05 January 2008

Home they brought her warrior dead....................

The life would not stay with her! (Sriram trying to run away, their age together: 1+100)

Bhavani the eldest child of Subbayya and Duggamma: my great gradparents, died yesterday 4th January 2006 5.30 PM IST. She was 100 years and few months old. (She was the elder sister of my grandfather.) She was in perfect health. She was born in November 1907, if you want some hooks: an year before Khudiram Bose, a boy from the civil society attacked British, several years before Jalianwala bagh massacre and many years before two world wars broke.
She was a window most of her life. She was married when she was a little girl and her husband died at an young age. Widow marriage was not moral those days (morality is amazing, huh?); she never married again. Pure, she wanted to be; she was named after river Ganga after all.
She could sing folk composition of whole Ramayana by heart. Folk Ramayana in Havyaka tradition is a huge collection of folk poems narating Ramayana. She used to sing songs for everything from pissing to philosophy, a song about cooking another about grinding countless. She spent time making Donne. Donne is the disposable cup made out of "bale ravadi" (dry bark of the banana plant).
She started her day with soorya namaskara and some one told her that I knew few shloks that she did not know. She asked me to teach her those. She was only 90 then! Last time I visited her she reproduced the sholka and said "you see, I remember it!". I dropped her home and gave her a bag of pepper mints which she chewed whenever she was bored.
Her desire for long was to die in her mothers house: that is in our house in Kattinakere. She used to say I want only two things, "easy death and death in Kattinakere". She had seen a long life all she wanted was death! She was very weak a few months ago everyone thought she would die. But she did not. She wanted to come to Kattinakere and my bro went to her house in Madasooru and picked her up. Two days after she came she said her stomach was aching. My father called a doctor and doctor was to arrive late in the evening. She even had one Holige in the afternoon. When my mother asked her if her relatives should be called, she said "I am all right, I will be ok after a while, do not worry". She died lying down, eye bolls locked themselves up and tongue came out, I was told. She did not even know she was dying: easy death and in Kattinakere. I do not know how many of her dreams in her young age were buried in the coffin of morality, her last wish is fulfilled.
Home they brought her warrior dead:
She nor swoon'd nor utter'd cry:
All her maidens, watching, said,
"She must weep or she will die."
She did not weep, she died but long after her warrior was dead, very long, after all most a century.

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