15 April 2008


Hi all ,

A long week this was , what with project releases and features , it was also one of the saddest weeks of my life , one that I will take to my grave. It marked the demise of my Dad's younger brother. One day , I could hear him coughing outside my window , the next day I went to see him at the general ward , the next I heard he had been wheeled into the ICU and the fourth day , he had passed away.In all this what makes my blood boil is the fact that he brought about his own end.35 years of excessive drinking did no one any good.Anyway , we will let that be.Dearest J chittappa , I love you , and I will pray for you , and when you meet Paati ,please tell her everybody in H's wedding told me I resemble her to the tee.

So a little background on J chittappa , ok now , stop with all the sniffing . This blog is my happy place and we shalt discuss only happy things out here , Ok? Ok.

Altoid was J chittappa's only niece for a long time to come.A long peaceful period of time at our ancestral home before the hurricane brought in the rest of us.His ways of playing with children were quirky like you will find out...
Place Altoid atop the chest of drawers.Altoid's face crumples as she contemplates JC's next move.She puckers up.JC goes forward to pick her up.Altoid's blackcurrant eyes dance with joy.Altoid coos and rests a pretty head on JC's shoulder.Altoid opens her eyes.She's atop the Almirah now.waaa AAA HHHHHH.WAAAaaaaahhhh.
JC says : " You ?? An army man's niece??"

Here's a bit that Altoid aka "Shoni" (the skinny one) has written about JC ..
........the fridges of the 70s? Hugggggggggggge, tall, massive, bulky, White! The one in our Bangalore home was one such. Almost 6ft +, it was a novelty in those times. Also my nemesis. When both my chikappas came home for their annual vacation, J from the army and V from Air Force- J chikappa's pastime was to lift me and sit me up on the dirty top of the fridge. Dirty, cos it was too high to clean. Scary, cos then I was scared of heights- all of 3 or 4 or 5 yrs old.

I would scream and cry and J chikappa would go about his business. Carpentry was his passion. He even made me my own wooden toy train. And so many other beautiful toys. A WW2 enthusiast- the WW2 memorial in DC always reminds me of him. A fighter in the 1971 war between India and Pakistan for Bangladesh. Stationed at Kashmir for some very tense years in the 90s. The innumerable Double Deckers and Cadbury's chocolates that were showered on 'Shoni'- that was me, meaning the skinny one.

J chikappa may you RIP.

Coming back to our narrative ,

Next in the hitlist came along Seren , aka Jokali (swing), why was i named thus ? Coz this time around JC got innovative.
Hang Jokali from the entrance to the *Bhuvaneshwari hall.Give her frail 3 kg frame a push from the back .She swings sadly much too scared to cry.Bring her down and watch.Her face crumples.
She deposits some poop on him in generous amounts.

About some 100 odd years back , apparently the room at the center of the house had no ventilation.Hence , this room had a skylight.And our hall was called Bhuvaneshwari.

Then came along his son A.The typical boy.Loved Lego bricks and had a massive train set with realistic looking station masters , bogies , goods trains , passenger trains et all.JC's son to the tee.While the rest of us became software engineers , he joined the export import industry in Africa!

Then came along my cousin D.My partner in crime.Someone who thought nothing of wearing my tie-around sarees and wearing lipstick.Someone who was in awe of his J Perippa. I still remember one incident when all of us were playing hide n seek inside the house .D was chasing me and I jumped over the tea table , picked myself up and ran screaming into JC's room whilst he was having his afternoon nap.Out came an angry head from under the blankets(It was SUMMER then , even if Bangy had been cooler than it is now , it was no excuse to be sleeping under one!) and roared into my face
"Get out Get out! OUT!".Out I ran crying, vowing never to speak to JC when he was up.

After that came along R , his daughter , a tom-boy then.Now she sports waist length hair and can barely be seen in anything shorter than a kurta.If anybody has ever cared for JC and really looked after him , it is her.

Last but not the least , the recluse in the family , D's brother - D!
(Blog lingo truly kills the mood at times!).

A lot of JC's cousins and friends came home and shared snippets about him.N uncle says JC had tried to electrocute N uncle .Just to see what it "looked" like.N uncle , barely 5 then was just about to stick his finger into the socket when Paati burst in and slapped JC ...

P maami related one wonderful story . JC, while he was in Bangladesh paid P maami a visit in Calcutta.The sun had set and JC asked for a cup of strong tea.While he was sipping the tea , he looked into the distance and very calmly told P maami , that it was just yesterday that his best friend got shot through the heart while they were returning in the army jeep.The next day dawned bright and early and P maami asked him if he was alright and whether he was still depressed.Pat came the reply "Depressed? Why?"

JC , may you rest in peace.I hope heaven has a good workshop.

For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

2 scribbled back to “JC”

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2008 9:03:00 PM
    Durga says:

    The P Maami wala Culcutta incident shows he was an AMRY MAN all thru..

    May JC rest in peace.

    I told Altoid uncles are such a sweet part of childhood - every kid needs one.

  • Saturday, April 19, 2008 7:55:00 PM
    Serendipity says:

    Yes , durga , it showed in the various little things that he did and in the numerous letters that are pouring in ..
    He was an integral part of my childhood that was grand , almost king like



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