Reflections, myriad thoughts of my father on his 86th birth anniversary…

Today, you are in a framed world, we wish u on yr bday 🎂🎂 as we look up above, in virtual space.  u’ve touched lives, u’ve touched hearts in ways ull never know, yr warm n hearty wishes we’ll miss, coffee times, cricket, sports n movie chats, gk  n more. Your  hands always blessing us,  the twinkle in your eyes, now in the sky, yr Jokes, singing ayee bahar, your mudra movements, yr doing pooja, ayyappa bhajans, yr enquiries abot each one of us, yr smiling n happy face when we visited. So many precious moments. Yesterday no more.  Daddy we miss u so much, amma n us all. The pain is endless, tears overflowing. Happy birthday Appa as u watch us with bhagavan. Guide n bless us as u always do. We promise to continue to live by the values u taught us by yr example. You n amma always… Om shanthi daddy n happy bday 🎂🎂 to u. Always with namaskarams: kamala, raji Viji balaji n families❤️🌹

Shri Venkatasubramanian

conversations with my father  in empty space

20/5/2021

A father is a girl’s first boy friend..mine was a simple, straightforward n blunt individual. His life was an amalgam of struggle, pain, n more..a family man to the core..daddy (MVS) had a   sharp  mind, a phenomenal memory,  , a  loving husband n father to us 3 siblings..fair minded brother, uncle  n more…his bark was worse than his bite in his younger days, mellowed with age..till the end..sharp, methodical..words can’t convey about our daddy..u can love or hate him. But u could never ignore or forget  him…. An era has passed into the sunset.. yesterday evening at 18.20 hrs IST, love u appa ure irreplaceable..guide n bless us from above. Adieu daddy adieu…

21/5/2021

A father’s  love.. in his own unique way

The younger daughter speaks….the middle child..

Where do I even begin as I reflect on a dearly loved father.. gone 2 days ago… the memories intrude  every second.. his loving face peeping in…his gruff voice beckons me… daddy where are you?  We wanted to bring u home  , I sensed yr end was near when u were taken to hospital.. ive always been scared, if those i loved went to hospital… it turned out to be true three days later one Wednesday evening in may 19, 2021.. we had hoped no pain  to scald u.. u fought on.. we cdnt see u.. u who always welcomed everyone in gruff but loving words, a wink or two… appa  miss u pa, so much ;

he was one proud papa when he saw my getting my phd at my convocation on dec 2, 2002, the only family member to see me at my moment of academic achievement, the only girl from all sides to get this..i only have a memory.. no photo even…seeing and holding my phd degree certificate… but it’s ok.. he was there with me.. though we couldn’t sit together..same place same time, same day… I could not ask for more..it was his prodding and encouragement initially.. from registration of phd course through my data collection and more…his and my moms support…through a major part of my phd, the real slogging..

he accepted me for what i had and could do, though of course expectations were  more

unconditional love, scoldings from babyhood till 51…caring , concerned about health, life , family and more…  he was innocent in many ways, but what a sharp and phenomenal memory till the very end.

10 june 2021

Daddy daddy… your final troubles  began last month  this day…u fell down from bed… who would have thought it was the beginning of the end… u had always risen above all that.. little did we know.. even yr strong determination and control could not keep pace with yr physical limitations and yr advanced age!!!  Appa… each day a memory swells me.. each moment, mundane things intrude… kamala… yr voice rings out…. Coffee times, paper reading moments…cutting of mangoes, puja times, so many  “little, little things matter u always told… be organized… don’t procrastinate or postpone,  lets agree to disagree ”…..  oft repeated advice    miss u pa.. so much… today I was listening to a long tribute cum video by spb charan to spb sir who succumbed to covid last year…spb sir on my lappy.. and u in photo frame across the room… I shared the video to bala and lalli and amma….its  11pm now appa… im not able to sleep.. each mg I wake up at 3 … thookam varalla.. dunno why…. Im drenched in sweat… ha  ha  I always sweat like buckets.. u used to laugh and make jokes too…little things daddy… that song u always sang  lalli shared dat video… my hindi is zero… I realized it was the same song… rajkumar in between that always stuck in the song for me….ill keep writing like this daddy when I can… it feels goodto chat with u… though ure not beside me… some days I cant its always in my head… I videocalled amma this evening… she’s ok  she misses u daddy so very much… we all do  in our own ways.. our private grieving….i don’t know how to tell.. who to tell… mugil understands me so too ram… they let me be…. I cry.. as I write  and as I remember… for a father who cared.. who understood…. The little things matter… always   good night daddy.. I know its late.. but I got caught up in that video and thinking of u… still got dishes to wash… little things matter le… life has to go on….u always said that too.. we gotta take things as they come….good night appa love u always   ure in our hearts and minds always… u smile at me from yr framed photo behind me… bless us and guide us daddy..as u always do… keep our family together and safe and healthy….om sairam

