Skip to main content

Guest Post by Raghu Krishnan: It was K who made the house a home, whether Chennai or Bengaluru

♥♥ This is the first Guest Post on Petals! in 2015. I thank senior journalist Raghu Krishnan sir with all my heart for allowing me to share his personal writing in memory of his beloved wife - Kalyani. ♥♥ 

I have never been to Chennai since K left. The sadness stays with me, as do the memories, though it is almost three years since she left at 5.20 pm on the evening of Tuesday, January 31, 2012.. 


December was when we took our annual leave and went to Chennai. We stayed in K's parents' home, a traditional house with a front garden and a rear well in the north-eastern Chennai suburb of Ayanavaram..

The other evening in Bengaluru, I heard the Sun TV news-announcer mention Purusuwalkam. And I remember setting off every morning with K in an auto after breakfast to take in the sights and sounds of Chennai.

                                                      [Image: Morguefile.com]

The evening-journeys back were even more relaxing since we were returning home. As the auto trundled over the Chetpat bridge, there was this ever-so-cozy feeling of nearing home.

There were so many ways of returning home, buses, autos, cabs. And so many routes, all of them made so comfortable by the streetlights of Chennai and the fragrance of jasmine.

Home is where I hang my hat, the American country singer Johnny Cash once sang. Home is where the heart is.

It's the people who make a house a home. Every December evening in Chennai, we returned to K's family home, where her sister Lakshmi welcomed us back for dinner with a smile. We returned home to who we were. Those days, I never had a doubt that there would always be a home.

It was K who made the house a home, whether Chennai or Bengaluru. She was so positive in everything she said and did, especially vis-a-vis me. She called me Rji, short for my Delhi cousins' reference to me as Raghuji. I once jokingly asked the maid to join me in shouting "K, K, down, down!". And K responded with an "Rji, up, up!"

I remember a cousin's colleague dropping by at home with his little boy who had this habit of looking up at his father now and then, and saying "You are not my friend." Days later, I jokingly told K, "You are not my friend." and immediately stopped when I noticed the tears in her eyes. Even in a joke she took her commitment to me seriously.

On her last stay in the Bengaluru hospital where she was being treated for multiple myeloma (cancer of the bone-marrow) and just days before the end, while she was still conscious, she rang up home one morning to speak to Mohana, the cook, which was something I heard about much later. 

"Mona," K said on the hospital-phone, "the day I go, you must prepare Rji's favourite dishes." Mona tried to stop her with an "Amma, don't talk like that." K continued, "On the day of the cremation, people will say no food should be cooked at home but you must quietly prepare Rji's favourite dishes without telling anyone." 

To put it simply, she cared for me.

And so I hardly stir out of the Bengaluru apartment and stay at home with the memories of a life together and December holidays in a Chennai house which has been demolished and converted into an apartment-block after Lakshmi's demise.

A German poet once wrote, "The lonely man will seek his loneliness". One can be alone for the rest of one's life without feeling lonely.

If poetry, as Wordsworth once observed, is emotions recollected in tranquillity, her life was a poem, complete in itself, and without an ego.

Some 13 years ago, K and I had gone to Thiruvaiyaru for the Thyagaraja Aradhana where the leading Carnatic musicians assemble together to sing the saint-composer's pancharatna kritis or five great compositions on the day he attained samadhi. In the foyer of the Thanjavur hotel where we were staying, K noticed the Carnatic music saxophonist Kadri Gopinath and went up to him and greeted him. "Do you sing or perform on an instrument?", he asked. "No," she said, "I am just a fan." 

And I remembered K and her friends telling each other how they would have liked to have worked as a maid in the house of the legendary M S Subbulakshmi just so that they could hear her sing.  

While writing this and sipping water from a tumbler where her initials--KRK--are inscribed, I realize that she could have married a much better person. I could not have found anyone better. 

About Raghu Krishnan: Raghu Krishnan is a senior journalist who is settled in Bangalore.

Comments

Most Popular Posts

The Ugly Truth about Caste in Kerala

Many years ago, when I wrote this post on Kerala's caste system, I had not considered the possibility that my thoughts and my personal journey would receive such online abuse or that I would be seen as some one who was trying to insult other castes. The intention of writing is always to share an experience and not to insult others. My experience of motherhood and marriage would be different from yours. When I write about my experience, it is illogical to shout that as being insulting to your experience because our journeys are entirely different narratives. 

