Little Nothings

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Sunday, December 3, 2006

Seasons........... of Life

When I called home, Amma mentioned that it was Muthachan's Shraadham. Muthachan is actually Amma's Muthachan, my Great grand Father…

After winding up my call with Amma, I settled down on my sofa. Thoughts about Muthachan filled me, He always dressed up in White, a White shirt and a White Mundu,with a thin border of some color which always looked black to me…I have never seen him in any other color….A long brown bag on his shoulders and a long black umbrella, he would never go out without his possessions. Even at the age of 75 he did not need spects to read…carried a half smile on his face…I never liked that smile as a kid…He looked angry to me when he had that half curve on his face…

Ammamma's House had a huge pond at the backyard . This pond had jasmine creepers around it and another plant which had small pink flowers on it. I liked those pink flowers more than the jasmine, they never carried any smell, and the creeper had thorns on it, so I could never pluck them. Probably that is why I like them more, I always go behind things that I can never own….even now, darnnnnn.

Muthachan would always ask me to pluck those jasmines near the pond to make a garland out of it and I would run away saying, "Manu is waiting for me to play police thief, am going" although I never wanted to play with Manu. He never allowed me to sit on his swing. I could hear Muthachan calling me "molu……….come here"…………I ran to the kitchen.Amma looked at me and said , "go to Muthachan, don't trouble him, he is not well" …..ignoring what Amma said I ran out of the kitchen. Checked what Smithu was doing, she was busy searching her kunnikuru …….After sometime when I walked to Muthachan's room, and peeped through the door, Muthachan was sitting on his easy chair, his legs stretched out, looking at the thechi poo maram and fanning himself with a bamboo fan… everyone found him always in that state, I quickly ran to him and climbed on to his stomach and sat facing him and requested to tell me stories.

Muthachan never told stories that I liked, it was always about Gods and Kings, so I would fall asleep half way, if I think back, I have never heard a complete story from him.

Once I willingly volunteered to pluck flowers for him and walked towards the pond in the back yard. Most of the time , the pond was half full with green water. Ammamma came rushing to the back door seeing me walk towards the pond and said "don’t go near it you might fall"… and I screamed back I wont fall, Iam going to pluck flowers for Muthachan…there is no water…" By then she walked towards me and said "it gets filled till the rim when it rains, its dried up now, ask Achan to get you here for next onam and you can see the pond full with lot of flowers around too" . I hugged Ammamma's Legs and stood there…,"when I become a big girl after school I will come for Onam" and amamma lifted me up and Kissed me and said
" Ammamma Chothu" …and I stared back at the Pond and Imagined it being full….

Ammamma helped me pluck flowers and I held them in my frock and carried it to Muthachan, he smiled and this time it was not that half smile, I liked him now. He got up from his easy chair and pulled out a light yellow green leaf from the small coconut tree that we had near the backyard. Took out his knife which he always kept in his small golden colored box, We were never allowed to touch it. He pulled out a small string from the leaf and inserted flowers one by one into string and I was amazed, he taught me how to do it and finally when he was sure I could do it on my own, got back to his easy chair.

I sat by his leg on the floor and filled that string with flowers, it looked so beautiful and I ran to the kitchen "Ammaaaaa …..look what I have done…" there was no reply…I stopped running towards her when I met her eyes…. Amma was crying , She just smiled at me with tears in her eyes…… I couldn’t see her in tears , so I did not stand there for long, and I ran back to Muthachan, he called me into his room , there is a painting of Unnikrishnan eating butter from a pot. That painting was made on a small piece of Bamboo mat. It hangs there even now on the side wall of Muthachan's room.
He took that string of flower and put it around that painting and I was so happy.

I held his hand and looked at him and said "Muthacha, Ill pluck flowers for you and make a garland for bhagavaan tomorrow too, and he said in a soft voice, " you are leaving tomorrow, Achan is coming to take you home tomorrow……you have to go to your new class now ?" …..And then I understood why Amma was crying…She has to leave her mother and go far away….I did not have to do that, I can be with Amma always…..I felt relieved.

The phone bell rang suddenly and I got back to my senses and looked at the cell phone…"Amma Calling" …………..…..and tears rolled down my cheeks……………..

"Hello Ammaaaaaa…………………….