A journey.

Kerala, known the world over as God’s own country, true to its well earned sobriquet, is a magical place. I must have been there more than a hundred times --(as my dad and mom both grew up in this place) as a child and as an adult. (Had written a post about it once. Click here to read it and click on 'kerala' for official website) My mom, still lives there, in a very picturesque cottage, surrounded by a lovely garden that she tends to, herself. It is picture perfect, serene, peaceful and an oasis for city wracked nerves. Here are some pictures. (yes--that's my mom,kids and me in the pics)

This is however, the first time, that I will be going there alone. All by myself. No parents, no sibling, no husband, no kids. It is a journey I have to make. And I want to make. I’m going there to meet my mom and spend a few days with her. I don’t want her to be alone on September 7th.It was last year on this day that my dad died. It has been exactly a year since I went back to Kerala.

In a way, I was running. Each and everything there, holds too many precious, happy memories. Each turn that the road takes is going to remind me of something my dad said or how he once drove on these roads. Many of the trees that he planted there (and they have a beautiful garden) is going to painfully remind me of his loving hands that tended them. The river where he taught me to swim, the small shop where he used to buy me lemon sodas, the rubber estates where we used to have our walks, the kids to whom he used to teach conversational English—I’ll have to face all of it.
The place where they stay is a tiny village and my dad was a well known figure there. Whenever, we ‘city dwellers’ visit, there is always excitement and curiosity generated.
Nobody there understands or speaks English, and my kids and I are always, a ‘novelty’ when we visit. The people are very friendly and sweet. They had gathered in multitudes when my dad passed away and had helped so much. At that time I was in no frame of mind to even talk.This time I will have to.

I used to think that one truly becomes an adult when one has one’s own child. But now I feel that somehow, you grow up, when you lose a parent.

I did.


  1. Hey PS. I wish that God grants you all the strength you would need to make this trip. Remember your daddy the way he would have liked you to. All the best...


  2. Hey PS. I wish that God grants you all the strength you would need to make this trip. Remember your daddy the way he would have liked you to. All the best...


  3. You are right to go there.Your Mother will be so pleased that you have given of your time to be with her.My thoughts go with you and I know that this is something you HAVE to do.

  4. Both situations seem really life-changing for me, so I think it may be both.
    Be strong and I'm sure it will be good for you and your Mother. At least you'll be in a lovely place and that's something to start with.
    Have a good journey.

  5. This is such a moving piece of writing, full of love. I wish you all the strength when you go home.
    I agree that you certainly grow up when you lose a parent.

  6. A heartwarming read. Its thoughtful and wonderful of ya to spend time with ya mum.:) Have a great one.;)

    ***But now I feel that somehow, you grow up, when you lose a parent.I did.

    Hmm..I've never experience that one. But thinking of it has got me working towards some changes at home.:)

    I love this post!:D beautiful pics.


  7. PS those r very beautiful SERENE pics of Kerala n ur family! Is that ur mum? awww...

    ur going there soon? so what abt ur mum? isnt she there?

    ** feel that somehow, you grow up, when you lose a parent.

    So true! that happened to me when I was 16...


  8. Ritu:Thank you my friend.

    Niall:You are right.My mom is indeed delighted.

    Devil Mood:Yes--I guess it is both.The feeling of being completely responsible for another individual(when you have your own child) is overwhelming.So is when you realise that the people who brought you up and were there for you always, no longer are.

    Marja:Thank you my friend.

    SSC:Thank you.Glad it helped in some way.

    Keshi:Yes--thats my mom.Am going there on 6th to spend a few days with her.

  9. Its kinda sad when the child becomes the parent as we grow older. Iam glad your mother has u for comfort...

    hve a calm and serene vacation...

  10. Been a looooong time since I checked your blog. I just rushed through this entry as i wanted to catch you before you left for home.
    I just wanted to say this piece was very very touching. I know how hard this journey is going to be for you. I know how strong you need to be for your mom.So I wish you all the strength that you are going to need!!! I send you my strength too for the days that you are going to have to put up a BRAVE FRONT for your mom!!!

  11. Tys:Your words mean a lot.Thank you.

    Gayathri:Thanks, Babbiakka--coming from you it carries so much weight because you have been through it all.I really look up to for inspiration & support.

  12. I read a book "The Orphan Adult" - speaks about how much it affects an adult when the parent demises all on a sudden.

    I hope you would have a great time off with your mom and have a good vacation - if I can call it that way. And I feel a bit odd and I am in no position to empathize you. All I feel is hope you got the force with you. Have a good one.

  13. It sounds like it will be a difficult visit for you but also I think a good one. It will be painful for you to see things and have to talk to people too, but it will also truly show that your father touched so many lives in so many ways. In time, I hope that these things will become more comforting.

    It si good that your mother and you will be together for this day. Have a safe trip.

  14. Hey Preeti,

    Please check out blog. You are tagged! :D

  15. how nice! She looks like a beautiful person..her face tells me so.


  16. I loved this post. Wahtever you've written has touched my heart...
    And Amazing pics :)

  17. Vidya:will do.

    Keshi:She is amazing.Will write a post about her sometime!

    Adi:Thanks so much.I leave tomorrow.

  18. hey...i can understand each and every word u put there...i know how it feels.:-(
    i guess this same feeling whenever i came back home...like u said..each and every turn reminds me of some stories or words of advice my grandfather gave me some days ago...But like my mom tels me, that he would always want to see me smiling, please try and flash that electrifying smile of urs when u go there..i am sure ur dad always wants to c u smiling too and he wont like to c a single tear..right?
    Take care of urs and ur mom too...may god bless you both and give u the strenght that u truly need now.