17 june 2021

Coffee, cricket, cinema, MVS… I’m caught in a time warp…we all are,

Caught between dreams, wants , needs and desires,

Remembrance is a chain of memories, moments, chats,

Photos, jokes, discussions, laughter, anger,

 touching, feeling, eating, watching, being together..

Searching, words, so easy to use, someone said,  is it? Harsh words, gentle words, strong words, joking words, there are many,

Easy to write?   I don’t know.

For me, words tumble out, as I see u daddy, but from pain

Of losing you, so suddenly, so far , where we couldn’t see you, 

Your laughing, searching eyes, your moving fingers, your words of assurance and advice, to still, my rumbling, rambling doubts…

  • Life’s a challenge. face it you always said
  • We got to  make the best of any situation: good, bad and ugly
  • Look ahead; learn from your mistakes
  • Count your blessings, be grateful
  • Enjoy life’s simple pleasures
  • Agree to disagree
  • Take things as they come
  • Every detail is important
  • Little things matter
  • Make the best of any situation, give your 100% effort
  • Have faith in god too, faith and prayer makes the world move around
  • Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration you quoted Einstein.

The past is immutable, the present is to move forward and the future beckons..  you showed appa in numerous ways.. we may not have known then, but we know now..  You always were right appa.

A new month has begun , life has to go on..

Today u would have been 86.. we would have been phoning or videocalling

You to wish you…. This year it won’t be , for God took you away

To keep you safe, from harm’s way… God took you away from us..

We are grieving… but we will continue to be guided by the values

You showed us by your example…

Happy birthday daddy as u celebrate in your heavenly home

U’ve touched hearts

U’ve touched lives

In ways ull never know

We r better people for

Having known you, dearest daddy

You were the very best

Moles, warts and all

As long as we live, u’re in our hearts n minds

Forever. Thank you Daddy for everything for being a Unique You. Blessed n proud to be MVS n KVS’s children 

 om shanthi om shanthi

may 6, 2022

always a very special day for us children. our parents wedding day , today would have been 56 years of togetherness. but no, our father was snatched away from us a year ago, barely 13 days later. feels weird and strange. it all happened so fast, so suddenly. daddy with age was physically frail. but his mind was sharp as always and alert too. we siblings would call, videocall or go home to spend time with our parents. covid times, strange but true., appa was caught bang in the most deadly time of the second wave of the raging pandemic last year. he was an ordinary man, who just cared about his family, had needs like any other; but the lessons he taught us all by his example remain; our parents were our guiding force in every way, though we never were conscious about it. a year has flown so fast, we all are coping somehow, but the pain of parting, of loss remain; we grapple with grief, doubts, uncertainties and still have issues. God alone knows how and why; never again seems a finality. we have all begun to move about , going about our routine, but behind it all, the mingling of sadness, of love for a father and a caring husband and missing him is endless , a kind of bottomless pit, echoing voices from the past; memories and moments jump up at odd times, photos make us recall.our lives continue. our dad used to say take things as they come. and so we shall dearest daddy.. we miss u so much.. ill never cease saying it. proud to be your children, u and amma rocked for 55 years.. its a tough act to follow for all of us. YOU WERE THE BEST ALWAYS AND FOR ETERNITY. GUIDE AND BLESS US APPA. YOUR KAMALA MISSES YOU . SOOTHE HER FEARS, KEEP HER CALM.. U WERE HER ANCHOR IN EVERY WAY. TODAYS POIGNANT MEMORIES LEAP UP AND DOWN. BUT LIFE HAS TO GO ON.. AND IT WILL.. LOVE U FOREVER DADDY OM SANTI SANTI.

