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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Jagamantha Kutumbam

This week our family woke up to a new void in our life. My Nayanamma (paternal grandmother), the quintessential Amma to many others left us to finally reunite with my grandfather (Tatagaru). I decided to write this short tribute in their honor before the myriad of memories and emotions that I am experiencing get sidelined by the hustle and bustle of our daily lives.

My father was biologically not their son but, they never treated him nor any of his siblings any different from their own children. While to my father, they were his parental figures and much more, to me they are my paternal grandparents. Today as I saw the constant flow of people from so many different communities line up to show their respect for her, I could only think of the Sanskrit phrase "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”. As we bid farewell to our Nayanamma, I noticed how the entire neighborhood had shutdown  as a mark of respect for the lady who they say was their strength, support and “Amma” in short. Nayanamma’s silent influence crossed religious and societal boundaries which is truly admirable.

Their love and generosity knew no boundaries and for those under their wing, they really never created any artificial layers like immediate family, extended family, distant family, friends, etc etc., They truly believed and lived as if the whole world was one huge family. This taught us what it meant to be human and what it meant to be there for each other, keeping aside our individual differences of opinion, differences in character and in some cases individual idiosyncrasies.

Tatagaru, through his own life taught us that the most lasting wealth that one could accumulate in this lifetime is good will and good education. I remember how he always emphasized on this point at our dinner table conversations that “paper” wealth had no meaning and not to lose ourselves chasing that while, the real wealth is what is in our hands – our profession and our helping hand.

As I end this, I feel overwhelmed by the incredible legacy they left behind for us and only wish we draw strength from the values they imbibed in us and from each other to keep the legacy going for generations to come.



Archana Gullapalli said...

Thank you Mickey for sharing this and whatever you have written is true. we also treated nainamma and tatagaru as our paternal grandparents.

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