Monday, April 29, 2013

A tribute to Rukmini Akka

My beloved second elder sister Rukminiakka passed away on the 24th of April 2013 leaving behind her vast family, friends, well-wishers and relatives. It was a great shock to all of us as none of us were prepared for her such sudden departure. She had been a pillar of strength to us all these days.
Rukminiakka was a sentimental, straightforward and outspoken personality. She had witnessed all sorts of difficulties in her younger days in our Adekhandi family. With six sons and three daughters, our parents had little time to spare for their younger ones.  Akka took upon herself the responsibility of bringing up her younger siblings! While our eldest sister Gowrakka was a softy, Rukminiakka was made of sterner stuff. Also Gowrakka was married and left Adekhandi at the age of 16 years. Rukminiakka took full charge of us thereafter.
Rukminiakka was a total disciplinarian. In our Malnad village-life there were plenty of household jobs to be done by the younger people. However, as children we just wanted to spend our time in eating, playing and reading Chandamama stories. Akka would delegate the daily jobs to us like a Project Manager. In her regime there was very little scope for under/non-performances! Besides, she was very particular about cleanliness. She would personally give us hot water bath. The concept of soap was just being introduced and it was a costly affair. Our Malnad families were using the soapnut powder in place of soap. Akka would brush our skin with the soapnut powder so roughly that tears would flow from our eyes!
By the time Akka got married and left Adekhandi, we had grown up to the stage of appreciating her role in our daily life. Hence she left behind a great vacuum. We used to be very happy whenever she came back during the delivery period of her sons.  The days would run fast and the period of vacuum would come back again.
In her later part of life, Akka had a vast networking. At the first generation level, she would keep a track of her brothers, sisters and their spouses. She would also keep in close touch with the families of our brother-in-law's sisters and cousins. There were two levels in the second generation – the first being of her four sons and daughters-in-law. The other one was that of sons and daughters of her brothers and sisters. The last level was that of the third generation comprising grandsons/granddaughters of her own and those of her sisters and brothers. The entire network has virtually collapsed now with her sudden departure.
The collapse of our ancestral Adekhandi house was a major cause of worry for Akka. I remember how she became speechless, when we visited the vacant and damaged house last time. She was particularly pained to see the non-maintenance of the arecanut plantation that was so dear to us. We left the place silently leaving behind the ruins of our dearest sweet ancestral home.
Rukminiakka had studied up to fourth standard only. I was worried that she could not read any of my writings that were in English. In the year 2008, my colleague in HCL Mr. Jagan told me that I could write in Kannada using special Google software. The first thing I did was to write three poems on my late eldest brother and two elder sisters. I dispatched the poems to my sisters through post. Unfortunately the postal department misplaced the poem on Rukminiakka. She was hesitant to ask me to send another copy. But once I came to know the non-delivery I sent her another copy. She was quite happy with my writing. I feel it appropriate to reproduce it below:

ನನ್ನ ಪ್ರೀತಿಯ ಅಕ್ಕ (ರುಕ್ಮಿಣಕ್ಕ)

ಚಕ್ಕನೆ ನೆನಪಾಗುವುದು 
 ಚೊಕ್ಕ ಸಂಸಾರದ 
ನಮ್ಮ ಅಕ್ಕರೆಯ ದಿನಗಳು

ನಮ್ಮನೆಲ್ಲರ ನೀನು 

ಬಿಮ್ಮನೆ ಬೆಳೆಸಿದ್ದೆ 
ಒಮ್ಮೆಯೂ ಕೆಡದಂತೆ 
ಸುಮ್ಮನೆ ಕಾಲಹರಣ ಮಾಡದಂತೆ

ನಮ್ಮೆಲ್ಲರಿಗೂ ನೀನು 
ಅಮ್ಮನಂತೆಯೇ ಇದ್ದೆ 
ಸುಮ್ಮನೆ ಹೇಳಿಲ್ಲ ನಾನಿದನು 
ಅಮ್ಮನೇ ಇದಕೆ ಸಾಕ್ಷಿ

ಸೋಮಾರಿಗಳಾಗಿದ್ದ ನಮಗೆ
ಛೀಮಾರಿ ಹಾಕುತ್ತ 
ಯಾಮಾರಿಸಿ ಬೆದರಿಸಿ 
ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯರಾಗಿಸಿದೆ ನೀನು

ಸ್ನಾನವ ಮಾಡಿಸಿದೆ
ಧ್ಯಾನವ ಕಲಿಸಿದೆ
ಮಾನವ  ಉಳಿಸುತ್ತ
ಜ್ಞಾನಿಗಳಾಗಿ ಮಾಡಿದೆ 
ಬೆವರೆಷ್ಟು ಸುರಿಸಿದ್ದೆ 
ತವರೇ ಇಲ್ಲದಂತಾಯ್ತೀಗ 
ಬೆವರಿಗೆ ಬೆಲೆಯಿಲ್ಲದಂತಾಯ್ತು
ತವರಿನ ನೆನಪಷ್ಟೇ ಉಳಿಯಿತೀಗ 

ಅಂದಿನಾ ನೆನಪುಗಳು
 ಸ್ಪಂದಿಸುತಿಹುವು ಮನದಲ್ಲಿ
ಮಂದದಿ ನರ್ತಿಸುತಿಹುವು 
'ಅಡೇಕಂಡಿಯ' ಸಂದು ಗೊಂದಿನಲಿ 

ಇಂದು  ಕವನವನು
ನಿನಗಾಗೆ ಬರೆದಿಹೆನು 
ಒಂದು ಅವಕಾಶ ನನಗಿದುವೆ
 ಬಯಸುತಿಹೆ ನಿನ್ನ ಆಶೀರ್ವಾದವ
 .ವಿ .ಕೃಷ್ಣಮೂರ್ತಿ

May her soul rest in peace!
A V Krishnamurthy
30th April 2013


psvasan said...

My hearty condolences. Persons depart. Memories remain.

AVK Murthy said...

Thank you Sir.