April 19, 2010 is a day I will and hope to remember for the rest of my life. Today I went to see a long-lost distant relative of mine – the wife of my father’s cousin. It seems strange how sometimes our heart pushes us to do things we never thought we would do and yet, that’s how life goes. We tend to make decisions strange like the one I took today to meet a distant relative of mine.
Back in the days when I would run passionately towards muddy playgrounds and ice cream carts, my parents used to take me and Rat to visit every relative possible immaterial of how we are related. I can’t even recollect how many namaskarams we both would have done and this was for every single elderly person we met even if he/she was 5 yrs elder to us.
I can’t really remember the time spent at my dad’s cousin’s place. However, I remember their family as one that was most loving, caring and full of life. The most charming of them all was of course Radha aunty. I am not saying this because of the present circumstances. But she is truly the one person I remember well enough from that family.
A long time ago, Radha aunty had a pooja in her house and I was made the ‘kanya’ ponnu for that holy function. As a ‘kanya’ ponnu, I received a LOT of attention, love and gifts. And to this date, it remains one of the fond memories from the olden golden days.
All this happened a long time ago. Maybe when I was 7 or 8 years old. And our families somehow drifted apart with marriages happening in our respective families and everyone busy in their own day-to-day work. The last we heard was Radha aunty’s health was troubled.
This morning, we were fortunate to have Bada Raja Uncle’s son-in-law and daughter visit us. Although, we were informed of a sad news that Radha Aunty’s health was deteriorating and that she was suffering from MND or Motor Neurone Disease.
Wikipedia’s description – “The motor neurone diseases (or motor neuron diseases) (MND) are a group of neurological disorders that selectively affect motor neurones, the cells that control voluntary muscle activity including speaking, walking, breathing, swallowing and general movement of the body.”
After understanding about Radha Aunty’s health, we decided to take Paati along to pay her a visit and to inquire after Bada Raja uncle and Radha Aunty’s health.
On entering their house, I noticed that the air around the house and in the house was completely pure without a trace of bad energy in it.
We went to their bedroom to see Radha Aunty and I felt like someone threw a stone on the memories I had of Radha Aunty over the many years. It was shocking and saddening to see her so pretty yet unable to even able to sit up on her own. She needed Uncle’s help and it just tore my heart to see them like that.
Radha Aunty became very emotional on seeing us. And was crying with her mouth wide open. Only the sound could not be heard. Every minute spent there today was tearing me apart. And on learning that their situation (Uncle and Aunty) was worse than the ‘Baghban’, I was angry and devastated at the injustice happening to two genuinely nice people.
My visit to Radha Aunty and Bada Raja Uncle got me questioning myself and Rat’s intentions for a minute. Would we take care of Amma Appa forever? Would we still shower the same kind of love and affection we have for them today? Would we do anything for them the way we would today? And I prayed to God that even though things might change in the future, my love and devotion to my parents should remain the same till the day I die.
This day will always be memorable and was like a wake up call for everyone present there. Ultimately, love is all we need. It does not matter if you have earned tons of gold medals. It does not matter if you have graduated from the world’s best college. It does not matter if you are richer than the world’s richest man. All that matters is love and only love till the end.
I pity and pray for Radha Aunty’s health. And maybe I do or do not believe in Sai Baba. But I do know that the messages he has sent to her through this religious institution is true and to this day, is helping her find comfort even in these trying days.
“Our body is like a shelter given to us for rent by God who is the owner. He shall rent it to us only
until he feels we belong. And all he expects in return as rent, is your faith and devotion.”
In all her pain, Radha Aunty gave me the most sweetest and special smile, her eyes spoke more than a million words could to me. And lifted her inable hand to give me her blessings – the smile and blessings which I will cherish for a lifetime.
May Baba always be with you Radha Aunty.