Monday, September 16, 2013

Rest in Peace Akhrieno Savi

Death always brings upon us a gloom which is so difficult to do away with. A sadness that remains despite the busy life and work which challenges our emotions. Death to a close family member, friend and colleague is even more difficult to comprehend because we feel the closeness of death. Such is the feeling of having lost Akhrieno Savi that it will take a few days to comprehend what actually happened. But the outpouring of grief at this moment makes it clear that Akhrieno had so many friends and everyone valued her friendship.

Akhrieno always came across as a nice person who went out of the way to make you feel good. It was a pleasing sight to see her in UTC as she was always smiling. It was an honour to study as her junior in UTC and interact with her and share various aspects of South Indian culture with her. I guess she was a calming presence in an academic setting where everyone else shouted their lungs out to be heard.

Akhrieno as a writer shouted out her feelings and made us think of the frailty of life. I realised this more so after she left UTC and after a gap of a few years when she read what I wrote and in turn send me what she wrote. I was honoured by her comments, suggestions and sharing of work. I think it is a part of her that not many knew about. As I still come to terms with her demise I reproduce here a few poems written by Akhrieno. She will continue to live through her writings and I am sure there are many more with others. I humbly submit them for all, to honour Akhrieno and tell the world that she was a good academician, writer and human being. Rest in peace my friend.

The smell of Nescafe coffee And the taste of sweet farm biscuits;
The fresh folded morning papers Lying neatly on the table;
The sun rays through the window Casting light in the kitchen;
Raindrops still nestling on the leaves
Reminiscences of tear drops on a baby’s face; the dusty old roofs all washed and sparkled by the heavy downpour last night;
Tiny busy bees at work, Occasionally flirting with the flowers;
A fly hovering round me the sweet smell of biscuit must’ve enticed her;
The ticking of the clock on my desk reminding me, that time waits for no one;
the fading roses on my vase Cautions me that nothing lasts forever;
Smoke slowly, gently curling up from my neighbor’s chimney top; the strong curry smell from my mother’s pot spreading aromas of delight;
The milk man making his morning rounds, dozens of jars (bottles) on his shoulder; a little girl in uniform with a dismal look, as her mother drags her to school;
Shopkeepers pulling up their shutters, another day, another opportunity, another beginning; It amazes me how these everyday happenings, Still bring a smile to my face And teach me life’s lessons daily.

A Solitary moment...
A solitary moment with you O God, Is like a steaming cup of tea after a hard day’s work Refreshing, revitalizing, awakening the weary soul, Giving me new hope, new strength, to move pass bad times.
A solitary moment with you O God, Is like a balm that heals the pains and hurts; As the balm slowly soothes the aching body and senses So also is your presence a gentle balm, to my sore spirit.
A solitary moment with you O God, Is like stealing a minute on my most chaotic day For a short slumber to rest my weary bones on a soft silken bed; So also is your presence, where I find rest for my worn out soul.

The Hands...
His hands are worn out and wrinkled But hands that never rest; The hands that toil from dawn to dusk So there’ll be food on the table; The hands that chop the firewood To keep our nights warm and the fire place burning; The hands that built the family house So we can have a roof over our head; Hands that stroked my hair and dried my tears On my first day to school; The hands that held me up when I fell And carried me when my feet couldn’t go any longer; Hands that are now weak and frail, clumsy and shaky But are still the most beautiful hands… The hands of my dear father.

And finally a poem that offers hope to all of us even as she is no more with us....

A dying man’s song…
When I am gone… When my heart stops beating And my face appears pale and blue; When my eyes refuse to open And look back at you… When my body lies stiff and cold And I can’t touch you any longer… Always remember…I am near, very near. Look around you I will come as the morning breeze And gently touch your cheeks I will come as the gentle rain And wash your grief away When you need a friend I will be among the trees, whispering to you I will be among the birds Singing for you, when you’re feeling lost And when I’m gone, don’t forget me Even as I fade away for others Carry me forever in your heart And keep me alive in your memory.