Life’s great lessons, yet told simply…

I’ve a younger sister and brother.  We all grew up with the same kind of dos and don’ts and thankfully, my brother was treated on par with us, girls.  Appa and Amma used to be the same strict parents when they felt we were going beyond their financial boundaries.  But sharing the reality with us, made us aware of the harsh side of life very early in our lives.

We saw our parents slogging day in and day out for a better and comfortable lifestyle; those times were tough ones. Even though they were stressed up for a better financial life, there were small things that they enjoyed and music was one of them.  Whether its MS Subbulakshmi’s Suprabatham or Sulamangalam sisters’ Skanda Shasti Kavasam or the morning Vividh Bharati or the amazing voices of Rafi, Kishore, SPB, Jesudas – every kind of music was appreciated and enjoyed.

One night Vividh Bharati was broadcasting Ghazals by Rafi.  A soulful rendition by Rafi and it was the first time I listened to it.  Appa was sitting and having his usual Vethalai pakku ritual (betel leaves with supari was his favorite) . Listening to it, he suddenly had tears in his eyes.  Music does that to him.  And when I asked why Ghazals today, he told that it was the Death Anniversary of Rafi.  I still cherish this musical memory with Appa.

We three siblings still do – music is a part of our life giving us little places to find solace and peace within us.  Appa played the music he enjoyed and we just took the music forward into our lives with open hearts 🙂

The world may say different things about what we believe is right.  But we need to persist with our beliefs.  For this we need tremendous amount of inner strength to face the world, with our principles intact.  This is another big lesson from my parents.  They were silent yet strong.  They were resilient even when problems hit their shore in subsequent waves.  They learned to smile during tough times and expertly passed on that quality onto us.  And I am so sure that this is the biggest lesson that we three have learnt – its the game of survival with a smile.

And biggest of all was the freedom that they gave us – in doing what we liked in our career, in choosing our friends, to go out with friends – they trusted us implicitly.  And as a mother, I’m trying my level best to impart the same to my daughters and I hope I’ve done well.  This freedom is like a breath of fresh air, when I hear tales of girls not being allowed to do what their heart desired.

Appa resides in our hearts now…
But Amma is still strong in her mind and in the way she’s helping others with financial difficulties.  I see her day in and day out, doing something or other, never resting for a minute.  She reminds us about important things which we need to do asap, in her own gentle way.  She’s a pillar of strength and I’m thankful for her presence in my life.  She still teaches me on how to be busy even when we grow old and enjoy the simple joys of life, as it comes and also in adapting to the changing ways of her grandchildren.

We learn some lessons by reading about it…
We learn some when we are the players in the field…
And then some are learnt by observing our parents…



8 Replies to “Life’s great lessons, yet told simply…”

  1. Dear Uma, it just so happens that yesterday one of my friends from the campus posted a song from an old hindi film on fb and told a few of us to check it out. The song was shot on campus in the 80s, some of the building and pathways which are here now, were there even then.. and never before has it struck any one of us tagged, that the place could be the campus. It brought back some kind of a bond.. and it is a fav song, often we all listen to.. hum.. but this bit of information yesterday was new and it still stays captured 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Parents are always your strength. My mom passed away when I was 11 but the things that she taught me are still alive in me today. I understood our financial struggles thanks to mom being truthful. My mom taught me to relish in every tiny happiness in life. She also taught me never to compare with others. This has always made sure that I have always been contended and enjoy with what I have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes they are Harini and what they instilled in me as morals go a much longer way !!
      And I am happy for you that she resides in you to make you the person you are now…much hugs to you 🙂


  3. Yes, we learn a lot from our parents, without knowing that we are doing it! And our children also will do.

    My father’s favourite was Hindustani music. My grand mother was Rafi’s fan. She used to cry, literally cry, when she heard her favourite Rafi’s songs. Music is continuing in our family…my sons too enjoy music.

    And discipline. My parents had it, we nearly have it and my sons also have it, I can see. Sometimes I wonder for how many generations these habits are coming!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knew some inkling to music should be there in your parents, from the posts you write about them 😀 Hindustani ?? wah wah 🙂
      I would’ve cried along with your grandmother, while hearing Rafi’s voice…his voice just moves me so much too…


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