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Thursday, April 18, 2013

I sometimes wonder as to why my mind keeps harking back to the older Memories--maybe because these belong to a happier more carefree time--specially those of my childhood and the early years of our marriage.Belonging to the same bloodline made our relationship unique--but at the same time we were too alike in our thinking---so maybe that helped too.My father was a very broadminded person but had some funny ideas about being conservative--Mummy thought differently and had her own views about being conservative--both would clash on certain issues and that would send me confusing signals!!
Daddy didn't mind if I wore tight sheaths as my Dresses but these had to accompanied by a pair of Leggings/Shalwars/Churidars---he was not comfortable with my bare legs showing under the fitted Frocks after I turned 11 years old!!Mummy on the other hand had no problem with my showing off my shape----in fact she would make me walk up and down our Staircase with heavy books balanced on my head--to ensure a proper bearing and a straight back!!She also was okay with my wearing make-up and would often buy me some too--and Daddy agreed.The only rule they clashed about was Boys.Daddy felt that I could have friends who were Boys--while Mummy viewed the entire breed with suspicion. I myself was not too keen on Boys--preferring my Books to Company most often.Besides being schooled by Nuns since the age of 5 years---specially those who frowned upon the concept of about Dating had made me shy and inhibited--I was the classic example of an Inferiority Complex breeding a Superiority one!!Till today I find it difficult to feel comfortable with new aquaintances from the opposite sex--I either talk too much or I just clam up!!
That is why perhaps my equation with Sudhir worked so well--though we both could never understand some aspects about each other's personality.I felt he was too cautious and suspicious about everything and everybody---while he rued my rash and naive nature and the way I impulsively rushed into various situations!!This was a bone of Contention between us to the very end!!When we shifted into our present Flat about 38 years ago I had been instructed by him never to open the door--anytime of the day--without a sharp knife and half an Onion in my hand!!Reason??It would help in self defense if the need arose!!To me seemed idiotic that I'd be slicing Onions at any time of the day--but he was adamant and I complied!!Both of us were very fond of reading--and this trait was inherited by our daughters---both love to read and literally devour the Books voraciously.Sayali must have been about 7-8 years old when a Book Fair was held in her School.Both Lotta and she got an equal sum of Money to buy Books---but Lotta being the cautious one bought just 2-3 books while Sayali blew up the whole amount on a pile of them!!Sudhir came home early that day from the Court--a rarity while they were growing up---and hid in the entrance Lobby to surprise them when they returned from School.Both came home,were duly spooked by his "Boo!!" and then settled down to their evening Tea with him--jostling each other to fill him up on their day while I got busy with the evening Meal.
Suddenly Sayali's dismayed wail brought me rushing to our Bedroom----she had just shown him all the Books she'd bought--and he lost it seeing the huge pile she'd picked up!!!That was one of the rare occasions when he gave her a dressing down about going overboard-----and I kept out of it.A penitent and dejected Sayali sobbed herself to sleep while I remonstrated with him in private about it was just Books that she'd indulged in.He heard me out and turned round to tell me that she should learn restraint in deciding what she needs and what she does not---or Money will be a dangerous weapon to give into her hands.She had to learn to be accountable--that this time it was Books later it could well nigh be just anything!!!Money was not a plaything--it had to be treated with the proper respect it deserved!!I think Sayali learnt something that day because his approval was paramount to her--but not really much as the next incident will show!!
Around 1985 I decided to complete my Graduation through the Open University Plan just floated by the University of Madras.After passing the Entrance Exam I took to studying seriously--choosing my favourite Subject History as my main one.I'd finish my cooking and household chores by Lunch time and once the girls had been fed,would sit down study during the afternoon.The Examinations were scheduled to be held in the Summer Vacations---and this meant that we did not leave Bombay for 3 years till I passed the course.Both the Girls were dismayed and though there would be short trips for 2-3 days to nearby places--it was never the less not the Vacations they were used to.Their fertile brains came with the idea of being paid for staying put in Bombay---and both bargained and haggled with Sudhir to finally arrive at a figure agreeable to both parties--payable to Girls weekly.As expected,Lotta very cleverly would hoard her share and Sayali would be just the opposite with her share--spending most of it on Ice Creams and Chinese Buffets.It had become so that whenever she called up the local Ice Cream Parlour nearby, the person taking the order didn't need to ask her name--they'd begin with "Oh Hi Sayali--what would you like?"Besides Lotta,she and her best friend Lakshmi would frequent a Chinese Eatery and enjoy the elaborate Chinese Dishes they served!!One thing needs to be made clear here----Lotta very conveniently would forget her Wallet at home--and most often than not it was poor Sayali who ended up paying the Bill!!At the end of their Vacation, Lotta had almost the entire amount saved,Sayali had just a few hundreds left over---but this time Sudhir forgave her, because it was in lieu of their Vacation after all!! Today while Lotta continues to be very prudent with her money Sayali still splurges hers on many things----and one of her weaknesses continues to be---- Food!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERIRIDDELL 4/24/2013 12:59AM

