My Paati

Shoba with her Paatti and others

Reminiscing about old days is like living again. The thought about Jaya paati, my maternal grandmother, brings such deep feelings within me. Thiruvanmiyur is always associated with Jaya paati. As a child,I remember the 2nd Saturday trips Appa, Amma, Deepu and me used to make from Kodambakkam to Thiruvanmiyur. Amma used to have only 2nd Saturday as holiday and so its a ritual for us to have that day for Thiruvanmiyur. The bus journey from K to T is very allergic to me as I always get nauseated in bus travels. In spite of that, the day long stay in Thiruvanmiyur with paati, thatha and Hema chithi would bring joy inside me.

I have never seen Paati getting upset with anyone. Especially with me, I used to feel endless love with the way she looks at me. One thing I admire about paati is that she always talks positive about everyone. She always has praises for her grandchildren. Even now, Amma tells me how skilled paati was in managing the household, all the positive attitude paati had and their life in Pollachi. I have heard Amma say that paati used to make அப்பளம், வத்தல் appallam, vathal and other rare items from scratch. We never make these nowadays at home. I admire the patience she had. I become so tired managing just 2.

I remember the Kanupidi days, when all the siblings used to get together in paati’s house. Each family has a special item to bring for Kanu. Amma would make தேங்காய் சாதம் -thengai saadham (Coconut rice) and we all used to enjoy the variety of food. Paati would take us all to மொட்டை மாடி - mottai maadi (Balcony) and we would keep the பிடி - pidi there. It used to be fun when I get the pidi from paati and repeat the kannupidi phrases that paati asks me to say.(காக்காய் பிடி வைத்தேன....) click here to listen to Kanu song

When Deepu started going to Thiruvanmiyur in TVS Champ, I used to go with him. Paati used to always welcome us with a warm smile. Unlike me, Deepu had so many things to talk with paati. I used to listen to their conversations. Paati always appreciated us for having great sibling harmony and always commented on the fact that that we never fought. We just accepted her appreciation with a smile (she did not know the other side :-) ).

When I started working at Tidel Park, it used to be a 10 min walk from my work to Paati’s home. Sometimes, I would call and let her know that I'd come in the evening and she would be overjoyed with that. Each time she saw me, with a smiling face, she used to say என்னம்மா இப்படி எளைச்சுப் போய்ட்டே - ennama ippadi elachi poita. I have not tasted pomegranates much and I used to like the fruit salad she used to makes with pomegranate seeds included. I also used to love the chat that Hema Chithi got from Hot Chips (I think that’s the name of the shop).

I remember only 1 item I have bought for paati. It’s a தாத்தா, பாட்டி பொம்மை - thatha paati bommai (grandfather, grandmother doll) from Singapore. I never realized that such a small thing would bring great joy to her. She is such a simple person yet had a great impact in all our lives. I wish I had spent more time with paati and thatha. I only have memories now of the little time I spent with them but I will forever cherish those beautiful memories.

May 17, 2021