I wrote this years ago, a decade ago, about the Spartans of chippi. Chippi my home, the paradise which I cherish, where I had my first crush, where I bled first, where I found immense love and support, where I fought with Atticus and Amma as a difficult teenager, where I grew up with my sister Vava, where my grandmother told me stories about the political struggle and adventures she had in her life….and many many stories. I am me because of them.
Hence I write again, now that am far far away again from them, thousands of miles away, oceans apart, but united in love where my heart still beats to the rhythm of the wind chimes in the verandah, where I still wake up today by the singing of the chirping birds as though its the same window of my room back home, the rumbling sound of the cars that shook our window in the night, the fragrance of the rose jasmine flowers Amma planted in the garden, I still feel a part of me is home with them always never to be apart.
I left home last year this time with a heavy heart and a bleak future. I did not know where my life was going, but I had to fly away to find a purpose, to forget the broken dreams, to build a happy life, to be able to hope again. And I set off as a vagabond searching to sail to a shore where I can build a home. A home where I can write and sing and dance and paint. A art house of my dreams.
Atticus held me in his arms and told me before I left – ` You have immense love in your heart Vinu, you will be happy with it, love can fight depression, you make this world a better place to live for us. The moment you were born our lives changed and your sister only added Joy to the paradise we had in our lives` . I cried like a baby and realized how much Atticus shaped my life, my feminism, my confidence, how much he influenced the romantic heart of mine just like his, he made me a fighter and as far as I can remember I have been fighting my own self, my depression with my teeth and nail. My hero, my strength.
Amma was a shadow to Atticus, it was like they are one, she blended into him as one, and she was like people say the better half of him. She was full of love and care and emotions, shouted like me, threw tantrums like me, and Atticus and my little sister, were the ones who kept us on earth always and still does. She told me that all she want is to find at peace, even if I live alone. She was feminist my grandmother moulded her into, and she moulded me into a woman who has a voice. She fought depression in her life by living for the family, be it us three or our relatives. All my cousins and aunts and uncles saw her as the rock who held us all together, always extending a helping hand, always making us all feel full. Her love was her strength and Atticus knew it all along, just from their age 2 when they became friends for life and lovers and partners forever. My heroine, my alter ego.
Vava my little Koovs, the angel of our family, hugged me and gave a peck on my cheek. I dont know when I hugged her like that. Though I told her everything, I have always been sort of a terror figure to her, and perhaps in my adult life she is the one who has taken the maximum of my mood swings and tantrums, wisely and affectionately without judgment. When I left, I could see with every step I took away from her, I felt the void growing bigger and bigger, without her I have to fight alone, but her being a heart beat away, I felt I can cope. She said I can and I believed her, or rather she made me believe in myself and my wretched soul which was lost for years and years. She made me feel home, and now she holds our family together the wise one I would say. My confident, my best friend.
Saj my brother whom my sister found love and friendship and partnership, has become like blood brother, like a son to my parents. He is the master of the family now, the most balanced one. I remember he told me that I have a life ahead to dream about, to fight and to show everyone who said I will fail that I can. He is my sisters confident and I think it makes her wiser and her feet back on earth. The fighter he was in life he made sure we are stronger and stronger in our lives. His purpose in life along with his profession was to help people to cope this rollercoaster called life. And it always started at home. Home sweet home.
It was hard to leave Amelie and Kunjami, I knew I will miss seeing them every week. Them growing up tiny bit at a time, the new words they speak, new songs they learn. Amelie changed my life when she was born, she gave me hope. I remember a little rose blooming inside my heart when I first held her. It was the rose of hope to live and to cherish life, to see them grow older and happy. Kunjami was born as though she was Amelies little doll. They are like me and Vava different but immensely close, and I wish they grow up to be closer and closer like me and Vava. Angels of Hope.
It is not easy to fight depression, it is a abnormal pathological state in our brains, perhaps microbial as well. But with a supportive family who does not treat it like a taboo, who accepts your flaw and abnormality, you can win over it, and live and not give up. All you need is support of people who care and who does not pull you down. Hang in there, there is always hope. Always.