My weekly Slice of Life are my letters to my Doddamma. She is my father’s elder brother’s wife. Doddamma literally means ‘elder mother’. She is 88 years old. She cannot hear properly if I telephone to talk to her. So, I have been writing letters to her since October 2017. I enjoy writing letters and she is happy to read them. They are only about the everyday moments in my life. I post my letters to her every week.
Our state, Karnataka is in complete lock down and our neighboring state, Kerala too. Our village is in that state and we cannot go there. The borders are closed. We last went on the 8th. We are just praying that my father-in-law will stay healthy. But nothing is in our hands, we have to take what comes our way. Till yesterday we were going for our evening walks to Endpoint where there is a wide road with no vehicles and very few people too. All colleges of our University are closed and students have gone home. But online teaching is going on. From today there is curfew and we will be confined to our homes. How life has changed ! Everything has turned upside down. Yesterday someone was saying it is time for us to go inside ourselves and think about our life. God knows what will happen in the next few months. Yesterday a photo was being shared on WhatsApp showing the globe and on it the words ‘closed for maintenance’. I wonder what will happen after the maintenance.
A little after I wrote the first paragraph we got a phone from my brother-in-law that my father-in-law was not well. At 11.15 he passed away. He would have been 95 on the 26th. Today morning after taking his bath he got an attack and my brother-in-law made him lie down on his bed. After a short time, he passed away. Due to the complete lockdown in both states my husband had to get special permission from the Police chief of our town. We wrote a letter asking for permission to travel. He also told that he would not be able to leave Kerala in the near future due to the spread of the virus there. Aravind, our son, has online classes to conduct and it is not possible for him to stay alone. Actually, since Sunday he has been learning to cook. In spite of being blind, my father’s mother and her sister were wonderful cooks. So I told my son learning to cook is not a problem at all. It is good to know basic cooking. But, in these times of strict curfew it would have been difficult for him to manage alone.
So, we both decided to stay back. My husband reached our village safely. The cremation will take place soon.
My father-in-law was loved and respected by all his near and dear ones and the sad part is only those who live in our village will be able to attend the last rites. In normal circumstances so many would have come to pay their last respects. What to do? We have to take life as it comes.
( This was on March 8th)