Memories: Grandmother Tales – 3

Sometime back I received a video on one of my family Whatsapp groups. This was a small documentary about Sanskrit scholars who had settled down in the villages on the banks of the Tamarabarani River in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu a few centuries back. They were fleeing muslim invaders, most likely the Mughals and fled to preserve their culture and way of life. These scholars are today most likely known as the Tamil Brahmins who are my ancestors. When I saw this video, I was instantly taken back to a conversation I had with my paternal grandmother a few weeks before she passed away.

We were travelling back to Bangalore from Sringeri, after a wonderful trip to celebrate my cousin’s thread ceremony and we stopped at a place, whose name escapes me now for a break. That was when she told me, possibly in passing, that her ancestors originally came from either or someplace close to Nagpur in Maharashtra and then moved to someplace in Karnataka, where they settled down for a few centuries before finally moving down south to settle on the banks of the Tamarabarani in Tirunelveli district. So when I saw that video, I immediately thought of my ammama and was very sad that she passed away before I really got to know her as an adult. I did some research on this and this is probably true. I also found writings which said that Tamil brahmins probably came down to the south from either coastal Andhra Pradesh from the Godavari basin or coastal Karnataka. This ties in to what my ammama told me.

I was very close to her and I was her favourite, maybe necause I was her first grandchild and was named after her. I am also told I resemble her a lot, both in looks as well as in temperament and in the way we look at things. I have only seen her in the traditional tambram saree called the Madisar and when I wore one at my wedding, pretty much everyone in the room, including my parents and extended family said they felt I looked like her. She loved reading and was interested in history. I really wish we had some more time with her so I could get to know her as a person, speak with her as an adult and learn more about my family.

Unfortunately, we don’t have any written family history, and those who knew the oral history have passed away. This is a very sad thing and I wish I was interested in this a lot earlier, when I could have perhaps gotten to know my own ancestral history a bit more.

While this is not really memories of my grandmother, when I read about things like this, I remember her a at that point in time and have a happy smile the rest of the day.

2 thoughts on “Memories: Grandmother Tales – 3

  1. Pingback: Grandmother Tales: The Maternal Edition | Memories and Such

  2. Pingback: Memories: Grandmother Tales 4 – The Travel Edition | Memories and Such

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