Life should have a purpose, other than eating and sleeping. (I’m not underestimating the role of eating and sleeping , which are the basic needs).
In USA , my sons and their wives, my daughter and her husband, treated me like a VIP guest in a 5 star hotel. But, I was living there for myself as in no way, I was useful to them. One should live for others too, whatever be the age, provided he is not bedridden. Had my wife been alive, she would have been useful to our children. I can’t drive their cars and if I touch the steering wheel, the vehicle will turn to a
Pushoakavimanam and fly up! I did babysitting for a few seconds and she started yelling as if I was there to kidnap her!
This was how I started teaching Shreya- aswathy, bharani—-! Do you think a girl born in USA going to pre-school will like my coaching. But she was so good that she learnt not only the names of stars but many more Malayalam words.
‘You have done enough for the family, dad. It is our turn now, to look after you’, was my children’s approach, when I offered my services . Good children. May they live long happily! I wanted to have more children, but my wife was not prepared. If I could do on my own, I would have created not less than a dozen kids.
Man wishes, wife disposes !
As if to compensate my lethargic life in USA, God has created an opportunity to serve a disabled, my younger brother Vicha. I get much satisfaction while serving food for my brother, when I thankfully recall Megh prompting me a dozen times, to come to the table, not food kept ready on the table.
Vicha enjoys good food, typical Kerala type. Pappadam is a must. No need to fry it. Chutta pappadam, roasted in the flame would do. That too just one piece. He enjoys good filter coffee.
‘Anna, kappi konjam koodae irukku? Some more coffee available ?
‘People from Palakkad can’t enjoy their meal without pappadam ‘, he tells Lakshmi, our cook, who is from Hyderabad. But his trade mark is, chukku vellam or medicated warm water or even plain warm water. The moment he sits for food he asks for that and before going to bed too, a vessel full of water has to be kept near him. I believe that it is perhaps his sumptuous water consumption that has saved his kidneys getting damaged, despite his high blood sugar, many a time. And it could be his long walks during his young days that keeps his knees trim now. But diabetes has affected his eye sight badly, though not all that badly when he watches through the corner of an eye which woman comes in and what is her business with me!
‘Antha stree aaru- who is that woman, who came in now?’
is his standard question.
We can’t choose our siblings and that one reason alone shows their importance for us. Considering my own unsatisfactory health my children didn’t accept my option to come to India, but I had to convince them how I’m left with no option but to come here to help my brother. I hope that God maintains my health too while improving my brother’s health. He should and He will, I know.
And in this hall, which was like a kalyanamandapam for many years, where my wife moved silently, where my children grew, one by one and all together, where many happy celebrations took place , today we two old siblings are living and I can say living happily despite a defect in our lower limbs. It is a big consolation, still our legs exist though with a defect. It is a bliss that our body exists and if the body exists, in a fairly usable condition, what’s there to worry with a brother nearby to keep a close watch on me?