    I am a Sayali too !

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BOVEY63 4/18/2013 4:13PM

    I love how you write - I can visualize so much of your memories.

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LOOKINGUP2012 4/18/2013 8:08AM

    Ah, how I wish I were a saver. Wonderful memories.

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SAASHA17 4/18/2013 7:47AM

    Lol..I definitely am not a Lotta:)....

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I guess we are a family that attracts Monkeys--maybe we remind them of us being their cousins many times removed??I don't know but there is definitely a bond there!!As a child I've always been fond of Monkeys from afar---they can be pretty intimidating at close quarters.Living so near the Hill stations of the North we were in constant touch with a particular breed called the "Grey Langurs".These have black faces and Creamy/White hair and are held in awe due to their connection to the Indian Monkey God Hanuman.They also are at the top of the Hierarchy in the Primate Species and have been around for a very long time!!
My association with them goes right back to my very early childhood--for whenever Daddy had to tell me a bedtime story it always revolved around a Langur from Shimla!!This story would always have me in splits--because it featured a Langur who was a constant visitor to one old Englishman's Cottage.This fellow would steal in through the window and ransack the old man's store of Biscuits in the Pantry.One day the old man in desperation asked his wife to bake a batch of Biscuits laced with a big dose of a Laxative added to it!!Needless to say the poor Langur never came back!!Daddy used to spin this "tail" out with a lot of action,song and dance and it always had the opposite effect on me--instead of putting me to sleep it perked me up even more--and that really irritated poor Mummy!!It used to be fun to go on treks with Daddy--he'd have a name for every monkey we came across--and if that monkey even so much as turned it's head in answer to the name Daddy would hold regular conversations with it--enticing me to do the same but my inhibitions and the fear that folks around us would think I'm crazy always held me back though most often I longed to follow suit!!
There were many encounters with Monkeys but the best ones came when we visited a place called Dalhousie first in 1994 and later again in 1997.Sayali is a huge fan of Biscuits and she has her favourite local brands wherever we go--and as most of these are not available in Mumbai she prefers to follow the Camel's example in stuffing as many as she can get into her face!!Each time she took a stroll to the Market she'd pick up large quantities and eat these at every given opportunity.In 1994 we travelled through winding Mountain roads by Car from Dharamsala to Dalhousie and carried with us a fine sized Satchel filled with Sayali's precious biscuits.By the time we reached Dalhousie we were tired---but the windows of our huge Bedroom faced a beautiful view of the Dhauladhar Mountains of the Himalayan Ranges.This sight so excited us that we flung the windows wide open and literally drank in the sweet Mountain Air--scented with the smell of Conifers and Wild Flowers mixed with the scent of Wood fires burning in the homes surrounding the Hotel.Leaving these open we ate our Tea in the room and dropped into the comfortable beds for a siesta--as we'd been travelling since 6 a.m.!!About an hour later a scuffling sound woke us--and to our amusement and Sayali's dismay the whole room was over run with a horde of Monkeys--attacking Sayali's precious hoard of Biscuits with a vengeance!!There were torn wrappers strewn all over the Carpet and the entire gang was busy stuffing as many biscuits as they could into their capacious cheeks with amazing speed and precision.It was Sayali's howls of anger and pain that alerted them to the fact that we were awake--and in a trice they bounded out of the window on to the huge Deodar Tree bang outside the window--scolding her incessantly for upsetting their hunting spree!!We quickly closed the windows as soon as the last visitor bounded out---and then Sayali rushed to inspect her hoard--sorely depleted now and most of her most favourite Biscuits gone--evident from the mess of torn wrappers strewn on the floor!!In fact the monkeys added insult to injury when they proceeded to continue scolding Sayali from the upper branches of the lofty Tree while emptying their stash from their cheeks into the holes in the trunk!!Sudhir and I were convulsed with laughter--mainly at seeing a 20 year old girl bawl like a baby at the loss of her precious Biscuits!!
The second incident took place in 1997.This time we had both Lotta and Meha as well as Narayanda and Pushpaben with us.The latter two are very dear family friends--actually more family than friends.This time we were careful to keep the windows closed.Now there are these particular brand of Ice Candies that Sayali was addicted to on the earlier Trip--and looked forward with great enthusiasm to on this one.She'd eat these very often daily--buying two or more at a time and eating these while strolling down the Hilly paths and lanes.The idyllic Week flew past and just the day before we were to leave she accompanied Sudhir to the Taxi Stand to collect the details of our Taxi the next day.On the way back she bought herself two of those Ice Candies--the last ones available it turned out.Unwrapping one she began eating it while clutching the other one tightly in her other hand.She was just exclaiming to Sudhir about how lucky she was that she managed to buy the last two Candies in the Store when a wiry Langur swooped down---pulled both Candies from her grasp--and bounded away to eat these in the upper branches of an Evergreen!!It took Sayali and the spectators a minute to realise what had just happened--the spectators spontaneously exploding into peals of laughter and Sayali bawling all the way to the Hotel--crestfallen and cheated!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERIRIDDELL 4/18/2013 12:04AM

