Dr. S. Anandalakshmy, my dear teacher, friend, and life-long mentor, passed away on the 13th March, 2019.
One Month Later…
It’s just been a month, but it feels endless:
This month full of loss, of absence.
Of no more calls from that number,
No messages on WhatsApp, no mails.
Impossible to imagine Ma’am’s home
Without her warm presence.
The heart and mind are full of loss
Acceptance, too: Life is finite.
It has to be.
Love isn’t though: it lasts,
Way beyond this mortal coil,
In the memories of so many…
My magic years in Gummidipoondi
Which meant frequent visits,
Often early in the morning,
After dropping the spouse at the airport.
Ma’am and Kalyan, my bonus Ma’am,
Would mostly appear draped in the same colours
Sheer twinly serendipity!
Ma’am giving me hearty breakfasts
of crisp dosai and hot coffee
endless lunches at that table,
always creative meals, with warm rasam,
something exotic and unusual,
Kalyan and I sharing our diabetic indiscretions!
Shopping for sarees with Ma’am,
At Nalli’s, and Sundari Silks,
Concerts, Lalgudi Jayaraman and TM Krishna
The magic was constant.
Of course I was privileged
I had Ma’am come and stay with me,
In Kochi and Kolkata (once with Moni).
I came to the old house, too,
And was blessed to meet Amma.
Kalyan gave us chamomile tea the first time I visited
( from Kochi, for a wedding, with my daughter’s friend).
Ma’am gave and gave and gave
So much of herself, to me, to my family,
And to so many more.
I hope I could give her something too,
I hope she knew how much I loved and admired her.
She gave me so much strength whenever I needed it
With her uncommon good sense and wisdom.
I think of Kabir’s verse on the guru,
Who like the potter, firmly removes imperfections
from the pot he is shaping
while providing a supporting hand from within.
(Guru kumhaar shish kumbh hai,
gadhi gadhi kaadhey khot
Antar haath sahaar de,
baahar baahey chot).
That was what Ma'am did for me
and for so very many others.
I was truly blessed to have had her
in my life for nearly forty seven years!