Dating back to my early teen years, I could passionately recollect,  all my hopes and aspirations were thoroughly supported by my very conspicuous vigour and vibrancy. And, I presumed I was in-charge of my life, and happiness seemed granted. Books, along with loving, caring family and friends were my companions. Though waking up early to birds chirping was thrilling… those street vendors knocking on our doors with fresh, organic, non-GMO veggies, then felt disturbing and the paper boy hurling the newspaper totally distracting me, sounded interfering. The postman’s appearance felt intruded into my private space as my dad would receive a dozen letters everyday!!! An emotional reminiscence made me feel touched as I have had the best childhood. Now, stuck in a motor-jungle, communications are hyped to a different level- a gentle horn is a hello and a big horn is for  anger. Mostly people are associated with their car numbers and everyone is tied up in a busy daily schedule. In this part of the world, big parties hosting a minimum of fifty families over weekends is the norm. Whether every guest is greeted or not is not even the basis of a social get-togethers. Those street vendors’ affectionate smug can be traced back in my search for the healthy foods in shopping malls where plastic cards do all the exchanges and organic food is far and beyond my reach. Forget Non-GMO’s. …The post man wouldn’t be knocking on my door anymore but letters, well, mostly sales and marketing flyers and our monthly bills are left in a box at bay. 

Back then, physical hand written letters were part of exchanging warmth and birthday wishes  among cousins and classmates, who lived farther or moved places. I moved to England with my husband  in 2004. Until then, all those  twenty- five years of my early life was spent in a small historical, cultural town, Vizianagaram. Both my parents were born in the same place and now, every year I look forward to going to them, to my house, to my town.  After nearly 14 years of my marriage, I still get home sick, I still have the  foreigner-feeling  wherever I am.  My roots are very strong, so are my experiences. My best friend, my maternal grand dad regretted when telephones became part of every household. “If it’s a hand written letter, I will cherish reading my letters whenever I want to, whenever I yearn for that person. These phone wishes take away my happy memories, my best time pass and make me long for my grand kids more”, in his exact words!!  My grand dad was eager to learn about e-mails in 1999 but he didn’t live longer to try that ‘e’spect. I miss my grand dad who was my movie partner, my walking partner, my guide and my stress buster, my wall. I never understood his agony about the then newly forming nuclear families and the repercussions, his usage of cloth bags to reduce plastic/paper wastage, his willingness to walk any number of miles to increase his appetite, his philosophy towards vasudaika kutumbam- whole world as one family – most of his life he had been a great host and rarely a guest. I miss my grand parents’ unconditional love, my grand mum’s innocence, my grand dad’s willingness to accept whatever was thrown at him, with a smile on his face though it caused a pain to his heart. I was part  of the latter emotion, his agony once and I bury my head in disgust when that thought surfaces  my memory. They taught me the importance of relations in life and hence I try and maintain one to one relation with everyone I meet and get to know. I try my best to be an agony aunt to any in need. Many forget me in their happy times. I was back-stabbed many times. Yet,  I trained myself to not change my core.  I am not that weak that any negativity around me could change me.

               I have realised “Life” is in-charge of me!!! Lots have changed…but there are affections beneath all these hustle, bustles.  Fortunately, the world around me is very sane and definitely, love will dominate hatred!!  I am extremely fortunate to have some friends, who are our extended family, who have the hearts of gold and have the Midas touch. Luckily, we  all share the same principles. Love begets love.


  1. Rationbookmum · March 21, 2018

    I wish I could have met the amazing man your grandfather sounds. One of the greatest things is true friendship. In some ways I’m glad we can speak so easily over the internet/ e mail but it’s no substitute for seeing you in person xx


    • sreeyal · March 21, 2018

      That’s such an honour, Kellie! I am so glad I could introduce my first best friend- my grand dad to you, my another best friend ❤ Meeting in person is an added bonus. Take care xxx


  2. Mounica · March 24, 2018

    Wow!! Beautiful piece of art padma. You are so right about being nostalgic when we visit our parents’ home. I regret that I left my roots and for my future generations . I can totally connect to your grand father. I had 2 that were just like your thathagaru. With deep relentless urge to serve the community. My grand mom was the same. There isn’t even a single day that I don’t think about them


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