    I feel spoiled another monkey story ,sorry Sayali I enjoyed this one (even though I too would have been crestfallen at the loss of my favourite biccies !) We went to Monkey Mountain in Alsace in France and Kayleigh was extremely upset as one of the monkeys there stole her jalebi ! She was only 4 at the time though.Mind you I think she would still cry at 27 if someone stole her jalebi !

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BOVEY63 4/17/2013 3:56PM


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NITAINMN 4/17/2013 12:41PM

    LOL -Wow! We were truly fortunate to have a wonderful father! You were double lucky with both parents doting over you! No wonder you are a great Mom too. :-) The last incident reminded me how one of these four legged langurs in Bangalore pulled the biscuits out of Nikhila's hand when she was only 4 years old and ran off with them. Yeah! They are very intelligent but, can be dangerous at times too. Poor Sayali....don't blame her - age does not matter when it comes to our favorite foods!

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MIRFA71 4/17/2013 9:19AM


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SAASHA17 4/17/2013 7:43AM

    lol..Poor Sayaali...hehehe

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THE_SHAKESHAFT 4/17/2013 1:13AM

    Great blog.

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Monday, April 15, 2013

My dear friend Janet is so right--Memories can be hard to handle sometimes--specially because of the people these are attached to!!In my case Sudhir's death was so sudden that it froze my senses instantly--I mean how could he just die in a moment--leaving me without any intimation at all??Actually my father died the same way too and my mother who was just 42 years old then, aged overnight from the shock!!It is today that I'm finding comfort in my memories of our life together and that is what is helping me to deal with the huge vacuum and emptiness his passing has left behind in my life.
There are moments when I just feel the need to have a physical remembrance of him--my Computer has many short Video clips taken by Sayali on her Cell phone stored in it.All I do is just play these or the Songs he has recorded and put the volume on high.I then continue to carry out my chores--just listening to the sound of his voice drifting out of the children's bedroom--for that's where the Computer is--reassures me and comforts me that he is still around.I need to do this at least once everyday--it helps to keep me emotionally on an even keel--guess it might sound a bit odd but there it is!!Of course there are countless Memories stored in my mind and these suffice to run me through the entire range of emotions---specially Love and Laughter!!
I learnt to drive at a very young age---that too Daddy's car--an Ambassador.This car was like an elephant--large and awkward to handle!!The breed actually was an Indian adaptation of the Land Master--and because it was a really rugged Car it was the most preferred of all the Indian Brands.The roads in Chandigarh were huge and empty of much Traffic--a few Cycles,Cycle Rickshaws,some local transport Buses and even fewer Cars---for the most preferred transport was to walk!!Daddy taught me to drive--and anyway since I had been blessed with a lot of strength and energy despite my thin wiry appearance--I picked it up quite well too!!Things went well for about almost a year till one day while returning from a Shopping spree I took too wide a turn and ended up the Embankment outside a neighbour's home at the end of our Lane!!We had to be dragged out of the Car carefully--for the front wheels were pointing at the Sky--and that put an end to my days behind the wheel!!Sudhir tried umpteen number of times to make me drive in Bombay--but each time something or the other spooked me and I'd give up!!
