And he passed away…Today morning.
I went to see him after they told us..between blue curtains and overhead lights it felt like I was in a dream. And there he lay his unshaven face to a side, his eyes closed, his classic trademark silver white hair all astray on his forehead, his mouth wide open like his soul wriggled out without his consent.
I felt frozen like i was still stranded in a dream. There was haze all around me and all of it felt surreal. We went home and Periyamma was sitting in her usual chair facing the door and she was happy to see us and said come come…
I broke the news to her gently as I could and she was quite for a minute and then her face crumbled and she was too weak even to cry. We both hugged each other and cried our hearts out. She was light like a feather.
The hall was cleaned in minutes by the neighbours who suddenly appeared from everywhere, agarbattis were lit, a shamiana and red plastic chairs arrived and was laid in the entrance, the tamil speaking relatives arrived, the relations long lost were for a brief moment regained, the reunions of long lost blood lines..
And then he was bought home in an ambulance, covered in white, carried by men who were once dear to him. a lamp was lit by his head.
In the end a vadyar(priest who does the pooja for last rites) said a few mantras which his brother recited keeping periyappas head on his lap followed by a few rituals, Woman relatives opened our hair and sprinkled wster over his embamed body. A white kodi mundu was laid over him and he was carried outside.We offered our prayers by showering malaru over him and did the Namaskaram.
And that was it, the men took him in an ambulance accompanied by a few cars to the samoham where the cremation was done. In an hour we were left on our own my heart is aching there is such a big void.
My head is throbing and I am at loss of words. There is nothing in this world which is worser than grief. My heart is aching with it. I will miss him everyday for the rest of my life. Prayers that his soul has reached in heaven. Periyappa, I will always love you.