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Remembering Kalyani Athai

-Karthik Gurumurthy

I am extremely blessed with a wonderful family whom I cherish. Who I am is shaped up predominantly as a result of interactions with the family and friends. One of the people whom I admire, adore is Kalyani Athai (KA). Athai in my language means Aunt. Kalyani Athai is my dad's older sister. KA lived in Nagpur right from the time she got married. As a matter of fact, she was the one who named me as  ' Karthik'. On Feb 18, KA went to be with God. Since I was born and raised in Chennai, my interaction with her was very limited.

In the limited opportunity I had to interact with her, I found her simply amazing GO- Giver. She was very soft-spoken and kind. I have been to Nagpur couple of times during the summer vacation. It was lot of fun and she always used to make different kinds of delicious food and she always went the extra mile to make you feel special. When my uncle and aunt visit, I always wanted to spend more time with them. She makes one of the best Chhole I have ever tasted ('Chhole means Garbanzo beans'). She used to narrate lot of stories about all the pranks my dad did when he was little. I have never seen her gossip or put other people down. It is amazing how much you learn by watching older people behave and interact. She was perfect example of practicing unconditional love, loving every person she comes in contact with and being amazingly kind. The last time I saw her was during my wedding. Last few years she was suffering from Alzheimers before she went to the Lord.

It is sad when we lose one of our close family member, it is a life that was given & yet taken away. What we must always remember is the worth of the life given and by remembering everything that this lady contributed to our world means she has only fallen asleep. She won’t die as in real terms but will live on in the hearts and minds of those she left behind. We definitely miss her physical presence but she did leave a legacy. Legacy of being kind, caring and being a Go- Giver. And as we bid farewell another life, we can pray and hope one day we will all be together again. We can practice what she stood for and that is the best way to honor her to treat everyone with respect, unconditional love and kindness. Thanks Athai for who you are and what you represented. You will be missed for sure.



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