During some of the deaths and funerals, you would be taken on a trip down the memory lane. Yesterday was one as such as a cousin sister passed away all of a sudden. Memories came rolling back to a time when there was a parish festival, one of the very few times of the year that you got to eat well. The closest cousins would come early in the weekend to help my mother make the Achappam, Kuzhalappam and Unniyappam – the special snacks which were made only during the festive times (which are now available on every single day at the bakeries). They are then stored in the large and empty palm oil tins until the next week (or maybe for much longer than a month after the parish festival).
The next memory was of a house where someone took his own life. There was a strange odour that filled that house and for so many years that followed, I had thought that it was how poison smelled.
And then a shared memory in the family of the hand-written letters from her while she worked abroad. Letters in fine handwriting, detailing her life abroad, and asking about how we were faring. Letters, because there was no telephone. And much later when telephone happened, some occassional phone calls too.
And here I was thinking yesterday, about how come all those memories to recollect were from the days of hardship, when people had very little yet were so close to each other. That there were no easy means to connect with each other – not even a landphone, easy access to vehicles, or social media – yet they kept visiting each other in person and kept in contact.
In memory of Leyoni chechi, a life lived full of struggles, yet with grace. May her soul rest in peace…