It's gloomy and cold. The eerie silence is broken by the sounds of sleet and hard rain against my window. I close my eyes and see visions of home, back in India. Beautiful summer vacations at my maternal grandmother's home. I imagine the aroma of hot fried "medu vadais", a staple snack at Paati's home, made especially for me. I relive those precious moments of laughter and playing with my cousins at Paati's terrace.
I can clearly see a younger version of my grandfather travelling all the way from Tambaram to Besant Nagar to spend time with us. They never had the comforts of luxury and always travelled by bus. I'm stricken with guilt that we never visited them often when we should have. There's a tear drop in my eye for all the times Thatha came home in a crowded Chennai bus.
And I open my eyes to the present, where my mom warns me over a Yahoo! chat window that they're getting older and older and that Thatha had fainted in his living room. How I wish I could visit them! I haven't forgotten a single beautiful memory with my precious grandparents. My grandmother is the most amazing woman I've ever known - gentle, kind, generous, and so hard working. At this age, they still live alone - she cooks, cleans, shops... and she's so kind hearted she couldn't wish the worst even for an enemy... of course, she has no enemies.
I miss them so much. Married and now in the US, when I can't fry a "medu vadai" properly, or when I don't want to venture into deep frying "bakshanams", or even when I'm just generally getting accustomed to this new role in life, I always think of these wonderful people who passed down everything they know to my mom, and she in turn to me.
We love you thatha and paati, and we'll pray you won't give up on us and will be around when we come visiting India next time around.