Thursday, December 8, 2016

The guardian




View from outside the door



 As I step out of the house after running all over the place to gather things, breakfast in one hand, a bag in another, and fretting about the morning status call that I am getting late to, I see it. Calm and composed. Steady and firm. It instantly eases me down. I feel the warmth of its embrace and almost hear its encouraging whispers. Its there, watching us live our lives. Silently. Unconditionally.

There is something about the unwavering presence of a large bounteous tree that re-instills faith in me, in the people and in this world. When I pass under its shade when coming back home, or when I am lazily strolling nearby, watching the geese family quacking merrily under its cover, I am reminded of my blessings and of the people who make it happen. Maybe because its just like those people. Not much ado. No bold promises. No loud declarations. Just silent assurances. They exist around you, like the air, like this tree, helping you breathe. Helping you live. For some it is God. For me its the two men in my life. I think this tree is a reminder of them. And an inspiration to be that tree for someone.

To be a Guardian.


Talking of guardians reminds me of Ajji and the culture of elderly presence in Indian households. Grandmas and Grandpas. Their wisdom, knowledge and old-fashioned charisma is in a way essential to keep the family values from dying. My family was once brimming with septuagenarians. Any wedding, and the first row was dotted with silver-haired heads. My cousin often joked that that was a danger zone. That if you happened to walk past them, there was always somebody who needed water, some-busy-body with an unapologetic curiosity asking penetrating questions, and if you hadn't already done, you would be obliged to touch their feet out of respect and melt in a volley of rough, awkward hugs. These were just the harmless side effects of having a generation amongst us that are a living reminder of our roots. They are the last straw that binds us as one huge family. Thanks to them, we know who our dad's uncles are, what kind of relationship they shared and what it took to keep them all together.

The number of silver-haired heads are getting fewer and fewer with passing years. And it scares me that one day, the remainder of us will just disintegrate and fade without our kids ever knowing who we grew up with and what our families looked like.



25 comments:

  1. Well said Sampada...

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  2. I normally don't use comments to plug my blog, but it is so strange that I featured a picture of a neighborhood tree today, along with an observation about what we call "The Greatest Generation". We must have been operating on somewhat similar wavelengths. I enjoyed the peek into your world. Would you believe there are senior housing developments in the United States that won't even permit children under 19 to visit for more than a few days - the generations never get to live together.

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    1. Thank you Alana for taking time to read. I didnt know about children under 19 not being allowed to stay with their grandparents for more days.. I wonder why would that be...

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  3. What a majestic tree this is.....Like the silver heads that ornate your household....I miss terribly my grandparents....and the tragedy is that my father and brother passed away too soon....Living upto a certain age for the little ones is something not happening much these days with the stress and the diseases that are slowly killing us....I just hope and pray that the ones who are still there in your family bestow all the blessing on you and I hope that despite the hurries of your life, you sit and chat with them as long as they are there.....

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    1. Sorry for your terrible loss Sunaina. Thanks for your wishes.

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  4. I terribly miss my grandparents :( You have beautifully penned your thoughts and I hope and pray that every kid gets the love that only grandparents can bestow on us.

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    1. Thanks Shalini! If you are married and you have kids, hope they get all the grand-parent love they possible could :)
      Thanks for reading :)

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  5. You have such an interesting blog. Thanks for sharing. I'm a life coach blogger. Reading blogs is my hobby and I randomly found your blog. I enjoyed reading your posts. All the best for your future blogging endeavors. Please keep in touch with me in Google+, +sridharchandrasekaran Twitter @lifecoachbloger

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  6. Awww, this reminded me of my ajji and aajoba! They were such chilled out souls! Not the kind who would give advice or ask penetrating questions, but the kind who pampered us silly and laughed with us. How I miss them today! True, these silver-haired sweethearts, with their soft wrinkly palms and their toothless grins bring a cheerfulness to the atmosphere in our homes. And, with their numbers dwindling with time, it does leave an achy hollow in our hearts, leaving us wondering who will help us learn more about our roots, who will enlighten us with stories about our families and who will pamper us with their unconditional love and warmth!
    Such a warm post, Sampada! <3

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    1. Such a warm comment Shilpa! You have said thr same thing better than me :) Thanks for dropping by !

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  7. Pampered Feelings.. irreplaceable People.. Nice one Sampadha Akka
    -Swetha

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  8. It is so true, Sampada. We, humans, are living on the edge these days - life style diseases are sure to take a toll on us. Don't we see the signs already? In addition to the climate changes. It ought to be a wonder if our life spans crossed 70 these days.

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  9. That's a beautiful tree Sampada. Actually I think all trees are beautiful and have so much to teach us. The way they weather the seasons stand tall graceful in their bare nakedness, unflinching against the harshest elements, supremely confident that their time will come, no matter what. If only I could have their patience and faith. I feel sad that I missed out on interacting adequately with my grandparents, although I do remember pestering my granny for stories and happily listening to the same story over and over again. Awesome post Sampada - you are blessed to have enjoyed the company of your grandparents.

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    1. You have summed it up so well Dahlia.. i feel the same about trees as you do. Their humble presence everywhere is a story of perseverence and strength. Thanks for your lovely comment.

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  10. Those gray heads are a treasure, aren't they? In spite of their keen-eyed probing and needs, they are the path that gently reminds us of who we are and where we're going.

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    1. Yes clee. They are a treasure ... they are what connects us to our past. Thanks for dropping by :)

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  11. I LOVE that tree! We have a tree in our yard that is a couple hundred years old, but it's nowhere NEAR as big as the one in your picture.

    It's lovely that you got to know the older generations of your family. Of my grandparents, I only really got to know one grandfather. Luckily on my husband's side, the families started younger. At my husband's paternal grandmother's 80th birthday, there were five generations present.

    Thank you for sharing your story. It's like wrapping up in a treasured family heirloom quilt.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading LuAnn! A 100 year old tree in your yard! Thats something :)

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  12. I love that tree! That's a fantastic pic. Great writing, too.

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  13. Well written and so true. I often feel sorry for gen next living in nuclear families. The affection of grandparents is matchless.

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