The first time I got a Learner's Licence we had a reasonably good run for a month at the Worli Sea Face--the quietest stretch of road those days in this hustling and bustling City.However one fine day as we were cruising along a BEST Bus overtook me--forcing me to side track a little.That did it---I threw up my hands and dissolved into tears--I just couldn't drive any more!!!The second time the process was repeated,a Cabbie shouted at me for blocking his way while he was trundling along cruising for a Fare--and I threw up my hands once more!!The third and final time I just couldn't gather up the courage to venture onto the roads--and Sudhir had to accept that I was not cut out for Bombay roads!!Funny thing is that I'd drive without a qualm in the chaotic streets of the Hill Stations of Lonavla and Mahabaleshwar and towns like Poona (now Pune) and Kolhapur---- despite these being packed with a combination of Cyclists,People and Animals--- without batting an eyelid!!Maybe mentally I was more relaxed there--I don't know!!
While we spent many of our Vacations in the North,a large amount were spent in Kolhapur--my hometown.Travelling to this sleepy little Principality was something that excited me--despite the fact that I'd never really lived there--only visited during a few Vacations.However the sense of belonging is very strong--and Sudhir used to tease me about the way I'd be hard pressed to contain my excitement as we drew nearer to the place.I'd be like a dog--sniffing the Air to catch the familiar smells which for me spelt relaxed,peaceful tranquility---days of just lying back,doing nothing and getting refreshed completely!!Our common uncle Shyam Kaka was a partner in this residential Hotel that he and his friends had opened in a sprawling old Mansion.The girls loved to stay there--the Food was finger licking delicious and we took either of the two rooms with attached Terraces---where we'd sleep out under the Stars in the cool,Summer nights.After 1982 our pair of miniature Lhasa Apsos joined our family--and Milind began teasing us about being "You two,two girls and two dogs--nicely balanced"!
This was the place where we spent time eating wholesome traditional Marathi cooking--spicy and fiery.Since Shyam Kaka married pretty late in life his children were nearer our girls' ages than ours.This created a perfect balance for us--all three of our cousins would spirit the Girls away for the day to our old ancestral home in the old Town and Sudhir and I would join them in the evenings.For both of us the old part of Town,the River and our trips to both the Panhala Fort in the higher reaches of the Sahyadris and visits to Daak Bungalow in Khanapur on the Deccan Plateau near Belgaum would be highlights that we all looked forward to.
The entire routine never changed--my Shashi Kaki--Shyam Kaka's wife would cook us a tasty Lunch consisting of a Mutton Curry,Boiled stuffed Masala Eggs, an Onion Raita,Sorghum Bread called Bhakris and a huge pot of Curd Rice.This last item would be freshly prepared early in the morning.Rice would be cooked and when still warm fresh Milk to which the Yoghurt Culture had been mixed well in would be added with a little Salt.This would then be allowed to set in a warm corner of the Kitchen.Just before leaving she'd season it with a generous Seasoning of hot Ghee to which Black Mustard,Fenugreek and Cumin Seeds were added with a generous pinch of Hing or Asafoetida.She'd then throw in Fresh Curry Leaves and Dried Red Chillies just before pouring the sizzling concoction over the beautifuly set Curd Rice.The container would be capped instantly to shut in all the aroma--and later seated under a capacious Banyan Tree in Panhala we'd literally gorge ourselves silly before stretching out under the thick foliage on Grass mats for our afternoon Siestas!!
An amusing incident occurred at Panhala once.We were being troubled by a few Monkeys who wanted the Bread we had with us.Initially we ignored them but as they grew bolder and started coming too close to us for comfort Shyam Kaka started scolding them in Marathi--making angry gestures as well while asking them to back off.To our surprise and hilarious amusement the biggest Monkey--must have been about 10 kgs. at least in weight--began giving back as good as he got--chattering away excitedly in his language and waving his arms around in almost an identical copy of Shyam Kaka's antics!!!Till today we all recall poor Shyam Kaka's initially outraged expression and later his sheepish look which gave way to uncontrollable mirth eventually with a lot of fondness!!Those were some days and great Memories!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAASHA17 4/16/2013 7:46AM

