Friday, November 13, 2009

Remembering My dearest Ajju

That afternoon comes back to me , when I went and sat by him on his bed and had a nap in his lap as his soft wrinkled hands patted my head. That vacation , I had got my walkman player, and ajju’s favourite Marathi natya sangeeth cassettes, which he used to listen to , from earphones. Every time, the earphone fell out of an ear, he used to call out, ‘Gonti!..” and I used to run to him and plug him back into his musical world. This was the first vacation I was spending in Gokarna alone, as we sat in the verandah and darkness fell.Having waved goodbye to my father, who left me with dear little grandma and grandpa, tears streamed down my eyes, as I sang bhajans for ajju.. My voice choked as I sang ‘dehi dehi sharade.gnyaanam dehi sarvade’, but soon it was fine, and I no longer felt frightened. Except now and then, when I came across a dark threatening corner or lightless room in the vast house, especially after sunset. I had never felt happier to greet the morning and the sun, as I did then.

It was the last vacation I could spend with ajju, because, on the November 14th early at two in the morning, we all had to say goodbye to ajju. That year we (the family) stayed back after the funeral ceremonies , during karthik poornima. And we went to the Deepotsava that happens every year in the Kotiteertha, the sacred tank.

It was magical as hundreds of lights reflected in the water along with a bright moon who seemed lost in all the celebration, and fireworks lit up the sky effusive with joy. It seemed a fitting goodbye to our dear grandpa. Last week, when I was back in Gokarna on my usual visit, I stayed back an extra day hoping to catch the Deepotsava on karthik poornima. But it is never like that first time, is it? How much ever one tries to re-live past moments, it is never the same. Each time is a new time.

When I was there this time , I dug into the shelf in the study, which was full of books ( as is any shelf in our house) ; but this one almirah had a special taboo attached to it. Once long ago, I had ventured to open this very cupboard, and to my horror, there a was a tiny rat inside which ran right up my arm and jumping off my shoulder, scurried away victoriously ! I was a state of hysteria , as I ran and locked myself in my room and refused to come out , till the maid came and consoled me that she had taken care of it and it was safe to come out now. Later , though the poor creature was a subject of my sympathy and I even wrote a small verse on it.

So, well, after mustering courage , I opened it this time . Happy to see no moving tails or black beings inside. I found a whole range of books on culture, Leninism, Marxism, and the likes, which were from the local library. And each of them had markings in pencil , made by Ajju when he found certain passages or points which were notable. And after long I felt I was in touch with him. I was reading the same passages, that he had read many years ago, and wondering what thoughts must have arisen in his mind then. The very awareness of this idea gave me an immense sense of peace. The signs one leaves behind, signs that remind us of a healthy living thinking mind, signs that give you solace when you need it, signs that give hope when you are in despair. Finding those books, inspired a new zeal , a new feeling of awareness and a bright feeling of joy at the very prospect of discovering things that are waiting to be .

All the letters he wrote to us, me and my brother, are safe with me . Spontaneous limericks on us and advise on how we should read a lot , learn music, not fight, study well, and not worry much about subjects I dint like. In every letter, he never failed to say a little sorry for his handwriting , which he considered illegible. His handwriting in fact was like a mysterious codec to me , evolving in its own speed and design to become a script that could be read by a select few. Now I see my father’s writing follows the same trend. The explanation he gives is that the mind thinks faster than the hand’s capacity to catch up.

I have known my grandfather as a grand daughter , but there is also the need to know him completely through his mind, through his ideas, through his writings. He seems an ocean. I am yet to learn to swim so I could delve into it. Remembering and missing my dearest Ajju , on this Children’s day, November the 14th, 2009.

26 comments:

Swetha Kumar said...

I was really immersed in the lines .. There is a nice flow . In the end, I felt something was left unsaid, which I know is your favorite way of writing.. Even though we had talked about most of things in this post beforehand, I felt it was being said by the same you, in a different light. I think you should "SERIOUSLY" consider writing a memoir on dear ajju .. with those interesting ,old sepia toned pictures setting the perfect tone for the imaginative minds. With some amusing trivia and the backdrop of a town like Gokarna ... C'MON . DO IT .. what you doing this Tuesday by the way ? :-)

Madhukara Phatak said...

Really nice article.....Enjoyed reading every bit of it....when i read this it brings back me the memories of "Annana Nenapugalu " of tejaswi .May one day u can write the book about ur grandfather and about your father too

Rutvan said...

I love your writing... :) have'nt i said that enough times already.. ??? ;)
Reminded me of my grandpa and how wonderful were all those moments spent holding his index finger... he was my Dada.
There was a book he used to read to me.. called "Life with Grandfather".. i read it even today.. every yr, on his birthday.. I believe he's still around, looking at me from somewhere and i know he's proud of me.. he has always been..
happy children's day, dada.. luv ya..

Rutvan said...

hey.. sorry.. got a little carried away there in the comment..
But it speaks for itself.. the kind of effect your article has on ppl.. :)
Nice 1.. enjoyed reading it thoroughly..

Srajana Kaikini said...

It is very heartening to receive such warm responses from you all. thank you very much. :) wishing every grandchild in this world, a happy children's day.

Anonymous said...

srajana, you really write well. more than that- you think well. write more.
~apara

sheshagiri jodidar said...

