Everything is impermanent

Thata, nalla irrka ma (grandfather, are you keeping well)? I thought I could hear him say, “Irrka, Dolma.” But then, Acchi (his wife) picked up the call and informed that he passed away. I struggled to console her with my choked voice, she knew both of us were broken inside to cope with this loss.

I was a naïve college student back then, hopping from one house to another in search of a temporary home I can call my own. Finally, I found myself settling deposit amount with a tall old man, Tamilian by origin. He appeared indifferent in the beginning, but as the time passed by, Tatha opened up. We managed to communicate – he would understand my broken Tamil, and I, his broken English. Every time, my friends and I would come home tired and lazy, Tatha and Acchi would drop lunch (a grand one, with sambar, rice, vegetables, curd). We gradually grew fond of each other, having weekend lunch together, laughing, eating and talking for hours. This is the rarest of rare gesture you would encounter in a city. Most of the landlords would scream at the drop of a hat, make numerous complaints.

Three years flied. Tatha would still call me, poking fun, “Job yipri irrka. Dolma, marriage la wesa aicha?” (How’s your job? Dolma, you are well passed your age to get married) I smile, and convince him that it is not a big deal for Tibetan women in their early 20s to be unmarried. He toiled hard (selling spices across states) to put up with dowry demands when his four daughters got married. Ironically, as with most Indian women, Tatha’s daughters adopted their husband’s family, and somehow, made their old parents feel isolated, and lonely. Tatha would say, “Lord gave me four new daughters (my friends and I).” We loved him like our grandfather.

This was another truth I should reflect upon. Impermanence is the cruel truth. Everything that comes, has to go away sooner or later. Death is inevitable. Live your life for the bigger purpose. At least, I would want to die peacefully, thinking that I did live a meaningful life. I pray I will.

You gave us unconditional love, Tatha. You are my karmic grandfather. Rest in peace. I love you so much.



5 thoughts on “Everything is impermanent

  1. Dear Doma,
    I am so sorry that your Tamilian grandfather is no more, and I was really touched by what you have written about him on your this page. This is because I know your relation, how you use to call him and enjoy talking to him in tamilian. Anyway, you should try to over come by understand what is written here……by Rigpa June 28

    Reflect on this: The realization of impermanence is paradoxically the only thing we can hold on to, perhaps our only lasting possession. It is like the sky, or the earth. No matter how much everything around us may change or collapse, they endure.

    Say we go through a shattering emotional crisis . . . our whole life seems to be disintegrating . . . our husband or wife suddenly leaves us without warning. The earth is still there; the sky is still there. Of course, even the earth trembles now and again, just to remind us that we cannot take anything for granted. . . .

  2. Considering it as a part of the soul’s inevitable recyling process and meanwhile getting oneself prepared for the same process by accumulating meaning to life are the best self-condolences of such “losses”; well, only the juries of death can tell if it’s a gain or loss, upgradation or downgradation of the soul, and whatever, there’ll be a fair trial and deserving judgement.

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