In the longest time, I could not write. By the summer of 2011, in a sweltering room, I looked one last time through my hostel window with a suitcase pressed against my legs. I was bothered with a question, “ Where are you?”
I knew it was hasty to move back to Kochi from Mumbai, and for a few, shocking. Constantly had the dreams of sitting atop on my grandmother’s gabled roof and revisiting the letters I hid under the roof’s tiles. But when I returned, the terrace changed, it no longer opened to the skies and the sky climbing trees. It was ensconced within the concrete walls, and I was tempted to leave Kochi, it felt like the terrace. Until my aunt said, “ It’s a shame if you say no one understands you, you never understand them until you heard their stories."
It was the heart of the house where her sisters, children and grandchildren got together to voice out their thoughts. No, she wasn’t a feminist, with an imposing bull horn, but she gave everyone the right to speak within those four walls.
Ammachi's room is a haven for all us, grounded and canopied by a large mango tree. There were two open windows, which graciously welcomes mosquitoes, and though it's quite small, it was taken over by many beds. Not solely for the comfort of backs but souls. It was the heart of the house where her sisters, children and grandchildren got together to voice out their thoughts. No, she wasn’t a feminist, with an imposing bull horn, but she gave everyone the right to speak within those four walls. I remember first being seated in that room when I was thirteen never grasping it all. But in time we were learned to sit and listen to the stories of our ancestors, real life stories of hardships and triumph, the abhorrent views of the society, how a family functions. Yet in time, it all trickled in me, how my grandmother was raised and even my mother. The changes they made for each other and me, and the choices in time I made to be myself. Ammachi isn’t a story teller, but she encourages her loved ones to share their moments of the past so that her children could have a clearer future. Last year, when I took off to London, I had a moment of silence in my room, and realised she helped me answer the most important question, “Who are you?”
Run parallel, meet at intersections, skip a few lines, the line of thought has journeyed across a few latitudes and longitudes. To more miles before the big sleep. Cheers, Atheena
Its been a journey from being a young soul where I have felt only love but unaware of its importance in my life I searched for love all over and only felt pain, scars and reality but never true love I still keep searching.
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