Remembering Jaya Paatti

Ramesh with Jaya paatti and others

My paati was a soft-spoken, very friendly, fun-loving, enterprising, demanding, caring personality. All these adjectives wholly suit her. Above all she was super smart in the sense that she took efforts in trying to learn things that she was not aware of. I had the privilege to spend maximum time with her during my childhood. I still remember my time with paatti in Marichetty Street, Mandaveli though I was only 6 at that time. I can picturise the house right from the grilled sit-out as you enter till the open light in the living area. I feel nostalgic as I write these line. Since my parents were both employed, I 'd be left with paatti. She would shower me with her love and affection.

Lastly, all my cousins (till atleast my 10th standard), used to camp in P&T colony (Kannan mama's house) or Adyar (my house) or Madhu's house and Paati's house regularly. We will wait for any occasion to meet up and have fun. Whenever we met in Paati's house with all cousins, she had so much stuff for us to keep munching (ranging from very old batchanams to some fresh sweets/snacks) for us - Eatables would keep flowing - God knows how much we ate every day. I clearly recollect Prasad and others ask her "Patti, this Suyyan is last Deepavali's or this year's?. She used to prepare "Fruit Salad" for all of us and we used to have it in that "Blue small cups" kept in the glass showcase near the dining table in the flat. Not to forget those election days when schools were shut and they used to telecast in doordarshan (our only TV entertainment besides carrom, chess, cards, etc.), Paati used to make special dishes for us when we stayed there. She used to feed us in hand while we all sat around her and eat a lot of extremely tasty food.

Jaya paati still lives in my memories strongly and I'm what I'm today because of her love, affection and blessings.

Ramesh Srinivasan
12th May 2021