This day in April is always about remembering you. Remembering the Vishu* that never was.
It is also about allowing myself to acknowledge all that I lost 26 years ago. A sapling of a six year old who didn’t really understand.
For believing in me, for seeing past my rambunctious, attention-seeking antics and getting to the core of a little girl who wanted very little more than affirmation.
For all the hours spent perched atop your ample stomach, in your easy chair, reading books upside down with great, loud gusto, while you calmly went on editing your books and correcting your papers.
For the hours spent in your lap when I finally learnt to read the right way, and your gentle, uncritical guidance when I stumbled.
For waking me up gently every single morning and letting me sleep in your arms while you brushed my teeth. I was never a morning person and you were unusually respectful of that.
For saving me, time and again from the wrath of my grandmother, whose ferocious temper I had clearly inherited. You would intervene gently to calm the two volatile beings in your home.
For all the tender childhood memories I can truly treasure.
Time may have been miserly, but fortunately that word could never apply to your love.
On your day, Achappa**, here is a little Vishu offering plucked and arranged by your great-grandson.
*New Year celebration in Kerala, India. Traditionally falls in mid April.
**The name my creative sibling came up with for our paternal grandfather.