Friday, October 14, 2016

At Raj Nivas.

The day had begun at a half past 4, the chores were gone through and we could kick off on our journey only by a half past 6. The first stop was, as usual at the Saravana Bhavan, soon after the toll. The ever smiling Nair, was peering expectantly into the rear of our car for mom as he waved us into the parking slot. His face fell as I told him about her and he was quite reluctant - I'd to insist - to accept the tip from me, as I drove off the premises, after breakfast. Usually, he'd have insisted on my parking the car close to the entrance and help mom to get out of the car and later, get back into it! 

We were at the dentist's, at Kochi, by a half past 9. The dental furniture needed another correction and will, now, have to be collected on our return. Lekha, Rema and Mini had made a dash for the jewellers to explore the feasibility of changing a recently bought chain as per my niece's diktats while I worked on my laptop at the reception of the dental care, catching up on my mail.

Their trip to the jewellers wasn't productive as they found, to their horror, that the exchange wouldn't work out to be cost effective and we resumed our onward journey after about an hour or so. Lunch was light and at the Motel Aram just before we entered Alappuzha. As we passed Ambalapuzha, we saw mom's familiar haunts.......actually, she was present among us, all through, despite her absence!

We're at Kottarakkara by 4. Again, while Rema and Mini had gone to mom's bank to do the winding up formalities of her pension account, Lekha and I'd gone first to a nearby hotel to ease our 'about-to-burst-bladders' at a restaurant nearby and to pick up some fresh provisions for tomorrow's lunch for the tight knit bunch of relatives and friends attending mom's 41st day prayer meeting. The three of them had made it clear that they'd manage the breakfast and lunch - all by themselves, with a vehement no-no for assistance from the caterers!

Our next stop was at Padmakumar's house at Pidavoor. His mom was under medical care for congested lungs - she looked weak but cheerful. She made her eldest daughter provide us with tea and an assorted set of eats and recalled mom's last trip to her place in August! Rema will spend a couple of days, after the activity, here.

We're finally at the Raj Nivas, a trifle after sunset. I'd a short monologue with mom and dad, at their cremation spots, outlining our programme. The entire compound looked neat after the recent removal of weeds. The settling down was easy and the girls had rustled up an excellent supper of 'kanji and pulses'.

Sitting on the dining table, it was almost like good old times...........without the company of our elders, whom we missed terribly!


The telephone was continuously abuzz with calls ascertaining our arrival, confirmation/regret regarding the attendance for tomorrow's ceremony etc. Raj Nivas was, once again, abuzz with activity and the caretaker seemed to be a contended man! 

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