Beautiful people in our lives-
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.