Sunday, December 14, 2008


There are some people whom you consider invincible. At least deep within, you have the perception that somehow these people are going to be around forever. You have never imagined them as old, and they have pretty much stayed the same. They even seemed not to age, as if they are just stuck in time. Ammamma was one such person.
It is shocking how a group of tiny cells invade and conquer a body, a life. Like the trojan horse, they sneak in and in no time spread like cancer - well, it was cancer.
She had conquered the dreaded disease once before, a few years back, and had had her check-ups regularly. It was in one of the very recent once that they found that it was back.
I last saw her when I went to India for my sister's wedding - 3 months ago, in August. She had grown thin, but her smile was spot on. Then we were pretty sure that she could beat the disease. She was able to attend the wedding without any issues and really did enjoy it too.
when I was about to leave, I gave her a hug and said that we'll see soon, and she can hold her great-grand child in her arms soon. She smiled and said that she'd get strong enough by then and that she'd start looking out for names. We said goodbye happily, in contrast to the usual tearful farewells, being sure that we'll be seeing each other in May.
Then she began to get these pains once in a while, but the pain killer injections subdued them. But then she began to get them in increasing frequency. They took her to a cancer speciality hospital in Cochin, but by then, she had drifted off into a coma. And then in a week, she left.

They told me that she did not have to bear any pain that we associate with the deadly disease, and that is perhaps how her karma aided her. But then, she is gone.

She has had a good life, a happy one. all her children were near her towards the end, and most of her grandchildren too.
Maybe because I am here, I am yet to realize the full extent of my loss, how much I will miss her. I guess when I go to India the next time is when I will realize the void. Even now, though it has been only just a few days since she passed away, I almost ask out about how she is doing when I call home. I can never really imagine home without her.
The umpteen times I have fallen asleep on her lap, even really recently. How when I was doing my engineering, she would always be looking forward to the weekends when I would come home. How she had spent a long time alone in the house in vaniamkulam. How I would squeeze her in a hug and she would laugh and gasp, and laugh again. How I'd grow worried about her cough in the night and would rub her back, and she'd assure that everything was ok. How in my teenage vanity I'd sometimes speak harshly, and she with her vats worldly experience would just smile and nod.
That ammamma will never be there again has not settled in yet, perhaps she will be there when I go back, in the umpteen lovely memories.

1 comment:

Rashmi Menon said...

HI Madhuetta,

I know that I cant exactly claim that "I know how you feel", but atleast I can try to imagine what it must be like. I've known & loved ammamma in my own way & I for one can't imagine that house without her. I am glad though that the last time I met her, she was healthy & happy & siming & thats how I will always remember her.
Take care.
Love, Rash