I never thought I would be penning this as an article on my blog but today, I can’t seem to sleep without writing down my thoughts.
I lost two important people in my life last week.
First was my grandmother who was seriously unwell since a month and finally her illness took her away from us on March 9th. Looking at her through the mobile screen, lying lifeless is something I won’t forget ever in my life. Though I know she is at peace now as she has been relieved from her suffering, it is difficult to believe that I will no longer see Annama (as I call her) when I go back to India.
And look at destiny’s play here. I was supposed to travel back to India this month but due to some major situation change, our plans were cancelled. The day it was cancelled, it had left me shattered as I was really hoping to see her and my Amma too. We had even finished most part of the packing. But life is really unpredictable and these past few months have shown that to me. So here I am, still in Qatar, with just memories remaining of my Annama to share with all of you.
Annama has been the inspiration behind all my Konkani recipes as that is what she made for us when we grew up. I still remember the way she used to say in her typical style, “Khavnu pale!!” meaning atleast taste and see, when I used to make a face at some not-so-favorite dishes of mine. Thinking of it does bring a smile on my face now. 😍
She was an expert at making sweets and her Churmundo (wheat flour ladoos) and soyye khadi (coconut burfis) are my favorites. She always made it and kept for me when I went on vacation. She would keep those along with a packet of tingalavro (white beans), some cotton towels, a small purse and a bottle of Ponds talcum powder, all ready for me to take back to Qatar. That love filled bag will definitely be missed next time. ❤️
Another memory of my Annama which I am remembering continually is her expression when I used to show her my newly bought artificial earrings during my school and college days. She used to tell me why are you wearing all these “santheche” (market ones) as she always believed in wearing gold and not other materials which she considered cheap. I wish I could show her that I now wear only gold earrings which my Amma gifted me during marriage. This woman now is no longer the girl who used to love those fancy earrings. I have become the woman you wanted me to become, Annama. ❤️
Also, she always believed in eating healthy homemade food and hardly ate bakery or restaurant foods. That is the sole reason that she was free from any disease even after being more than 85 years of age. I wish I had started following her way of life much earlier but as they say, better late than never. Her lifestyle is definitely an inspiration for me.
Annama, you will be missed a lot but I know you will look at me from above and will be happy to see me cooking just like you. Hope I can share more of your dishes and take your recipes forward to the next generation. Loads of love. ❤️
The second person that I lost is my college mate Rajath’s father, Sasidharan Uncle on March 10th. Even though Rajath was from the same college as mine, I had hardly talked to him once or twice as I only knew him as my best friend Taniya’s friend. So it was just a formal kind of relation.
But after I came to Qatar, Taniya gave me his number saying Rajath and his family are here too. From then started our friendship which is not only a mere friendly relation but definitely a family bonding. It would not be wrong if I call Rajath my elder brother as he has always fulfilled his duties of being one.
When blockade was imposed on Qatar and we hardly had any veggies available here, it was Rajath who drived all the way amidst his work schedule to bring us about 10 varieties of vegetables which lasted more than a month for us.
After that, when I was supposed to travel back to Qatar post delivery alone with my newborn son and daughter, he booked his and his wife’s tickets such that we were on the same flight and he could take care of us. He and his wife Malavika (who’s a beautiful girl inside out ❤️) made me feel so comfortable that I forgot all the tensions of travelling with a one month old baby.
All these good nature of Rajath is credits to his parents. Both Sasidharan Uncle and Geetha Aunty are gems of human beings. Even as I write this, I still can’t believe uncle is no more. His talks, jokes and the way he shared his stories about his experiences in life is what I enjoyed always.
Uncle always considered me as his daughter and used to call me lovingly as “Mole..” which means daughter in malayalam. So I always felt he was like a father figure and someone whom I looked up to all these years, living away from my own family.
Ever since Covid started, we hardly met but last month, on Feb 9th, I got Rajath’s message asking if they could come to our house that evening. He knew I was excited to meet his little boy and we were planning since long. So that day, since my husband too was home, I said okay. I confirmed if uncle and aunty were coming too and he said yes.
It made me so happy and I made Almond cookies and Churmundos for them. Had shared it on my Facebook page that day. Here is the picture.
They all loved it so much that none of these were left. It had me so happy and it was one of the unforgettable days of my life.
Who knew that it would be the last day that I would see and talk with my dearest Uncle.. His last words as he sat in the car are still in my ears. He had said, “Mole, Mannarkkad endayalum varanam.. Kaanan pattiya sthalam aanu.. endayalum varanam ketto..” (Dear daughter, you should come to Mannarkkad (his hometown), it’s a must visit place.. do come..)
As these words echo in my ears, I have promised myself that I will definitely visit Mannarkkad sometime in my life. That will be my true tribute and my way to offer respects to his soul. 🙏
So these are my memoirs with both these beautiful people whom I lost physically but they are always in my heart as precious memories which no one can take away. These past few days made me realize how unpredictable life is and all that remains is the love we have shown on everyone. So, love truly and unconditionally with all your heart. That love remains a lifetime to be cherished forever. ❤️