A Tribute to My Dad-in-law

Last year went past very fast banging me with a lot of events either I had never expected or never experienced or never imagined to experience in the wildest of my dreams. It was a complete(in the sense, everything in this world is “complete”) mix of “mixed” emotions that I hardly understood or that I could even “try” to decipher and understand.

After at least 20 ardent followers of this blog asked me about my blog at least 20power20 times (accept a li’l exaggeration here ;)), I thought I should re start somewhere somehow…

I need to tell you at least a gist of whatever happened last year when I was out of this blogging territory.

The meet with the Guru happened. Then my nephew’s first b’day happened, then my “thalai” Deepavali happened. My in-laws, Prasanna and me had a sumptuous delicious lunch at my parent’s place (according to the tradition).

One thing that moved me too much on Diwali day. Few days before the Diwali, my dad-in-law had told me to get a particular brand of mixture from “Gomathi Shankar’s” shop. I did(thankfully). During the talk, I had casually mentioned to him sometime that I like “Tirunelveli” halwa. On the day of Diwali, when he came to my parent’s place, he gave me this pack of “Thirunelveli” halwa. I was moved. For him to have remembered my smallest desire and made sure he got it for me!

A week after Diwali, both Prasanna and me had decided to move to Chennai for a month and a half – Prasanna for his business and me for my courses and to support Prasanna. The day before the exact date of our travel to Chennai, my dad-in-law, falls sick that he was admitted in the ICCU. He had this problem in his leg, an infection called septicemia. It had spread into his blood stream and the condition became severe, all of a sudden.

The very day, since our train was booked for the night, I decided to have a satsang at home, to pray for him. I am still filled with gratitude at how everyone I called and more just flocked in for the satsang at that very short notice. Nobody was told about my dad-in-law’s condition, but somehow things happened. Thanks to Sejal’s help that day for the dinner preparations, else I had never imagined to cook for 36 people at a shot, in that short notice!

That night we left to Chennai. We were just taking turns to go to the hospital and be there around. The next day late morning, since others had to take a break, I agreed to be at the hospital. For me to be at the hospital, needed a lot of guts and courage as I get very scared just being out there. I was praying, chanting and making calls for a course, when the duty doctor calls me. My heart still beats fast when I think about it. I go into the ICCU, he asks me how I was related to the patient, I tell him, “daughter-in-law”. He wanted to meet a “direct” relation. I was taking deep breaths and telling myself things are alright. He tells me the situation has not improved and tells me that he has put my Dad-in-law on ventilator, to see any improvement. Having no idea on the subject and knowing the term “ventilator” to be something put at critical times, hands shivering, I call up Raja anna, my brother-in-law who is himself a specialist doctor at PSG Hospital, Coimbatore. They both talk for a few minutes and Raja anna tells me that it’s the best possible step to be taken at that moment. The duty doctor then asks me to meet my dad-in-law, before they put him onto ventilator. Having no clue about the severity, gathering courage to meet him and remembering not to break down in front of him, I meet him, call him appa…, he looks at me trying hard to breathe, and with all sorts of tubes and wires connected all over him, I tell him everything is gonna be alright, he had nothing to worry, I have been praying for his recovery and all of us are there for him. He looks at me, says “han…seri ma, seri ma”. Whenever I think of it, I have tears in my eyes… then, I made calls to my in-laws and Prasanna, telling them what happened and asking him to come immediately. Prasanna came immediately. And within an hour, the same doc, asks us to call our family. Means? I did not understand… why??? whats happening? With tears, I went in, sat next to his bed, did not want to hear anything from anybody. All that I remembered is to chant Om NamahShivaya, and pray to Saibaba, all the Gods, Goddesses, and chant Guru pooja. I did all that. And within minutes they tell me, he has left his body. Those words that he had spoken to me, were his last words…

The reality was too hard to accept. The whole night, I did not know what to do. 2 months after the wedding and a just a week after the Diwali celebrations, why should this happen? My other relatives and aunty friends started telling me “please take care of the family”, “now you should take care of the family”, “sis-in-law is your responsibility, you need to take care of her marriage”, – with all respects to the aunties and relatives, yes I do understand, I have to take care and I have the responsibilities, but telling me this again and again only increased the sorrow and pain I was going through.

Just a week before when we were in Chennai, he had called me to sit with him and told me the family’s finances and what is there where. He told me that since I am a part of the family(tears), now I need to know about it. I listened to the whole thing, having the least idea that just 2 weeks later, I would have had to know it all. He was so meticulous in maintaining the documents of his, mother-in-law’s, sis-in-law’s and Prasanna’s, so neatly kept and arranged in different files, that it was just too easy for us to locate any file for any small reference after he left. A man of “perfection”.

Prasanna had told me about him. About how systematic he was in whatever he did. About how he is so full of love and so kind at heart, but hardly showed it out.

With him, on the day of the wedding

But, I found many things in which he showed his love out, in the time that I have spent with him. He would come with us to the saree shopping before the wedding! It would seem too odd, but he would just be around patiently waiting for us to finish selection and pay the bill. Sometimes he also involved himself to support my choice, when others would tell the other way. He also accompanied us to exchange and re-select sarees! He took care that the wedding went on smooth and if I look back, he had taken care of many issues that could have come up, if not for his planning and intervention. He had seen to it that both of us were happy.

I still did not understand how and why he could leave us soo fast and so early. After the 13-day rituals, we went to the ashram. Bawa had told us to meet Guruji and tell Him. We went, met Guruji and Prasanna told Him. Guruji looked at us, closed his eyes for a moment and held his palm to his heart, nodded and, it just felt like, “he is taken care of…”.

With all love, gratitude and respect – to my dear dad-in-law.



Filed under Family

7 responses to “A Tribute to My Dad-in-law

  1. My condolences… I don’t know what to say more….
    Take care


  2. so beautiful and touching…:) I miss you both so much!!!


  3. He was a wonderful – the few little times I spent at mylapore, he will always talk with me patiently. He was explaining about banks, mortgages to me the last time I met him.


  4. Tamilselvi R

    There is nothing great than to share their own experience…Good article!


  5. Your father in law sounds like a wonderful person, my condolences for this loss


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