Sunday, June 10, 2012
Athimber, Bhishmar etc
This is so amazing that I have to link to this. Long long time ago - my father was blessed with 5 elder sisters. Each of them were slightly mad in their own right. Veritable Aunt Agatha(s) of my Bertie world. Obviously, my mother was extremely delighted to be wedded into such a family. This means I had a total of 5 Athimbers. 2 of whom - I never had an opportunity to meet as they passed away before I was born. Although my athai's visits and my interactions with them resembles that of that cow's interaction with the tornado in that Twister movie, I sort of had a soft corner for all of them. One athai in particular stood out. Reason being she was one of the most intelligent people I have had the opportunity to meet. My favorite athai passed away a few years ago. No one or nothing could get past her easily. Certainly not my mom. Purely because she had the Jedi like ability to know exactly what you were thinking. And my athai used her Jedi skills to influence what my father thought as well.
Her husband - my athimber - is 95 years old. Still alive and kicking. He is my favorite athimber. And guess what - he writes a blog. He is one of those people who have been around for ever. He was there when my father was born, when my father got married, when I was born, when I got married and he was in the US to see my daughter as well. He may be alive when her children are born. He is like an Old Seer that way. There are some people who have seen it all. He must be one of them. When he was 75 years old, when most people just chilled out with 'vethla paaku' and mega serials, his son passed away in a tragic accident. One of the greatest tragedies a parent has to endure is to outlive their children. He had to get back into the ebbs and flows of the cruel world to 'karai sethufy' 3 kids (aged 16, 14, 5). From teaching Upanishads to physics (he was a professor in Madurai Kamaraj University) to Shakespeare, he was the go-to man in our family. His blog has already thrown out a variety of topics from his experiences with Quit India Movement, he service in quasi military during World War II, and "Simon Go Back". In my eyes he's a shining example of how a person should grow old with grace. He spent his entire life accumulating knowledge and poring over books. One of the remarkable aspects about him was he'd never offer you an unsolicited opinion even if he totally disagrees with what you are doing. If you ask his opinion - you may hear what you don't like. But until then he had this remarkable self-restraint. I look forward to more posts from this banyan tree.