You won’t believe this Mi, Lakshmi athai passed away. Heart attack. So sad, no? We are shocked. I feel a bit guilty about not talking to her over the past month – but then we’ve been running around so much and I was actually thinking we’d surprise her with a visit this Navratri, which is from 25th onwards, this month. Early, yes. Sigh. Yet another lesson in not postponing things.

I was fondly remembering the first time I met her and how she behaved as though she and I had known each other all our lives. She was so friendly and welcomed me into the family as though I belonged there. I smile through my tears to think of the whirlwind trips they would make to our house whenever athimber’s office van made a trip to our part of town. We’d have a fun lunch – she’d enjoy that pulao so much.

Later when Vidur was born she would bring him those tiny briefs – we called them Mulund because that’s where they lived. I remember when I was pregnant she also sent a big jar of mango in brine- the kadugu manga and I enjoyed it so much, saving it for months.

Sigh…how temporary everything seems!

I feel very sad for them – in the space of two years their family has lost three people! First it was her son in law, then her husband and now, she has gone. In spite of her physical suffering, she was always so cheerful. I know I am going to miss her phone calls, her affectionate scolding and the hours of laughter as we scorched up the phone lines, getting rowdier by the minute. Vidur remembers the pickles she sent him, fondly.  He also recalls the big bar of chocolate she first got him and was bullying him to rip off the wrapper and eat…and he wouldn’t because you would be shocked.

They are cremating Athai tomorrow at 9. The 13th day is on 23rd.

As Sury and I contemplated on the years gone by, we were feel sad to count the number of loving family members we’ve lost, from Kittu Mama,  Kondu Mama, Venkittu Mama, Kamalu Perima, Choni Perima, and finally Thangam Perima. Only precious Gopmama is with us.

In the meantime, my tummy war continues. I am living between two loos hoping and praying my body takes care of itself as I do what is in my control. Sigh.

Not a good time for our family, Mi! Or so it seems like. I know some will say “this too shall pass” and right now I am not in the mood to hear that. As we grieve, we are trying to stay calm. Because it is all we can do now.

I hope you and she have fun up there, wherever you are.