who can we blame for attraction? at each point - the other. you can always blame someone for repulsion on the whole. but attraction? now i wonder how much blame can a living thing take? they always blame the living thing. arrogant? maybe sir. they think that we did create the non living stuff so we are to blame. do non living things have no character as such? are we flawed, basically to presume mostly that the stone has no feelings. are young girls of 12 actually correct in loving their huge ass teddy bear they boy friend got for them. yeah shit like that seems to be happening. my nephew says so. anyways can i blame grief here? is it just the grief that attracts me? or is it the effect of grief on the human that attracts me? am sure its not just the human. confirmed dear sir.

am i evil?  just because i dont contain thoughts and type it in the safe knowledge that no one and everyone will read? i am fascinated my grief. and how people react to it. more than desperation or any other human feeling i know of grief seems most interesting. specially when i know the person quite well. am i wishing bad things over you poor souls. even if i did does it matter? do you actually believe that grief will be upon you just because i wish to see how long you would use it as a cloak? i cant tell you that. i cant tell you many things. but other things i can tell. safely in the knowledge that we will never meet. and its sort of even more fun when you are conscious that am observing you when oh the great tragedy does strike.

i cant actually quite remember when i started observing this whole thing. the family being big and oldies avg hitting 90 , deaths are but another full meals with you cousins , playing and a sweet day of school bunked. what we, 10 year old kids, supposed to make out of 50 year old women crying out? or two 30 year men fighting for land just after cremating the body. thankfully all this was not my immediate family. thats what is irritating. they are not even my immediate family and yet i am there after their deaths.but i remember the particular case where it was just fascinating to watch them all. my dad's uncles death. i remember a certain akka who i had never known till then sit and tell about her beloved thatha's. and since that night she became very dear to me. we started writing letters. i guess at that age i had known nothing. i guess i still know nothing. am just trying to infer. and i am sure i would infer it differently when i am old. for i have come to see when you are old you tend to defend your self (more than now) . defend what you have done and how you have done. as of now i cant fathom why the oldies feel bad about the bad they have done. we are as we are. what ever you say i am that was i am. and more. and less. so it makes no sense to feel bad about that bad. bad about the grief that has come to be. because or not because of you. either way it matters and it doesnt. do we really need to vindicate to atleast one soul what we have done. what we have come to be and what other have come to be because of us?

both my grand fathers are 90 above and still walking. my maternal grand ma died when i was in 6th. i am always surprised by very few flashes of memory i have. memory that are vivid and detailed . where i remember everything. or atleast what i consider to be everything. i think i remember the day i cycled that small tri cycle when i was a kid with a neighborhood kid in bhopal. i think i remember the scene when i saw my brother for the first time as a new born kid in the hospital in pondicherry. and the next day as my appa drove me to the hospital on that saturday morning to take food, as we cross a small bridge under which runs the back water, announcing to a delighted me that my brother will carry the sister's name in addition to the name they had chose for him, the sister i so desperately wanted back then but never got. and i can tell for sure i can remember vividly the ten days after my beloved paati's death. my youngest unlce who had married just three days before. a perfect happy arranged marriage. my new aunt who was crying. crying i guess because she would be blamed as the harvester of sorrow. the same uncle who sat near my paati's feet silent for a moment or two. and then the bowed head covered by the two fingers, a thumb and index. trying to plug the tears that flowed down anyway. silly humans. they think they can control every thing. the flow of the river. the tide of the sea. and still the tears drop. snigger

after my grandma died, my grandfather came to live with us. we shared a bed room. though the memories are not that vivid , i do remember a lot from that time. as he prays every single morning, after singing the pallandu..praying aloud that every family member of his should be blessed. every member of the family spelled out and a customized request for that fella. how lucky.  it would seem more like a order than a prayer. order from a man who thinks that the lord has taken every thing and owes him some. you should listen to him trying to leverage, trying to convince the lord that all the grief that has been hauled on him be converted into blessing for his children and grand children. and promptly his eldest son committed suicide in a year. is it the old man. i dont think so.  but he hasnt given up. not yet. my dear thatha. he feels he has more to leverage now that more grief has been bestowed upon him. his tune has changed of late. he has started bargaining for death. by the looks of it, his prayers are not going to be answered any soon. 95  and he still walks to the mathala narayanan street in the morning to buy those fresh hot keerai bakodas.

i love walking with him to the bakoda shop. carefully taking one step at a time. walking slowly like a year old kid. still the firmness. that belief that he will eventually win the bargain. i always love walking with old people. that calmness. pah. i also love walking with a year old kids. as they walk seeing most things for the first time. too amazed to make any sound. somehow i have come to think that grief is the most purest of human feelings. now the usual i dont get enough salary or macha she loves some body else rants. pure unadulterated grief.

the other set of grand parents live in the apartment below us. joint family shit. my other grand father is quite different. he is above 90 too. but a man of god and stars. his body not having tasted onion or garlic. who is a greatest optimist. i love talking to him. its been long.

and when you are fascinated by grief, the bottle and the milk come about. if a man says the white liquid in the bottle is milk , he is correct. i realised it a bit too late. thankfully nothing much. yes there were, lets say a couple of instances where i milked. just to get to know how they reacted to it.  the thing is even after the confidence part i never comforted them. that would have made me a criminal. but since then i have stayed away from people. most of them. i have never been able to sympathize much. greatest weakness? perhaps. nah actually am sure they are more glaring flaws. an hour back my amma called. my dad's eldest brother passes away. into what ma  i wanted to ask. she lamented for the two unmarried daughters he has left behind. all say we came with nothing and we take nothing. true. but we leave an awful lot behind. and as my peripa is waiting for the boat man and the wood, my mind goes back to the old big green house which was surrounded by trees and a had a great big oonjal in the center of the living room. the sleepy madras and the silent mylapore. and i once again after so many years, am attracted to humans. i just want to go see my grand parents, my aunts and uncles. the two cousins who might be termed as left behinds. my amma stressed , dei peripa theetu da, take head bath tomorrow. marakama thalaiku kuli. i wonder how it would be when i feel pure grief. will it give us the right to get close again to all those who we have avoided, lest we be termed the harvester of grief. is grief the most valuable and leveragable human feelings of all?



HaRy!! said...

blessed yu are mate... athu than unmai...feel the same when i walk with my grandpa... hez some 77 and still walks the whole pondy beach shore.... and amazing bargaining skill.... but i still wonder abt the guys who leav old parents stranded here and settle abroad! ena panalam solu?

relativelytruthful said...

grief is different because you are purely, completely and utterly alone only in your grief. it doesnt get bigger or smaller regardless of sharing it, unlike happiness.

so grief is pure.

soin said...

@hary. hellow aalu kaanum.. i have nothing against guys who leave the parents here and go off.free

@spaz. apparently when you are in love you can divide grief too.. i dont agree with that. its more like multiplying.free

Ashwini Sriram said...

You are a poet at heart. Loved the post. Made me smile! :)