Sunday, May 28, 2006

the 100 petal lotus...

*phone ringing*

"hello"

"hello, its me dada (elder brother) speaking."

"ahh, how are you?"

"well i have some bad news. Chua Deeda passed away last night."

*momentary pause*

"how did it happen?"

"you know that her health wasn't keeping good of late. and she passed away in her sleep last night."

"so it wasn't painful, right?"

"i don't think so."

"well, i'll tell dad when he gets back from work."

"yes do that, and i'll call back later as well."

*a minute's silence*

"she was 95 years old you know."

"i know that dad was her favourite nephew and i was her favourite grandson. she once gave me a gold coin when i was a kid."

"yes, that too."

*more silence*

"we've always called her Chua Deeda, but did you know that her real name was Satadal?"

"no. what does that mean?"

"the 100 petal lotus."

*click*

....................................................

'Satadal Vasini Samanta' (1911-2006)

from the elder daughter of the Manna-Mandal's and my grandmother's elder sister to a young bride of the Samanta's and then widowhood at an age inconceivable to us in today' times and having to leave one's own house & living with her sister; my great aunt lived a life dedicated to her religion and her 'dharma' as a widow. it was a hard life, as was any widow's in the India of old. nevertheless she never ceased to love others...her's a story that encompasses time, its the story of my family. its not something that i am proud of, but then there are always some things that one is not proud of when your family history is spread over 500 years. i have no idea on how to make my readers feel the way i do and understand the powerful emotions that they invoke in me? i cannot and i shall not even try to.

life is funny, and then its tragic. but then it's the way that one lives it that defines it.
some people live it with dignity and character that is rarely seen and that then becomes the definition of life.

Chua Deeda, you "little Gopal" will miss you. always.

4 comments:

Beks said...

The 100 petal lotus is a beautiful name to own...

Oh_Ca-na-da said...

hey Nachi,
sorry to hear the bad news. Please pass on my condolences and sympathy to your family... I`ll be thinking of you all!

Chin up love!
Heather

Anonymous said...

hi my gopal,
Yes, your chua dida named you that. And we all called you Gopal. My dark skinned and curly haired boy with a sweetest smiling face and the naughtest twinkle in his eyes...oh! what a innocent look you could give after doing the most unexpected............At times I had to tie you with a rope to the legs of the cot.

Yes, nothing is permanent...that's life.

Hope your exams went off well.
love you lots .

Maa

Susanne said...

Nachi, sorry to hear of your great loss...

My grandmother passed away ten years ago and I still have the feeling that she is around me and is protecting me:
And I never didn't loose my inner connection to her in these long years.
Similar happened too with my mother some years later and with my father-in-law.
Perhaps they are waiting for a rebirth - and in the meantime they are like guardian angels for me and others...?