Thursday, June 28, 2012

Of Smiles & Fond Memories

Wow its been 6 months since I last blogged - that's a long hiatus I didn't intend to take. Much has happened in my life since then but the most significant would be the people & animals we as a family lost.

I don't intend to write this for sympathy or to mourn  but more to remember each of them and the impact they each had in my life and our lives as a family.

To our Our Doggies - Tashi & Ginger 
My grandparents always told my sister and me when we growing up, that having animals around us was incredibly important - as a result our house had an average of 2 cats and 2 dogs and then their respective children that came along. As an adult my grandparents proceed to tell us why it was important. They said animals instill in children a sense of responsibility, the ability to learn to care for another living being, to love endlessly, to learn to face the cruelties of the world like life & death, to communicate without language ever being a barrier - these were a few on a very long list of only positive reasons.

Ginger & Tashi were Mr.K's & my dogs respectively. We've both had them for the better part of 14 years - through very formative times of our lives.

Ginger - The lovely bouncy golden lab. Always there to greet you at the door with her super strong tail wagging side to side that could leave you bruised for days. She could sniff sweets and food a mile away &  knew her place on the bed, more so when it was a tiny single bed where she would squish herself right in the middle of Mr. K and Me nearly throwing us off. With her corsage around her neck and her best behaviour on she dutifully lead Mr.K & My Sister in Law down the aisle  to make sure they were wed to the ones they had chosen (and she had approved of  of course). She was the center of the Menon family, the heart, soul and stomach and will be more than dearly missed...

Tashi - Our Lasa Apso or little old man as we called him. Grandpa adopted him and his little sister and they came to us when I was about 13 years old. Born with weak hind legs, he could never climb up on the bed but that never stopped him from trying.. right up to the grand old age of 13. He became my grand dad's shadow would sit by his bed and in very sick days lick grandpa's hand to let him know he was around.They truly were best friends both living by the motto 'Never Give In'.  Blind and with a little skip in his step (literally) he could hear a pin drop miles away and would be the first one to greet you at the door. He had quite the mind of his own (think he got some of the attitude from the cats we had ) but oh so absolutely love-able .. always giving us something to smile about.

To My Great Grand Uncle - Uncle John
Uncle John was my Grandmum's youngest brother and he and Aunty Val visited us every 5 years from Australia from as far back as I remember. For the longest time they were our only connection to the Aussie part of the family and we all cherished their visits to India. I can't remember Uncle John not smiling, talk about food and the smile got brighter. A joke on the tip of his tongue and always teasing Aunty Val, he was everything and more you loved about an Uncle. I remember on one visit they brought my sister a Barbie and a Barbie comb. She was all of 5 then  & Uncle John sat patiently while letting Tanya comb his almost balding head of hair with her newly acquired Barbie Comb.That was a picture we framed! Having Him and Aunty preside over our wedding ceremony, and bringing along almost the whole Aussie family is a memory I will forever cherish and one I am so grateful we all got to have. I can almost see Uncle John & Grandpa getting upto mischief up there - if nothing else indulging in their common love for food.


And Lastly To My Beloved Grandfather 
(this is a bit out of the eulogy my sister and  I put together for him)
Grandpa was fondly know by many names, Col. Wright, Charlie, Charlie Wright, Wright Dorai, Bridge House Dorai, Grandpa, Father & Husband. He was  a man of many words, a big big heart and a bigger appetite for both food and life.
   --- Grandpa loved his food and in wellington he knew exactly how to sniff it out ..who’s house to go to on which day to get lovely hot dosas, or iddiappams, fantastic biryani or where to find the best prawn& fish pickle. Aunty Sudha's dosas became a Wright Favourite & Christmas lunch at daisy bank never to be missed.
    --- He also loved his music and that deep voice of his was unmistakable in the choir. Apart from teaching us to appreciate & love a variety of music he taught us one of his very special music abilities – the art of making  up words to a song whenever you forget them. Grandma I think battled for years to get him to learn words of so many songs …
      --- At an early age he taught Tanya and Me the importance of camaraderie – Tanya always managed to blame grandpa for eating all the brownies and fudge that she had actually eaten without anyone looking. I don’t remember him once not taking her side and would always mumble to grandma how he must have got up in the middle of the night and eaten some
      --- Growing up as young girls under a soldiers care meant he made sure we mastered the essential skills in life like tying the perfect tie, fixing a puncture, pushing an old car when broken down, the importance of shiny black polished shoes, knowing you times tables backwards & how to sneakily feed the cat & dog under the table when grandma was not looking.
      --- Grandpa had a deep bellied distinct laugh that could be noticed in any crowd & he ensured he always had a couple jokes up his sleeve many of which we remember and will give us a laugh for many many years to come and some not always repeatable
      --- His school motto ‘Never Give In’ was very close to his heart and one he stuck by firmly (and made sure the family did to) especially when it included all 4 of us sitting on his bajaj scooter struggling to make it up the Holy Innocence hill. More often than not it ended up with all of us falling off but he Never Gave In and there were those times we actually all made it up that hill in one piece all 4 still on the scooter  
Trying to sum up Grandpa’s life is an impossible task but if there was anyway to do it – it would simply be to ‘Never Give In’

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