Monday, July 03, 2006

fleurs de lis...


Photo by - Endevourme
She was born somewhere around 1890. Got married at the age of 12, gave birth to a son. Her husband died when she was just 16, and remaining 90 years her life she spent as a widow.
And yet, she was the happiest and the most satisfied person i have ever seen.
She was ... my great-grandmother...

The immediate picture of her which comes to my mind is sitting by a window, staring at the slow drag of people passing by in the market below. Everyone of us used to call her 'aai', means mother.

She was an authority, keeping a huge combined family together. She had eyes full of kindness and used to take good care of us, kids. Sometimes she used to scold us, but we knew that it was temporary. I still remember getting 50 paisa from her for icecream-wala in the market. Because of her, our house was very particular about guests and it was understood that no guest should leave without taking food.

After her husband's death, she had to struggle for herself and her son. She started and succesfully run a small hotel, in pre independence times when it was very difficult for a woman to even work outside.
I remember the night she died. That day there was no electricity.
The house was dark, a candle was burning quietly in the corner. I was sad, but i didnt feel like crying.
There were no regrets, nothing left to be done.
She had always lived with dignity, and never wanted a life which is dependent on others.
There is one point for everything when we should quit gracefully, even ...life....
She lived a life around 105, owing to the fact that she was mentally very strong and highly balanced. Inspite of the tragedies and struggle she had to go through, she was the most satisfied and complete human being i have ever seen in my life.

My tribute to the sacred feminine....

36 comments:

Pritika Gupta said...

hey u reminded me of my grand mother.. she is 90.. this time i met her on my engagement.. she was looking very old but still strong n graceful..her whole was full of wrinkles.. but she is still the head of my family..she hold my hand and said get married soon.. coz i want to attend it..she has seen 5 generation.. with her 5th generation of same age as me..i think i should write a blog as a tribute to her..

endevourme said...

hmmm...this photo is 'sadafuli', in our garden.
they bear flowers entire year, hence the name :-)
we have them in two colors, purple n white.

#pritika
i think she too must be like my great-grandmother :-)
do according to her wish naa ;-)

Dew Drops said...

women who lived before the "feminism" era..... cheers to ur grandmom !!!

endevourme said...

thank you :-)
she happens to be my role model.
btw she is my great-grandmother(not just grandmother).

Saroj said...

endevourme

Women are very strong!!

endevourme said...

#saroj
indeed she was very strong.
thank you :-)

Phoenix said...

my tributes too

endevourme said...

#phoenix,
thank you :-)

Aditi said...

Women like her redefine humanity. They are a role model of persistence and independence to all not just women. Thank you for sharing that story
Pretty picture..

Shama & Diya said...

Nice! Now that's what I call a role model. The whole time I was thinking of my own grandparents. Haven't seen any of em (all passed away before I was born)..One of my grandma is alive though. Met her a year ago after 13 years, that was special:)

Sandeep Menon said...

nice post...very touching...especially the line about "the point of time when we should quit gracefully, even ...life."

and did u know that "sadaphuli" aka Vinca rosea yields 2 anti cancer alkaloides..and is successfully used in childhood leukaemia and lymph cancer treatment.

nirmala said...

Nice foto i kno the flowers but dont know the name ..so its "sadafuli"and comparision is grt..i too hve somany memories of my grandparents ....wonderful ppl..to remember always:-)

endevourme said...

#aditi
ya she is a role model for me too.
especially the 'not to yield' attitude.
thank you for liking the pic :-)

#shama
after 13 years!
at least write letters to her na,
u never know, these people are soo good,
they have been always thinking of you :-)

#sandeep menon
ya thats so true, better especially when in old age
we are bedridden, and things are irrecoverable.

thank you for the info, seems its a really good plant indeed.

#nirmala
we have so many of these plants :-)
posting a flower foto seems odd to me,
they are very common na.

Shankari said...

Also known as Sada-bahar in Hindi! In English, mebbe coz of its permanently flowering nature, called Graveyard flowers(!). A no-fuss pretty thing which adds value wherever it blooms!

And thanks for the write up on yout Great grandma! Seems to be the common thing Im reading everywhere today (www.pithmarrowcoffeespoons.blogspot.com)!!!

Namma bengaluraa?

endevourme said...

#shankari
thank u fr coming here :-)

Graveyard flowers!
i didnt know that :-)

the link u gave didnt work...

ya bengaluru :-)

endevourme said...

PS: 'fleurs de lis' literally means 'flowers of lily', which is title of the post.
though the picture contains flowers,
title of the post has nothing to do with picture.
:-)

LAK said...

Wonderful post---brought a lump to the throat. Liked that line a lot--"quit gracefully---even life." I wouldn't want to live 105 years, but what i have should be healthy. I think that generation was so strong mentally as well as physically--if we could be even half that it would be great. Your great-grandmother was really a great, grand,mother.Hats off to her.

endevourme said...

#lak,
/-a great, grand,mother :-)
thank you so much for coming.
she was very strong physically as well,
no speks till the age of 90!

Amimu said...

nice post :

Shankari said...

Aiyyo, solpa adjust maadappa:

www.pithmarrowandcoffeespoons.blogspot.com

endevourme said...

#amimu
thank u very much for coming :-)

#shankari
vokay,
will see :-)

Has to be me said...

Endevourme,
Firstly thanks for visiting my blog & for ur compliments. Keep frequenting.

So gr8 to note abt ur gr8 grandmom esp being single & with a kid to face hardships of life all by herself & managing to be successful in the same is one of the greatest achievements of life. Hats off to her strength & courage. Gr8 post!

Has to be me said...

BTW, what does ur name mean?

endevourme said...

#has to be me
thank u so much for coming here :-)

well.....mmmm....my name doent have a meaning.
i wasnt getting a yahoo mail id, whatever names i tried were already existing,
so i typed whatever came to my mind .
thats endevourme :-)

Rose said...

Its amazing how much power and strength Aai's have in them.. Ur post has inspired me to write abt my grand mother some day..

:)

..Me

endevourme said...

#rose
thank u very much :-)
do write about her...

asha said...

Endevourme,
A very well written and emotional post it is. The best line was “My tribute to the sacred feminine”. This might have been a tough job for her at that point of time (when a woman was supposed to be just a women), to raise a kid and that too being so young. But as you know, some are born in the world to be different and lay a path for others to follow.

Asha

endevourme said...

#asha
thank you for coming here :-)
/-some are born in the world to be different and...
ya ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Shama & Diya said...

Ya I know..I feel guilty about not keeping in touch with her for all those years. When she came, she moved into my room. It was amazing to hear her telling all the stories about her lifetime. They were special since it was only I who got to hear them. Sighz, I miss those times. God knows, when I will see her again:( As for letters, I can't write in Urdu and I kinna don't want to write in English.

endevourme said...

#shama
try googling naa...
write,translate,retranslate to english,
this way u can even confirm what u have written :-)
pls dont let language be a barrier.
cheers!

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Rasika Mahabal said...

Great post, love the line
There is one point for everything when we should quit gracefully, even ...life....

Junius said...

#Rasika
hmmm...yea...thanks