    Hmm....Driving can be painful..not sure if I can ever drive in India..but then never say never:)...
take care and as someone said...I always wanted a pet monkey too..they are so adorable!!

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CHERIRIDDELL 4/15/2013 11:52PM

    Oh Komal what wonderful memories.I always wanted a pet monkey LOL Yes I know silly British girl ! I do love reading your tales there is only one thing you inevitably make my mouth water when you describe the food !!!!

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Days of Summer--1

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Weather is bringing with it so many beautiful Memories--despite the sweltering,humid heat that is making it's presence felt!!I admit that one cannot run away or close the door on unbidden thoughts and Memories---but because the associations are fewer it does become easier to function.Last year I missed all this--because I was in London with Sayali and and the associations were far away.Also the fact that Kartik and she had shifted to Central London and were not in their earlier Flat also made it that wee bit easier---since the new place held no memories of Sudhir for me.Besides I still was partly under shock and numbness about his death so things did not really penetrate that deep down into my conciousness.This year I'm wide awake and very much in Mumbai--and all those associations with my Past!!
April always was a favourite month with us--as a family.The Girls and their father both would begin their Summer Vacations a week or so from each other--specially when the Girls were in School.The last week of April would be spent booking our Rail tickets for our annual Vacations North---- and while both Sudhir and i truly loved the Railway journeys the girls just put up with these!!We'd reserve our Compartment well in advance---and because Food was always one of the main parts of the journey we'd make arrangements for that as well.Luckily in India we've always been lucky with Railway food.During our childhood Food would be freshly cooked on the Trains and delivered to our Compartments at the different Stations that the Trains stopped at.The First Class had all the etiquette that it's status demanded---we'd be served by liveried Staff--with Cream coloured Stoneware Crockery and heavy Silver plated Cutlery--both embossed with the Logo of the Indian Railways.Later when they came up with through Trains we had a choice--either of eating in the Dining Car or in our own Compartment.The orders would be taken down by the Stewarts in advance.How I loved the Food then--the Kitchens were fired by Coal and the Food was cooked to perfection--my favourites were the Omelettes,the Railway Mutton curry and Roast Chicken Dinners--and of course the creamy Soups and crisp Toasts!!
Later it became hazardous to cook on Gas Cylinders on the running Trains and this was when we began getting our orders picked up from Caterers at certain Stations--and this is where our daughters came in--this is the Era they remember.However the comfort and style of the Trains was still very much a part of the Railways.Specially when one took the Rajdhani running between Bombay and Delhi.As always Sudhir and i would bag the lower berths--both of us sitting glued to the windows looking out--watching the Countryside pass by!!Lotta and Sayali would arm themselves with their books--clambering up to the upper berths to read their books in peace.The AC