Today I would like to dedicate this blog to my most adorable aunt Ms Jayalakshmi, who died at the age of 98 at Trivandrum. She was a human being par excellence. I have had the privilege of learning from her entire life.
Born to a humble lower middle class family in Trichy, she grew up in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka during her childhood. After marriage she settled in Salem, Tamil Nadu. She moved to Trivandrum with one of her sons after the demise of her spouse and decided to settle there for the rest of her life.
A person who taught us more by her silence than her words. An epitome of patience like her elder brother who was my father who was a reservoir of patience and kind heartedness himself.
She taught us invaluable lessons on life and living and I would like to summarise some key learnings from what I could assimilate over the years :
A. Live life with a smile always : She had gone through multiple crisis in life but I have never seen her cribbing about anything in life and her smile was ever present despite all the troubles in her life.
B. Compassion & kindness : In her lifetime, she may have dealt with many people who were unkind and unfair to her including friends and relatives but her compassion and kindness for the members of her family and all her relatives and friends was unparalleled.
C. Patience : Her patience was unlimited. I have never seen her frown or get angry at any instance or any person. Her ability to absorb the most difficult of life challenges with a smile was worth imitation.
D. Power of silence : Like my father she had this innate and enviable ability to communicate more through her silence than her words. Both the brother and sister taught invaluable lessons in life through their silence. They proved to all of us silence is more powerful than words and we often talk much more than we listen.
E. Listening : Her ability to listen to all generations was worth emulation. She had the ability to be affectionate and actively listened and acknowledged through her smiles and her eyes. This made us realise as to how important it is to listen than to speak.
F. Self dependant : I have seen her doing all her chores by herself almost till the age of ninety. She cooked her own food, washed her own clothes and even cleaned her own space. She never depended on anyone to take care of her even at old age.
G.Live for others : She sacrificed her life for the welfare of her family and relatives. She gave everything she could without expecting anything in return. A life dedicated to the well being of others is expression of love unconditionally and true service to God.
I can write a book on my aunt and what I could learn from her. But today, I want to pay my last respects to her by promising to myself that I will try my best to practise what she preached through her actions rather her words.
May her soul rest in peace. Om Shanti.
S Ramesh Shankar
10th September 2022