Sunday, July 21, 2013

In fond memory of my Baa

Rava Masala dosa was my Baa's favourite dish.  Ever since I can remember, every Rath Yatra (Ashaadh Sud Beej), we would have a family dinner at a South Indian food joint in Ahmedabad - Sankalp.  Rath Yatra was my Baa's birthday.  We never knew the date, because she always said she was born in 1920, and doesn't know the calender date.  We never tried to find out the real date either because it was always Rath Yatra.  Oh, once her health deteriorated, we would pack dosa and eat it at home. 

She passed away in February, 2003.  This Rath Yatra marked 10 years without her.  In these 10 years, we have always gone to Sankalp for Rava Masala Dosa.

Few days back, my dad got a call from his cousin in Bharuch.  My Baa grew up in Bharuch and moved to Ahmedabad after her marriage to my Dada.  My kaka had found an old bank passbook.  The bank account was opened when Baa was a minor and it had her actual birthdate.  Not Ashaadh Sud Beej.  He was visiting Ahmedabad and dad requested him to bring the passbook along.  This is how it looks:
 
The only proof of my Baa's birthdate.
It is The Bharuch Co-Operative Bank Limited bank, and the account was opened on 17(or 12, I'm not quite sure) January, 1928.   I was holding a piece of paper which came from pre-independence era.  I'm not sure of you, but I felt a lump in my throat. 

Closing Balance. Re. 1, 8 Annas.
This is the closing balance.  The last entry was on 27th July, 1939.  Closing balance was Re. 1 and 8 Annas.

Again, before independence.

And that brought back a lot of stories she used to tell me when I was a kid.  How she used to ride a Victorian cart with a horse, and how she saw the Tricolour being unfurled at the Bhadra fort in old city of Ahmedabad on 15th August, 1947, and how she used to play dice with her cousins.

And watching Mahabharat and Ramayan every Sunday morning at 10 am. And the distinct smell of sandalwood paste wiped on her saree after the Puja, which I could still smell when I'm under stress or emotionally disturbed.

Her last coherent words were to me.  12 days before she died.  She told me 'fateh karjo' - be victorious. 

Today when I saw this, I cried a little.  It made me miss her more than I usually do.

And as I type this, I can again smell the faint smell of sandalwood paste. 

Some people don't really go from your lives, they're always around in our thoughts.

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