Have been drinking gallons of herbal tea over the weekend.
I like walking the streets of Mylapore among the explosion of colours, smells, sights and sounds. I love the brightly decorated shops, vibrant crowd of people, temples, temple tanks, cycle rickshaws, eateries and the bangle sellers. Time seems to have stopped still in the madaveethi around the Kapaleeshwarar temple and near Chitra kulam. I made this quick sketch of a street near Chitra kulam.
My father stayed in a hospital the last days of his life. The window in his room overlooked a durgah. My father and I spent hours looking out at the changing sky and at the durgah standing serene against the resplendent sky. The dome of the mosque was lit by a green light. On a normal day green light would have made me sick, but during the weeks I spent in the hospital room with my father, the light spread warmth in me. I wanted my father to look at the mosque as a symbol of hope. I waited for the muezzin’s call for evening prayer everyday and timed my meditation to the call. I urged my father to do the same. Though his mind was agitated he attempted to close his eyes and repeat the Gayathri mantram. It is four years since my dear father passed away and I cannot drive past the durgah without looking at the warm green tone of the dome.
On a week day this street in Saidapet area is a maze of parked tricycles and tempos, speeding autos, school going children on bicycles, water lorry and stoic cows. On Sunday afternoon with the shops shut the people were curled under heavy fans that swept cool breeze. I didn’t miss the people but missed the cows.
My husband’s father is the banyan of the family. He is 90, immobilised by the Parkinson’s Disease. He has shown me how to live life without fear, to accept gracefully the circumstances we find ourselves in.
When my son was a little boy his grandfather was his playmate and companion. Every evening they went for long walks, he held my son’s hand and led him: much has been passed from that contact. Now my son sees his grandfather walking into the sunset. But unfaltering just the way my son had known his grandfather.