When exactly I started loving. I don’t know. But I know when I started knowing about love. It was when I began to know poems, especially of my language. Even without knowing the meaning fully, I used to recite like mad, these words of love
“ The Earth is full of love
The world rises from love
Love, here is the eternal truth,
Even death itself is love.
In the devotion of love……
Oh, baby u love, those who hate you even.”
So I started loving the terms such as Sneham, which was so sweet. But who loved me first. I have and had only one answer. It is my grandmother. My grandmother, always in white dress and rose in colour who always read Quran and ask me to read also. I call her Vellummachi. Vellu+Umma+CHI, Vellu means Big, Umma means mother, CHI has no meaning, but is the most meaningful of the three, it is the symbol of my attachment to her, my love to her.
She gave me a beautiful name, the meaning of which is Sukoon, or peace. But she told me that it has another meaning, that is “One who follow the Great”. Sometimes she asked me” whom you want to follow”. I think, then I said, I want to be a Joan of Arc, at least a Jhansi Rani or the least a Lalithambika Antharjanam. The history didn’t repeat for me. So I didn’t become any. Later I realized that my name has no such meaning. It is only peace, the thing which I never seen.
She might have wanted to see my eyes glittering with dreams when I talk about these stars of past. Yes, I enjoyed too much of being in those dreams, the dreams of putting myself in the place of Joan of Arc, or Jhansi Rani. That is why I could spent my whole day for reading 8 times, the story of Devaki Manhampilly, the Thethiyedathi of Thankam, my favourite writer and later Devi Bahan.
See, I forgot of love now. Ok, how I know the love of my grandmother, I don’t know. My mother says, I never slept with her. I was sleeping with grandmother. She had to clean her bed daily for my childhood naughtiness on the bed. Still she call everynight, Chakkee, come to sleep in my arms. Since that time I started sleeping in arms. When I was 24, I lost my grandmother’s arms forever. I lost my father long back, but I never felt being orphan or Yateem, the 2nd most cruel status for a girl when unmarried, the 1st being a divorcee or widowed. I came through many phases of life after that, being a wife and then a mother. But Vellummichee, I miss your arms even today, the closeness of your body, the consolation which I felt when you were massaging my head. You remember, I felt unconscious for only once in life, that was on the day of your demise. I cried loudly, “don’t leave me alone and go my Vellummichee”. In the night when everybody feel fear to think of even the graveyard, I came to visit you. But I could not see you there. You came several times in dream, but with a sad face. I could not rest here peacefully. I felt, may be your soul will be suffering, so I searched for some prayers and offered after a long time. I don’t know the relation between soul and human body. But I know one thing wherever we are, I could feel you, even if it is in my sleep or unconscious, this is love, I feel, may be eternal.