A time when it is very difficlut even to keep up our human identity, dignity and face..A girl born and brought up in city like bombay, living and treasuring the memories and appriciating the much needed basic values of love and care simlicity,sensitivity and honesty is simply beyond comprehension. It seems Srajana has inherited sense and sensibiliy both.. she is genetically loaded with all true human virtues..and an unique multidimensional talent.I am happy and proud of this rare being...not only for her writing but also for her extra ordinary uniqueness...there is variety and depth...
keep writing Srajana...and be as you are, a superb and examplery person....

Avinash Kamath said...

ಸೃಜನಾ,
ಒಂದು ಸುಂದರ ಹೃದಯಸ್ಪರ್ಷಿ ಲೇಖನಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಅಭಿನಂದನೆಗಳು. ಸಾಹಿತಿ ಗೌರೀಶರನ್ನು ಈ ಜಗತ್ತು ನೋಡುವ ಪರಿಯೇ ಒಂದಾದರೆ, ಅಜ್ಜ ಗೌರೀಶರನ್ನು ಅವರ ಮೊಮ್ಮಗಳು ಜಗತ್ತಿನ ಮುಂದಿಡುವ ಪರಿಯೇ ಒಂದು ಭಿನ್ನ ಅನೂಹ್ಯ ಅನುಭವ. ನಿಮ್ಮಲ್ಲಿ ಬರವಣಿಗೆಯ ಪ್ರತಿಭೆ ಇರುವುದರಲ್ಲಿ ಆಶ್ಚರ್ಯದ ವಿಷಯವೇ ಇಲ್ಲ. ಓದುಗರು ಕನೆಕ್ಟ್ ಆಗುವಂಥ ಆರ್ದ್ರತೆ ಇದೆ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಲೇಖನಗಳಲ್ಲಿ.. ನಿಮ್ಮ ಲೇಖನಿಯಿಂದ (ಕೀಲಿಮಣಿಯ ಮೂಲಕವೂ ಕೂಡ) ಕನ್ನಡಾಕ್ಷರಗಳು ಮೂಡಿಬರಬಹುದೇ? ಬರಲೆಂದು ಆಶಿಸುತ್ತೇನೆ.
ಅವಿನಾಶ್..

Guruprasad said...

Amazing. Heartfelt and warm. Truly, the fruit doesnt fall too much far from the tree. I am not trying to undermine your unique style. But,your piece makes inimitable Jayanth imitable.

Guruprasad

Samata Joshi said...

It's touching. very touching.
Only a few can convey feelings. And you definitely did so.




samata.

www.unrestalterego.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

aractDear Srajana,
your sweet photo with ajju and the article are competing with each other.First i grasped the photo for a long time which said me so many things about you and ajju.(your cheeks full of life love and affection and ajju s Maida s touch) It was so heart warming, could feel all the feelings and experience the special bond between you both. Then read the article .It was a proof and a second journey. Your writing is so clear, straight from the heart.Keep it up dear.

sunanda said...

Very good writeup. Pappa na chitra kannige katti manassu vaddeyayitu. Thank u Gonti.
your's
-sunanda aunti

Anonymous said...

Dear Srajana
i have often heard my husband and his friend talk about sri Gowreesh kaikini with great reverance.
Nice to get to know him through your thoughts and words.
good work, well written!!!
:-)
take care
malathi S

konkanipoetry said...

Hi Srajna
I will make it a point to read you regularly. You have really touched my heart.
Melvyn R

ವಿಕ್ರಮ ಹತ್ವಾರ said...

'How much ever one tries to re-live past moments, it is never the same. Each time is a new time......' liked it. Awaiting to read more on grandpa.

Astro Chats said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kssubhadra said...

hi srajana

its too good dear!!!!!!!!
i just lost words!got carried away...
i was remembering my days......
i wish u all the best keep dong the good job...n bring good names to ur parents.........

Jagali bhaagavata said...

Very nicely written, Srajana. The photo conveys so many things. So warm.

What is Gonti? Used for small children with affection?

ಸಿಂಧು Sindhu said...

Sruj,

Its just delightful reading you.
Thanks for sharing.

You are certainly family's Gonti. but even in writing you are one!

Love,
sindhu

kiran said...

simple start.....

ends with tears in our eyes.

every reader of that great kannada literary legend will be feeling the same.

kiran said...

hi srajana,

can you pl translate the article in kannada. :)

hope it will reach us (specially only-kannada readers like me) more emotionally.

manjula prasad said...

hi srajana
I had read your articles earlier also.I am absolutely riveted by your articles.........wanted to respond little later.As Smitha had forwarded,,,,,, responding to you now itself.
good wishes for all your future writing.(general comment about your writing)
take care! bye.

Hemanth said...

Very good,ನಿಮ್ಮ ಮುಂದಿನ ಅಂಕಣ ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆದರೆ ತುಂಬ ಚೆನಾಗಿರುತ್ತೆ.

nishu mane said...

Srajana,
Thanks for such a warm,nice write-up. I could see so much of your father in many of your writings...please take it as a compliment and keep on writing. Love you dear.
~Meera.

Prateek said...

such a nice post.. i want to read more and see more of those sepia toned pics.. :)

LoVe said...

Hi Srajana,
nice to c ur blog here.. wasnt aware of it until today.. gr8 work dear.. nice pics der... is it from tadri..??? keep blogging.. all the best...

lots of love
-- Lohit