My question is - why do you ABUSE any caste or person here? You are free to disagree but why do you ABUSE? How does that reflect on YOU?

In my article, I shared what trials I went through, without any intention to insult any community.The intention of my article is to question - why are we even exchanging insults over an issue called caste? 

Should we not be aspiring to be above caste considerations instead of abusing each other …

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Meaning, Benefit of Chanting and Who can Chant the Mantra

There are very few mantras that are as powerful as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Benefit of chanting this mantra
This mantra is believed to have the power to remove all sufferings, diseases and bestow the one who chants it with good health and long life. It is also believed that constant contemplation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra can help spiritual aspirants to overcome the cycle of birth and death.
What got me fascinated about this mantra is something personal.  I learned this mantra from my father but it is my maternal grandmother who chanted it all the time and repeatedly told me of its tremendous power to protect. However, I did not chant this mantra regularly. [ Do READ: THE POWER OF LOVE]
But at the age of two, my son was taught some mantras by my mother who explained what it means to him and he became very enthusiastic about chanting the mantras. Following this, my mother taught him the Maha Mrity…

Amazing Signs You are an Earth Angel

Doreen Virtue’s book, “Assertiveness for Earth Angels” brings to life the reality of Earth Angels in very easy way. It’s an exciting must-read! 

[DO READ: The POWER OF LOVE]

Earth Angels have amazing superpowers in: MusicArtsWriting HealingManifesting miracles for others such as controlling weather conditions and  becoming invisible at will.[MUST READ: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He loves]
http://petalsfromtheheart.blogspot.in/2017/09/a-dads-advice-to-daughter-he-loves-be.html


DO READ: ASK MORE, FEAR LESS.

How to Identify Earth Angels by their Traits
To know whether you are an Earth Angel, take a look at their known traits that are explained in this book:


You have a graceful and compassionate aura that inspires people.Your presence “lifts” everyone to happier spirits – it is proof of who you really are.You don’t judge others but you overdo the “acceptance” bit. So, you tolerate even those who show no respect for boundaries.You cannot stand anyone suffering or being in pain. You are co…

A Dad's advice to the daughter he loves: Be yourself, remember you are special and treasure your strengths

Just a week ago, Dad gave me a very emotional pep talk at the Bangalore airport. The good thing is that whenever I feel emotionally vulnerable or stressed out, I replay Dad's conversation. It lifts me up and instantly brings a huge smile to my face. That's my Dad - yeah! 




As a teenager, Bangalore used to be one of my favorite cities though the garden city was not as ''global'' and ''vibrant'' as it is today. It was a pretty cool place to go shopping for stylish accessories, not that I could splurge and go crazy with shopping but I could do so on a limited budget. So, I used to look forward to our summer trips to Bangalore, from where we would head out to Whitefield. 

The busy, broad streets, the scent of street food and the vibrant atmosphere had always perked me up every time I reached Bangalore. Be it heading to Puttaparthi or Whitefield, my parents and I have traveled to Bangalore so many times that it became a kind of ''routine'…

Five ways to take charge of your anger

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems -- not people; to focus your energies on answers -- not excuses.” ― William Arthur Ward
Every day, the newspaper headlines are full of scary stories of people killing each other over trivial things - mostly these incidents happen when individuals lose their temper and turn violent. In traffic jams across Noida in the evenings, people don't hesitate to walk out and hit each other. No one stops anyone. Everyone likes a big, bad fight. It's great to vent. After all, what's the big deal about getting angry? After all, if you cannot express what pisses you off, how can you call yourself human? 

[Source: Pixabay] Here's what I think: Anger is an egoistic projection of our own minds.  It also stems from an expectation that has not been fulfilled.

People who get angry easily do not respond to situations rationally.  It destroys them first before it goes out and delivers blows to others around. That is why spiritual masters ask peopl…

Top 10 Skincare tips for Summer

Come summer, and we women worry a lot about how the sun lashes out on our skin. True, skincare tips for the summer are plenty but what about the hushed secrets - yes, those tried and tested family secrets that are passed on from mother to daughters? [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]




Here are some that are totally easy to do. Best of all, these are effective and bring on a feel-good factor in the peak of summer.

