Friday, October 27, 2017

It's been six years....

Today's Leela kunjamma's sixth remembrance day but it seems that the sad incident had taken place just the other day...Looking back, I feel that it was my mom who was affected most by her sister's passing away; she simply refused to believe it.

I remember my sisters telling me that on returning home after Leela kunjamma's funeral at Paravoor, she'd lit the lamp in the puja room - as usual, in the evening - as though nothing had taken place. They have also told me that there were times whenever she used to be alone in the sitting room, she would cry with her sister's 'Sanchayanam card' in front of her. They're very, very close. Amma used to pull her sister's leg while the latter loved and respected her elder sister to the core. She used to be thrilled coming to Raj Nivas to spend time with mom and dad.

While dwelling upon their closeness, I must let you into this incident which, later on, had become a joke within the family. Kurup kochachhan being the secretary of a local library at his hometown of Paravoor had, once, gone to meet PN Panicker at his residence at Thycaud, Thiruvananthapuram. As he entered the house he saw Vichani kunjamma leaving for school and had validated what he'd heard about the Panickers' daughters being beautiful.

Not long after, his parents had come to the Panickers with the marriage proposal for their son. Everything went off smoothly and it would be best summed up in Kurup kochachhan's own words, "Rajeev, I could only have a glimpse of my would-be-wife as your mom ensured that by switching off the light at an inopportune moment." Those days, the girl and the boy, interacting before marriage was unheard of and everything that happened took place under the watchful eyes of the parents! Leela kunjamma had stood by the window of the adjacent room with its light lit. Mom had ensured that the light wasn't on for too long a time!!

Kurup kochachhan, endowed with a good sense of humour, used to later on pull my mom's leg by saying that he saw his wife - in the real sense and for the first time - on their wedding day thanks to my mom's little game! Time has dealt its blow, dementia has set in and now, he remembers events and people only on being prodded and egged on by someone. Wonder whether he remembers this day when his wife had passed into the mist of time, six years ago.

Leela kunjamma, you continue to be in our hearts and each one of us misses you.


1. Whenever the PN Panicker family used to have their gatherings, the three of them - mom, Kurup kochachhan and Leela kunjamma - used to get along like a house on fire, laughing at themselves.

2. Another one of those quiet days, when I hardly did anything.

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