Remembering Saundarajan Aunty (In orange saree with spectacles). She reminds me of the beautiful Tamil culture. As a kid, I used to visit her home often (a government bungalow built during British times in British architectural style). What a lovely home it was. Though the outer façade looked British, tbe interiors evoked the purity of Tamilian traditional homes. She used to cook yummy idlis, fresh ans fluffy, served with coconut chutney made from the coconuts of her garden. She used to feed me with her hands and tell me stories of her village life and hum beautiful Tamil songs. I even learnt few songs from her (though now I don’t remember any, just a faded tune somewhere deep inside still rings). I could feel her longing to relive her childhood, as her eyes used to get wet telling her village stories.
Her kitchen was the traditional kind, and watching her cook and hearing her stories and songs used to make me feel connected to her village too. The invigorating fragrance of mogras in her gajra, the softness of her cotton saree, the way she put a bindi and chandan on her forehead, the music of her heavy silver anklets, and her gold and glass bangles, all were such a delight to watch. Such simplicity, such tenderness, rare to find these days.
On Puthandu (Tamil New Year), she stitched a beautiful pavadai chattai (traditional silk blouse and skirt) for me, in orange and green. She dressed me for the festivities, and together we decorated the house with kolam, deepam, and flowers. Though I did nothing except roaming and dancing everywhere she went. 😂 That day used to be a grand affair, and she was the perfect host. All fruits in the thali -mango, jackfruit, banana were from her garden. She used to make small coin purses(batuas) ans potlis and gift them (with some goodies inside) in Puthandu.
She taught me gardening too. Right from cutting and grafting roses, to making bonsais of neem and gulmohar. Loved spending time in her huge garden. She event taught me how to make garlands, and gajras -which flower and bud to choose, and which to leave. Again, this learning was filled with stories of the past, her village and childhood. I have seen her doing every household work with such love and joy. She taught me how to feed animals, and bow to mother nature. Under the mango tree in her backyard, she used to cut veggies for pickles, and do her stitching work. She loved sitting under the shade of the mango tree, and I loved swinging on it. 😂 She installed a swing on it, just for me. It was my tamil language learning class too, and everytime I used to visit her, she used to keep a slate (with a new tamil word written on it along with an example). Then she used to recite a poem or an adage and tell me in depth meaning of tje same. She loved reading too. She had a beautiful shelf with books and a munshi desk to write her thoughts. One thing she was fond of – sarees. She had a huge collection in silk, cotton, and blended ones. Everytime she wore a new saree, she used to tell, this wae my Anna’s favorite color, that was my Akka’s favorite design. How in every little thing she missed her family. Though she was a grandmother herself (must be around 57 around that time), she remembered her elder sister and mother, like a little form of five.
I spent around 4-5years (every weekend) and most days of the summer holidays with her. Wish I could spend more.🙁
Uncle retired after few years, and they went back to their ancestral home in Tamil Nadu. Miss her a lot. Seeing this photograph reminds me of all the tenderness she had for me. It makes me happy and sad at the time. 😊❤🌸🙏
Nature is never problematic. It acts in its most harmonious way. It takes its own course with time. Its the humans who are problematic- problem for each other, problem for other creatures, and problem for nature too. Hastiness, greed, and a sense of false pride makes humans the most problematic of all creatures existing on this planet.
The sanctity of the connubial thread lies in evolving through disagreements, through uncomfortable confrontations, through low times, through fears and weaknesses. It’s about being each others’ mirror. It’s about helping and supporting each other no matter what. It’s about the willingness to give. It’s about the deep desire to nurture each other and bring out the best in each other. The process might look like a complicated mesh such as an embroidery backside. But the outcome is a beautiful masterpiece of your relationship. The one you created together over time. It’s all about to what extent two people are ready to create this masterpiece.
उठा लेती हूँ उन्हें भी, बड़े ही स्नेह से, जिन्हें खुदके प्रियवर ने त्याग दिया, मालूम है मुझे ये सच्चाई, इस स्नेह से ये फिर घर नहीं जा पाएँगे, मगर कुछ क्षणों का कोमल स्पर्श, इन्हें सुकून ज़रूर देगा, नश्वरता को आलिंगन में लेने के लिए, स्वैच्छा से, मधुरता से, मिट्टी में विलीन होना भी आवश्यक है, इस काल चक्र के संचालन के लिए, फिर उजागर होने के लिए, किसी और रूप में, कोई और अस्तित्व लिए, मगर सिर्फ़ प्रेम से, जन्म से मरण तक, फिर जन्म लेने के लिए |
इस अंतारंग के संताप को,इस कदर घोला तुमने,अपने महासागर रुपी प्रेम में,जैसे घुलती हो ये जमी उंगलियाँ,इन ऊन के धागों से बुने दस्तानों में,जो सौम्य सा सौहार्द देते हैं,दिसंबर की ठिठुरती ठंड में |और यूँ बेपरवाह सी जीती हूँ मैं अब,ना सूरज के उगने की चिंता होती है,ना ही कलियों के खिलने की चाह | अब तो आभास होता है,एक क्रान्ति सा परिवर्तन का,इस अंतर्मन में,जिसे सदियों से जकड़ रखा था,कई दानावों ने,जो कुचलते रहे सोच को,छीनते रहे शान्ति,औरमेरे काल्पनिक उल्लास को भी |आज,आखिरकर,मैं उन्मुक्त हूँ,निरंकुश और श्वसन,हाँ!आख़िरकार,मैं सही मायने में जीवंत हूँ |
वक़्त, एक कलम की तरह, ज़िन्दगी की तख़्ता-ए-स्याही पर, लिखता है हिब-ए-मरासिम के फ़साने, लेकिन, कुछ आसान सा नहीं नज़र आता, इस कलम का इज़हार-ए-इश्क़, और ये जज़्बातों की लकीरें, कुछ सिमटी सी नज़र आती हैं, क्योंकि रुख बदल देती उनका, ये नबीना असूलों की हवा, और तब्दील कर देती हैं, हयात इस पाक इश्क़ की, बस, यूँही देखते देखते, कुछ अधूरे टूटे लफ़्ज़ बाकी रह जाते हैं, और ओंझल हो जाती है वो हसीन दास्ताँ | लेकिन झिलमिल आँखों की बूँदों से, बयाँ कर ही जाती हैं, वो दर्द-ए-दिल की कसक को भी, जिसे तख़्ता-ए-स्याही पे कभी ना लिख पाए |