  19. Akanksha:Thank you so much for your kind words.You have no idea how much they help.I leave tomorrow morn.Its not going to be as aesy trip--but I have to go. You take care and I'll scrap you on orkut when I get back.

  20. I agre w/ you when my Mother in Law dies we all grew up but not all was good but that is LIFE do you know this Lady http://dosamma.blogspot.com/
    she has family in Kerala and speaks of it often it is beautiful from all your pictures

  21. Please Take Care...just a suggestion...y dont you ask aunty to come with you? I mean that will make both of u feel better during this tough time.Being around loved ones and people who care makes a difference.

  22. My heart goes out to you. I cannot empathize; I still have both parents. But a year ago this September 8th, I lost my MIL.
    Not quite the same thing I realize. But I can sympathize with your journey. You will be reminded of him at every turn. That is a good thing. Parents leave such a mark on us. I can imagine in death, a part of us dies with them. After all, they brought us into the world. Being that we are all connected, part of us goes with them when they die, I can only imagine. Hugging you today my sweet friend. Hugging you for your Dad, who was so proud of you. I know this because I am a parent. I have such huge undying love for my children, surely then other parents must feel the same way for their children. So I know your Dad was/is immensely and fiercely proud, of you, this intelligent, wise, loving, creative and wonderful woman.

  23. God bless you! Take care. Dont know what else to say, maybe just take care, my thoughts will be there with you.

  24. I'd love to read that.


  25. Preeti,

    I am sorry.I had not read the blog post when I left you a comment about the tag! Now that I have, I feel like a bum! I hope you find the strength to live through this! Remember, even this day will pass!


  26. This is going to be a very spiritual moment for you. I wish you peace and love.

    The pictures are very pretty. Those plants are very familiar..we have them here as well...

    I love your mother's smile...

  27. I'm sorry for your loss. I guess your theory explains why I haven't grown up yet.

  28. Hang in there PS.
    Hugs :(

  29. Anonymous3:01 PM

    Revisiting certain memories is always a bit difficult, but as they say.. time puts everything in perspective.

    The last part is very well put.

    Stay strong.

  30. Preti,

    Popping in. I see a very nice new theme. I'll be updating your avatar on Soup to something that matches.

    Three new paintings up on Soup. One has a big PDF download for you.

    I have an additional (apparently one site was not enough) second site now where I write under a pen name “Ben”. The site is topic specific "Get Back to Let It Be...Dissected" at http://letitbedissected.blogspot.com/

    "Ben" is my alter-ego or Pen Name, since this is where I'll publish a multi-media book that takes a look at 10,000 years of the making of "Popular Culture" and how it all fed into one month of the Beatles' career: January of 1969, which I examine in extreme minute by minute detail. This is where the 1960's dream too an exit off the freeway of liberal progressive ascendancy, and began the slow journey down the dead end read leading to George Bush (who will soon be flushed down drain of history).

    If you like, you may quietly sneak the new site and Ben into your link list w/o saying anything about Ben.

    That said, this is a beautiful post. Yes, I think we do not really grow up fully until we are an orphan, with no parent to turn to. I was thinking this just last night. I took a long 8 mile walk and was at a spot that I was last at two years ago. When I was last there I remembered taking out my cell phone and calling my mother back home to make sure that’s he was alright. This memory started a short 15 second cry last night as I walked in the evening light. It was then that I had the same thought that you expressed.

    Yes, be alone w/o husband and kids with your mother. She has a beautiful garden which reflects her, and your father’s soul!

    Cheers, Will

  31. PS: what a beautiful picture of you and your kitty cat!

  32. here is a youtube vid that related to my second blog


  33. Hi Preets!!
    What a lovely peice that blog is & who will understand it better than me how painful the "return journey" must have been.But like all other occasions you must have faced it bravely with that eversmiling face of yours hiding all the pain & misery the journey itself must have rekindled. Yes you have really "grown up" since that fateful day last year & have emerged into a person we would all like to be if ever faced with a simmilar situation

  34. Blue:Thank you my friend--thank you.Words fail me--I shall write a post soon, expressing what i feel.

    Vidya:Its ok!I shall do the tag soon.

    Ankit:I will!

    LadyLuxie:Thank you.

    Joyismygoal:I too shall post more pictures soon.

    Vik,Keshi:Thank you.

    Diesel:The really sad part is that we all have to grow up.Sometime.

  35. Lifeisa gift:I shall rememeber your words My friend.

    T-bird:Thanks! Not my cat--just a stray that i feel sorry for and I feed it and pet it.

    Kaylee:hope you feel better by the time you read this.

    Dames diary:Thank you.

  36. J;hope you are doing good in your new job.Thanks pal.

  37. preethiakka,
    one year.. doent feel that way.. i know its hard to establish the loss of a loved one in ones mind. but be brave..Nice pictures n loved the way u ended the post..

  38. This is my first visit to your site, and the first piece of yours I have read.

    I found it most moving.

    I have visited much of India - I came back from Delhi a few weeks ago, and Kerala is on my list for a future visit. I have Marja to think for introducing me to you.

    God speed.

  39. Diya:yes--it really doesnt feel like on year.

    Keith:Loved your latest post.Have bookmarked you.

  40. Preeti, so you are a model daughter too... this post has touched my heart. Your mom would've been very happy to have you by her side on a difficult day.


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