comfort kept the outside heat at bay but we really waited for our favourite Stations to catch our favourite Eats.Palghar was the last stop in Maharashtra before we crossed into the State of Gujarat at Billimora--and it was at Palghar that we picked up the fresh,sweet and juicy Palmyra fruit called "Taad Golas" in Marathi--Ice Apples in English.Of course to get these one had to take The Deluxe or the Paschim Express--The Rajdhani would cruise straight through without stopping there!!Surat,Baroda and Godhra were favourite stops for the wonderful Surati crisp Biscuits known as "Butter" as well as the sweet called "Ghaari" made with a Milk Solids stuffed Pastry.The other two for thick sweet,Dry Fruit and Spice flavoured Masala Milk,thick,creamy Ice Creams and of course Yoghurt----those days we never looked askance at many things which today I would do--and stuffed ourselves like greedy Pigs with the Goodies.Besides this there were Savouries galore at each Station the Train halted--and by the time the Food we'd ordered came around we'd already be stuffed to the gills with other Stuff!!
The changing landscape was actually imprinted on our minds but still Sudhir and I would gaze out at it rapturously.Some of the best sunrises and Sunsets have been glimpsed through the Train windows--not to forget the bewitching beauty of Moonlit nights that we've gazed at spellbound.Both of us loved those nights---the Trees standing like dark,mysterious Sentinels dotting the Landscape and the tiny twinkling lights of the isolated Homesteads near the track.The Moonlight would create deep, dark shadows in small recesses and below some boulders--as well as in the "Bihads" or the Sandy Ravines on the banks of the River Chambal---an area famous for armed Dacoits.My purse always held tiny screw topped bottles of Red Chilli powder and a sharp pair of Gardening Shears--just in case we were attacked!!It was an unwritten Code--one never opened the door to one's Compartment without being fore armed!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERIRIDDELL 4/15/2013 11:57PM

    I feel so fortunate to have you telling me of your travels through India.To me it is like a magical journey far better than any other story or adventure,you are indeed a talented weaver of tales !

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IMEMINE1 4/15/2013 3:24PM

    So Beautiful.

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MILLISMA 4/14/2013 9:56PM

    You paint such beautiful pictures with your words that I can visualize everything. Thanks again for sharing your wonderful memories.


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BOVEY63 4/14/2013 8:50PM

    Sounds like wonderful travels!

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MIRFA71 4/14/2013 1:17PM

    I googled Palmyra fruits and saw the pictures of the fruit. We call it MUNJAL in urdu here in Hyderabad. They have just started arriving in the market. I love to poke a finger into them and suck out the sweet juicy water, then peel and eat the fruit. YUmm.. it is so delicious. We even eat the roasted baby stems called GENGULU. They are very tasty. I love reading your blogs. emoticon

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LOOKINGUP2012 4/14/2013 10:51AM

    What a delight to travel with good food readily available. I made one rail trip from Chicago to Glacier National Park. If there were armed dacoits to deal with, I would not have been brave enough to go..

