Our beloved Anusuya Doddamma (Maternal Grandmother in Kannada) passed away last Friday, 28th Aug 09. It was all so sudden for us that it is still taking time to sink into us that she is not around. Like for example, couple of days back when I called up my maternal uncle answered the phone and after asking his well-being, I almost blurted out the lines “How is Doddamma doing? How is her health?
Most of my summer vacations during school were spent with her in Udupi. One of the incidents that I recollect most is that during the summer vacations in Udupi, I was tagging along with her in a crowded market place. I might have been 8 or 9 years old. Suddenly I realised that the hand I was holding was out of my grasp and sobbing anxiously I moved out of the market place. Luckily an elderly gentleman saw me alone, and helped me reach home. There I narrated this incident to a neighbour, who quickly pulled out his cycle to search for Doddamma and to comfort her that I was at home. Knowing her well enough, he managed to locate her at the right place, the “Udupi Krishna Mutt” where she had gone to pray to the lord for my safety. Once home, she hugged me tightly as if to say “What would I have answered to your mother, had I not found you?”
Many memories flash across my mind when I think of her pleasing smile, the delicacies she cooked, the many artistic handicrafts she created, etc. In fact I would often tease her that I would drop out of studies and open a handicrafts shop and that she could supply the goods. She would laugh these suggestions off and humbly say “Who will buy them?”
Many a times during my adolescent fights with my mother, she would silently support me without taking sides and comfort me.
During my graduation and post-graduation exams, I would often request her to come and stay with us suggesting that she brought in a lot of good luck along. She would always be considerate enough to agree to my childish requests and stay for the entire duration of my exams, cooking special food, feeding me when I would be busy revising notes and so on.
Being far away from home on work, I felt miserable not being around during her death and also for not having spoken to her as often as I would have wanted to. Although I am now a father of a 5 year old girl, whenever I visited her, I would shed all inhibitions, place my head on her lap, close my eyes and let her run her fingers through my hair. It was enough for me to forget any pain.
Doddamma, we will always miss you.