Pranaams to everyone reading this post or watching its video (here). On Dasami Thithi, July 29th of 2020, was my father’s 9th Death Anniversary. I thought it’s the perfect time to remember him by contemplating his virtues.
He was a man of simplicity and had minimal requirements. I’ve never seen him in a panic mood. He handled things quietly, but his greatest virtue wasn’t that. He had no complaints about anything in life. He accepted things as they were. Due to that, positive vibrations emitted from him, and people loved his presence. He had limited friends, but intimate ones who loved him deeply.
His life wasn’t easy. There were numerous ups and downs, but he stood by his family. With barely any material resources, he managed to educate all his children. Due to his hard work and blessings, the entire clan has settled well in life. The respect he had for his elders was admirable. Notably, the bond he shared with his elder brother was heart-warming. The beauty was that his elder brother was as wonderful in showering love on my father. They had many differences of opinion. Still, they never let each other down. He also had wonderful relationships with his younger brothers and families, and I admired the respect they showed to my father.
Even though my father had minimal education, he kept learning about many subjects. He was well-informed in many things, from music to sports. It was an experience to watch him enjoy a Cricket match! In Carnatic music, he could quickly identify the Raaga of a song, and his favorite singers were the legendary Semmungudi Srinivasa Iyer, G.N.Balasubramanyam, and Madurai Mani Iyer. He loved good music, and his favorite film music was Ilayaraja’s song on Devi – Janani Janani.
My favorite quality about him was his adherence to routine. At no cost would he ever compromise on his schedule. Each day, he would go to bed on time and get up early in the morning without fail. After taking a bath, he would do the routine Sandhya Vandhanam, and spend a couple of hours chanting Stotrams of Ambal (Devi). He started doing this intensely after retirement. He was so devoted that he would fall flat on the ground in prostration, even in the middle of a busy street, the moment he saw Devi’s deity!
After completion of his prayers, he would walk to the nearby temple. He did this even in his ripe old age. On the way, he would make sure to stop for a quick Idli-Vada-Sambhar, his biggest indulgence. He never hesitated to buy anything for the needy around. Even though he hardly had any money, he was a Maharaja, a king at heart. He lived like he had everything. Such a commendable virtue for future generations to follow!
He faced numerous problems, but he and my mother handled all of those beautifully. They kept in touch with both my maternal and paternal families. They took part in events regularly. Many times, our relatives would miss them and get worried if my parents didn’t show up. Further, my father spent a lot of time with his grandchildren. He told them stories from mythologies, Ramayana, Mahabharata, and other scriptures. He did that to us during my childhood as well.
His meaningful life and the blessings he showered on everyone are lessons for us to learn. In his last couple of days, when he was in the hospital, Nature had reciprocated to his prayers. A nearby Devi temple was visible from his room in the hospital. He died chanting the name of Devi while watching that temple. To us, it felt peaceful to know that he has reached the feet of Devi.
On his death anniversary, I felt it was appropriate to share my thoughts on this Divine human being. Let us all try to imbibe these qualities, at least a few of them, in our life. I’m sure that is what he would love for us to do. On this day, I seek his blessings for the entire family and beyond.
The intention of this write-up/talk is to show that there are many such beautiful fathers in this world. And, it is the responsibility of their children to carry forward those good traits and make it reach future generations.
Love you, my beloved father, Kalyanaram! You will always be with us in our hearts.
Please listen to the audio version of this post here.
Om Kamatchi Namaha!