During this difficult time of Corona virus outbreak, how can we as women cope better and support each other? Check our special feed and learn more!

The Companion

Posted: August 4, 2020

Childhood memories are something where actual happiness resides.

The huge mango tree with thick trunk, long branches, full of green leaves fluttering in wind and dozens of green mangoes, standing in the backyard of paternal home always made me think, what is so special about this tree? Why grandma starts her day and ends her night with the sight of this tree. She always said, let you be 15 and I will reveal my wildest secret, winking.

Packing my luggage for the most awaited trip of the year with lot of excitement to meet my grandma, summer days started and Yes …I was 15. Like everyone “Dadi ke pas janne ka time” was the best escape to a whole new period of elation and comfort.

Since my birth, we traveled all the way from Indore to the Gods very own country once a year to meet my paternal and maternal family.

I adored the place so much. There was peace. A beauty to fall for again and again. Moreover, there I had my grandmother, who waited for the whole year preparing various things for me, be it delicious dishes or some handmade crafts. Though a 20 days visit it was, but it always gave me so much to remember for a year dragging me in to the craving for subsequent year’s vacation.

Amuma’s Memories

For my grandma old age was never a excuse to skip doing things. She was bold, beautiful with her white thick locks of hair and a not so lean yet not obese body type.

After a tiring 2 and half days rail journey, the train stopped at Palakad junction. Stepping out of the station we got a taxi and reached my grandma’s place.
The gorgeous lady in her cream cotton sari sitting in the kitchen varanda busy cutting the jackfruits.
“Work fast Suparna (her maid), they all will arrive anytime, I want the jackfruit chips to be ready by then. Its Gauri’s favourite.” screaming on the maid she turned to see me standing with a bright smiling face. I ran to hug her. She embraced me.
“Amuma (grandma in malayalam) oh, I missed you so much”, kissing her sagging cheeks. The, once an iron lady Bhargavi Amma has now started showing signs of senescence, her pale and wrinkled skin made me realize we have not given her enough time from our so called busy lives and least we knew that this charming lady is nearing to the inevitable old days.
I bathed, ate delicious lunch prepared by grandma, its aroma acting as a therapy for my soul.
Sitting in the varanda, head resting on her lap, my eyes fell on the huge mango tree. I suddenly got up… “Amuma, I am 15 now you have a revelation to make, the secret behind this mango tree.”
 Smiling and moving her fingers over my hair, she took a deep breath and started.. “It’s not just a mango tree sweetheart, for me it’s your grandfather’s only memory in hand. Not only a memory, but he himself. The days when I miss him and my heart wail remembering our golden time when I was young and so in love with him, Life was beautiful then….I spend whole day with my loving tree…. It hugs me with breeze, someday giving me its sweetest fruit, falling on my lap… We keep on talking from dawn to sunset. It is the only companion I have in this huge house. It has been 42 long years still I remember the day when he came running to the kitchen holding a sapling. Hugging me from behind, he whispered softly in to my ears… SURPRISE… handing it to me he said “Our sign of love it is, one day you will be alone in this big house missing US. Though far away yet too close to hug you with my wide arms, I will be standing in your garden as your big mango tree” (she was blushing, her face glowing with no sign of old age unveiling) “The very next day my life shattered, when a community riot snatched away all the happiness , encroaching my life leaving me and your dad alone to fight against the world”. Tears rolled down continuously from her sunken eyes. I got hold of her hand, hugging her tightly so as to stick all the broken pieces.
Both of us kept mum for a while. She walked close to the tree and stood there. I left the place leaving grandma with her companion. Days passed , it was time to leave. Before getting in to the taxi I bid goodbye to Amuma… And ran to the mango tree hugging the huge trunk, I whispered good bye Apupa (grandfather in malayalam).

Companions Remembered Forever

Getting back to the daily city life, I almost forgot the mango tree and the secret behind…. I was stuck with my studies and could not get back to my native place. Amuma kept calling us, it’s been 2 years but we were unable to go. Her last call, though not realising will actually be the last one, only said one thing….”I may not make it to one more vacation Gauri…..” This hit us hard. We decided to visit her. Tickets were booked. But before we could reach, she left us. With no pictures to recollect her glowing skin, but with lots of memories and unsaid words she left us without even bidding a good bye.
It’s been 3 years now. Grandma was long lost and her mango tree still stood there, but no more green lustrous leaves, huge branches, sweet fruits as if it was devastated by the loss of its truest companion. The tree never produced any more mangoes…..
That day I recalled her words…. I understood it more clearly now. It was her love that kept the tree young and verdant….

Now the empty house with the deceased mango tree was not a place to seek happiness….every pillar of the house missed her… And in her absence everything was weeping.

Today, planting my very first sapling, holding the tiny beauty ,my grandmom’s words came running to my mind. Neither she nor her companion will relive but memories will always be living in my little heart.

The lost days will never come back but childhood memories are those beautiful dreams that stay with us all our lives.

A Writer by heart and Doctor by profession, love starting the day with language and

Learn More

How To Combine Career With Motherhood

Comments

Share your thoughts! [Be civil. No personal attacks. Longer comment policy in our footer!]

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

Do you want to be part of a network curated for working women?

""