Diwali without daddy… strange feelings and lingering memories

Diwali, the meanings, the celebrations are all entwined with family bonding, togetherness and more.  The festival of lights, of victory over evil, beyond the rituals and customs practiced across time and space, Diwali for me has always been about my parents and siblings.  A working couple, they ensured that all customs and traditions were followed strictly, looking back. I wonder how they managed it all given their commitments, 3 children and an aged mom. New clothes, sweets and savouries, temple visits, visit to relations if possible… always an open house

This diwali , sadly will be a first for us siblings and our mom.. unbelievable that it will be 6 months since our dad left his mortal coils. Unbearable but inevitable pain in varying degrees for all of us.  Where did the time fly? Diwali sans MVS: unbelievable but true.  We may not have celebrated together in the same house, but we’ll miss the early morning calls from appa, ‘viji,, happy diwali and our asirvathams’. i feel a pang every time i see daddy’s framed photo in my home, miss his gruff  and loving greetings across the telephone wire or when we visit, the happy and contented smiles , happy that we came at all.  over the years, appa had mellowed with age, but his enthusiasm for all things that was a celebration was undiminished.  his physical limitations notwithstanding, daddy’s memory was sharp.  He was our go-to doctor at home for any ailment and he had a ready tablet or advice.

Diwali without daddy, a lump, a tear and countless memories.. rewinding to 2018, when i had a satisfying time at home.. with amma and appa and my beta mugil… simple diwali, a happy diwali, spending precious time with my parents, eating together, taking some photos (so precious), how lovely to sift through those photos, each telling a tale.

if wishes were horses, i’d love to turn the clock back, but i can’t, not anymore. my father is no more, a void so deep, the pain of his passing creeps silently, its still unreal and weird for me, for all of us.  i miss his hands blessing us, his mudras(finger movements), his laughing and endearing voice poking fun at me, “govinda viji”, when i slip up  or  act silly;

diwali of my childhood at kasimedu, royapuram, in the North Madras (chennai now), was unique, special and fun .  from early mg oil bath, ganga snanam,  wearing new clothes  (shopping was an experience),  eating idly, chutney and ammas bakshanams( made over a few days after she came home from work, 7 cup cake, ribbon pakodas, mixture, diwali legiyam), having them all together as a family, and finally vedi vedi vedi… daddy would keep a big incense stick and all vedis outside along with my brother; TV time or cricket time too.. it was fun.. our paati was there too.. simple pleasures, joyful moments, friends dropping in, timeless appeal they all are.

Days and years have gone by, our dad and grandma too, many others too young and old; this past year has truly been a tumultuous and traumatic time for many of us.

Through it all, I believe, as my dad used to say, “move on, take things as they come, why do u worry?” This diwali, may be without my daddy, the first one of many more.. but i do believe that there is a light at  the end of this  long winding tunnel from 2020; the light of wisdom, the light of knowledge, the light of forgiveness and tolerance, the light of humanity, the light of courage and responsibility that will bind families and friends across this  earth.

And so, i wind up with the wise but true words from my dad,

Do your best, success will follow, take things as they come.

election year in many states.. post lockdown.. in the midst of yet another wave..

The tamasha continues… mudslinging.. taking pot shots, memes galore..across the states that go to the polls soon TN, West Bengal, kerala, Assam…have we not learnt anything? Has covid not taught anything? Sad to see but not so sad too… its a given that elections are a circus only.. that comes calling every 5 years… issues are sidetracked.. the real issues..the subjective experiences of pain, trauma, health, martyrdom, accidents, disabilities .. real people, not some nameless statistic in the record books… triumphs on the field, success by students, start ups by young people, the creative energy and initiative….these need to be highlighted big time. are elections really a game changer in the real sense of the word? making a qualitative difference in the lives of people? no no no.. we are sadly disillusioned.. good intentions by some yes.. but follow up and implementation leaves a big hole.. an apathetic citizenry herd immunity or herd mentality ? That’s the buzz word in my opinion… hoping things will really change for the better.. in more ways than one.

what an earth shattering year it has been…. scams, violence, sexual assault.. more colourful by the day… involving media, judges,,…. and at the end of the year… we find that honesty has prevailed…. cheers to the AAP and Arvind Kejriwal… hope u will deliver … and sustain the changes u seek to deliver…

a truly colourful, eventful 2013…. the good, the bad and the ugly…… but at the end of the day….. we find that honesty and integrity has triumphed at the turnstiles in the nation’s capital.. yes, it’s been some compromise.. u can’t call it any other…. the AAP and kejriwal have their tasks cut out… good luck arvind kejriwal and co.. god bless…. u can count on our people….but please.. stick to the core values that u have stressed and won over the people in delhi…