Mar 29, 2011

Remembering my Peripa

"I will put you in a sack and hang you in that tree", terrorized my peripa for being mischievous. It indeed worked, for when I was a kid, I was afraid of none, but him. Every time I hear the news from my dad that his brother is coming from Thiruvendipuram, I frantically search for a hide out where he can never find me to threaten.

It happened some twenty years ago! The recently turned octogenarian, later became my close friend as I grew up, sharing lot of details about his childhood and my native village, every time I paid a visit to him. "You were born on the same day my father passed away", he once told. His nick is thoppai desigan, for his big belly who is officially known as Srinivasa Ramanujam. I could never meet my paternal grandfather, and so I envisioned my peripa as my grandfather whenever he talked about him.

The day after I finished my class nine examination is still fresh in my memory. It was the day my dad has  decided to conduct Yagnobavitham ceremony for me and my elder brother at his native residence. Since it was decided to perform the sacred ceremony for both of us in single sitting, my dad and my mom planned to sit with my brother, while peripa and perima were asked to sit with me, to put the yagnobavitham (sacred thread) and announce the world that I am a Brahmachari then onwards, and have taken the sacred vow.

Ever since I moved on to college, I could meet him only once in a year or so during the temple Utsavam. The gap between me and him, naturally widened thus. The last time I met him was a week ago at his residence when he celebrated his 80th birthday with his children, grand and great grand.

During that trip, little did I realise that this will be the last time I will see him with his traditional child-like smile on his face. All good things must come to an end, and so does good life. My peripa, after celebrating his 80th birthday during which he saw all his descendants are well off and settled, breathed his last. May his soul rest in peace.