I was talking to serendipiduous about me and he mentioned two things which struck out -
1. I have a very masculine view of life
2. I am blindly/unconditionally in love with KT, which he finds inspirational.
About the first point, perhaps I will talk in a separate blog.
About the fact about blind love for KT, again I will talk about in a new post. Infact, I would ask KT to make a post about it too, or better we could do a post together. Because, amongst my very close friends in Hyd, I have known a lot of people who adore the fact that we have stuck with each other so long and love seeing us that way...and a few others who pretend they like it but abhor it at heart.
About the second again, somehow while talking to serendipiduous, I was reminded of mymama (a word for grandmother in oriya/chattisgarhi) when he said he might never know what love is.
She is somewhere between 80-90 years old and still insists on following all the rituals that her body allows her. Being the one, who used to accompany her to temples and the one who read out the Bhagvad Gita, The Krishna Puran, The Mahabharat, The Ramayana, while she could not read it herself, I generally have had a lot of time to talk to her about religion, rituals, and all the fasts she keeps, etc. Obviously enough, seeing her old and struggle through all her rituals and fasts, I have advised her innumerable times to skip them and take care of her health instead. That there is no need for such rituals and sometimes even tried to push my half-modern, half-formed views of atheism or better say lack of religious rituals or religion that I try to follow. She always resisted my attempts saying, it is important for her to do all those things, that Bhakti is the state that she wanted to attain, that is the only thing keeping her going at her age. It was hard for me to understand what she really meant by Bhakti. For my ignorant mind Bhakti most often than not translates to being religious and for me my grandma was infact very religious. Epitome perhaps.
Last time when I visited home, she wasn't keeping that well, so I spent a lot of my late morning hours with her helping her with her pooja and other stuff. Once, while I was reading out the Geeta to her, she asked me if I really understood what she meant by Bhakti. It was no use showing my malformed intelligence to her, she would have seen through it in a jiffy. So, I just nodded my head for a no, perplexed at having her read my mind. She very nicely explained, Bhakti was devotion, complete submission of the self, unconditional love....and many more synonyms followed. She said, when me and all my cousins were kids, she saw un-comparable bhakti in each of us, bhakti for our parents & grandparents, bhakti for our teachers, bhakti for our older siblings/cousins. And curious enough, I asked, doesn't she see it in us now? She didn't answer that directly, but instead said bhakti can be attained only by simplicity and you need a simple heart, mind, and soul for it. Fair enough, I thought.
While writing all this, I was visualizing mama in her bade bhittar (chattisgarhi for big inner room) with the new fan, I replaced this time I was home, making slow circles over her head, she staring at it, perhaps thinking about all her clan, about her childhood, waiting for one of us, one of her grandchildrens to return home, packing some of the goodies she always has hidden for us. Its funny, but she remembers how each one of us is fond of a particular delicacy only she makes and would bring it out from her wooden almirah, when we go to meet her even today. For me it was always, the sweet n sour aam papda she makes during summers :)