish I could show you this article and make you remember all of them. I wish I could lie on your lap once again while you sing that song for me. I wish you could cook that summer's lemon-rice for me once again. I am scared of that day when you would finally ask me who I am. The faint question mark on your face when you see me these days scare me Vellimme.

PS: The next day after my grandfather's demise, she stopped asking about him. That too did not register, like everything else.

My brother: "Her situation is quite bad. Wish I could do something, anything, to bring back her memory"
Me: "Wish even God could do something...."

A summer rain falls as if to wash away the past life's heat!


Ayushi said...

Its great Gautam :)
And trust me it didn't feel like you were writing after a long time. I can still see the vigor :)

Musings of a Troubled Mind said...

Thank you Ayushi :)

Red Handed said...

Maybe not registering things was God's way of not allowing her to go through the pain of his demise.

Your Vellima sounds just like my Acchamma :)
Nothing can ever replace the bond unknowingly formed.
I stop here for I am speechless!

Musings of a Troubled Mind said...

@Red Handed - Thank you so much :)