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Talking of Sudhir's relationship with his daughters took me back to their childhood.Both our girls always got top priority and loads of quality time with their father.Despite growing up into responsible adults they remained Daddy's girls--and watching Sudhir with his daughters was like looking at a couple of kids--it was difficult to differentiate between father and daughters--they were extremely childish and childlike in each other's company.
Both Lotta and Sayali would call specifically to talk to Sudhir--and every tiny detail of their day would be shared with him.Lotta's calls were less frequent than Sayali's given the Time difference but Sayali was addicted to chatting with Daddy and telling him everything--everyday!!After she shifted to London,Sayali's timings were really perfectly suited with his----he'd be home from Court by her Lunch break--and then Sayali would update him about every nuance of her day,her career---she called it her "Hour with Daddy"!!The first thing when she reached Lotta's home in L.A. after he died was to cling on for dear life to me--crying inconsolably and asking me as to with whom would she connect now that he was no more??It was a difficult time for all of us--but I had to watch our girls grow up into the responsible adults they actually were right there before my eyes.The carefree daughters we both so looked forward to connecting with on our trips to their homes had changed for ever!!
The one person he loved to spend time with was perhaps Meha.Everytime we visited Lotta,Meha would just abduct her grandfather from under her mother's nose and talk to him--incessantly!!He knew every little secret of hers--and the two of them would whisper and giggle together conspiratorially---all about stuff the rest of us were totally in the dark about.Just the day before he died Meha told him all about what she had been upto since we had left in January that year--bringing him completely up to date with everything--including her crushes!!Sudhir really was a fabulous listener--and this was one of the
most endearing facets of his nature.
This reminds me of an incident way back in August 2005.Meha had accompanied Sudhir and me to Sayali's home in Rochester during the Summer Vacation that year.Our nephew Aamod--Kunda's son as well as niece Sonal--Suhas's daughter lived in New Jersey.We decided to visit them and drove down from Rochester to spend some time with both their families.We spent the first night at Sonal's and after Brunch drove over to Aamod's for the next night.As it was Vacation we also got to spend time with our other 4 Grandkids--two boys at Sonal's and the two girls at Aamod's. As we were leaving Meha insisted on Rhea--Aamod's younger daughter--accompanying us to Rochester which after a little prodding she did.The drive back home was in rainy Weather--and took us almost 8 eight hours--thanks to the frequent Rest Room breaks and of course both Girls needed to be fed too at regular intervals!! On popular demand Sudhir was in the back seat--wedged firmly between both Meha and Rhea.Things were going quite smoothly but somehow the topic of Sudhir being their Grandpa came up.Rhea claimed him as her Grandpa too but Meha had a problem with that.She argued non stop about how Sudhir was her Grandpa and Rhea's Grand Uncle---a fact that led to a a pretty bit of pushing and scufflling!!Finally Sudhir switched seats with me and moved to the front seat while I shifted to the back.This ensured that the argument was temporarily shelved and soon both Girls were leaning against me with their heads against my well cushioned shoulders and giving gentle little snores.The heated atmosphere in the Car cleared up and we adults heaved a sigh of relief!!
The topic remained a sore spot between them during the duration of Rhea's stay--but later after she had left Sudhir gently chided Meha and said that such a debate was uncalled for.He quietly made her understand that if Rhea thought of him as her Grandpa too there was no harm in it--Love is infinite and cannot be bounded by any boundaries.Factually she was right but if it gave Rhea a sense of belonging where was the harm in it?In our family we have always shared everything and the boundaries of being divided as Cousins does not exist.That's why maybe today Meha can call all her mother's cousins her Aunts and Uncles and claim their children as her cousins--the blood tie is very strong and the bond very truly exists!!

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MIRFA71 4/13/2013 2:58AM

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful memories. emoticon

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BOVEY63 4/10/2013 4:25PM

    Your daughters were blessed to have such an attentive and adoring father, and wonderful that the grandchildren had some time with him too.

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MILLISMA 4/10/2013 2:09PM

    emoticon I can so understand Reha's feelings. I had to learn to share my grandmother (my Memere) with some wonderful children who were not related to us. I learned to accept this and to this day, we are all still very close. One of them calls herself my "little sister". Sudhir was so right about love.

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LOOKINGUP2012 4/10/2013 1:11PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your family with us. emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 4/10/2013 10:49AM

    Another beautiful telling of the love of a wonderful family.Komal your reminiscences often bring a tear to my eye they are so lovely.We are lucky to know Sudhir through you ! hugs,Cheri

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