1. Replace water with rosewater. It keeps your skin luminous and fragrant throughout the day. It's a good toner too.

2. Cleanse your skin by combining these ingredients - honey, milk, rosewater/rosepetals and turmeric. Add a dash of olive oil and yes, it feels wonderful.

3. Almond oil body baths are a must-have! You will smell delicious all day. This summer, skip all those body lotions & moisturizers! You will love the way almond oil pampers your skin all day!

4. Use a mixture of almond oil and olive oil for your feet. Your feet will sparkle an…

Gayatri Mantra as Panchamukhi: Get it right or let it go

Most people do not understand the importance of chanting the Gayatri mantra because they are not aware of its power. It is only when I began to read Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's teachings that I learned how sacred and powerful the chanting of the Gayatri mantra is.
The Vedas represent the breath of God. The Gayatri mantra is the very basis of the Vedas. Try not to undertake chanting the Gayatri mantra as a light endeavor or as a hobby. It has to be chanted with faith, discipline and purity of mind and body. Be steady with your sadhana if you want to reap the spiritual dividend associated with the Gayatri mantra  and never once hesitate once you decide to do it.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba said that the Gayatri Mantra is referred to as Pancha Mukhi, the Goddess with five faces that represent the five pranas or life forces. Here's more on it.


Chant the Gayatri Mantra correctly: Pause Five Times Here are some important things to keep in mind while chanting the Gayatri mantra:

1. Wh…

Premam Malayalam Movie Review: A Superb Entertaining Love Story in which Nivin Pauly conquers hearts and Sai Pallavi is a delight to watch

Alphonse Puthren's Malayalam movie "Premam" starring Nivin Pauly has been a most talked about film as Malayalis across the world have shown great love for "Premam."  
"Premam" is a movie that will take you back to the bittersweet memories of your first love, second love and maybe, third and final love!
[Image credit: Google Images]
Premam Malayalam Movie Review: Butterflies are mentally mental, so is love
I had a big smile on my face when I read the words "Butterflies are mentally mental, so is love" on the screen. This was shown just before the credits started to show.
It marks the perfect beginning to a "nutcase" love story! I was all set to enjoy this delicious tale of teenage crush, love & mature love - the phases that each of us have gone through in this journey of life at some time or the other.
Premam Malayalam Movie Review: Story
Premam's story revolves around the butterfly-like, romantic journey of  George David (Nivin Pa…

Anju Sundarikal Malayalam Movie Review: Dulquar Salman in full throttle, Fahadh Faasil disappoints

Anju Sundarikal, as the title suggests 'Five Beautiful Women,' is a poignant anthology of five short films that celebrate five female protagonists and their tumultous lives. These five films play on different themes and emotions, and on the whole, it is an interesting anthology.

Anju Sundarikal - Sethulakshmi The first film, Sethulakshmi, is a heart-wrenching portrayal of sexual abuse of a small girl whose hobby is to collect newspaper clippings of newly wed couples from newspapers and she embarks on getting a similar photograph taken of herself with her best buddy from school. What appears as an innocent wish is the honeytrap that leads the little girl to understand the meaning of fear. 
Each scene in Sethulakshmi seemed to tear into my heart, particularly in a scene where the photographer's hands and glance linger a tad too obscenely on the innocent, unsuspecting girl whose eyes are filled with fear. There is another scene where she is so frightened that she curls up at the…

Why chant Ramayana during the month of Karkidakam

For Keralites across the world who follow the Malayalam calendar, today marks the beginning of the month of Karkidakam. This month, which, decades ago, was known and slightly feared for its torrential rains and negative impact on the health, wealth and well being of Kerala's rural community. 
Why chant Ramayana during Karkidakam To ward off the negative energy unleashed by Nature and its possible repercussions on one's family's overall well being, the wise elders introduced the timeless tradition of every family reading the Ramayana as an oral, spiritual tradition. Thus, it goes without saying that for Keralites who embrace these traditions, the act of reading the Ramayana is as much a spiritual cleansing as it is a kind of tradition they can pass on to bond with their loved family members, particularly children.
In the Ramayana, there is no 'preaching of principles' but you are taken through the Avatar's journey as a human being. Lord Rama depicts how a man shoul…