I was born in Indonesia as an Indian origin and I was born in a dignified family. I could tell that my family was dignified in the society because of my maternal Grandfather (I call him thatha). A man of his words and a man with honor. His name is D. Renggayya. When he was still alive, he was honored in the society for his knowledge, his ability in Tamil language that was quite seldom to find in the young generation in our community, and his practical views about things.... and still he is honored after his death.
In our family, he was a man who stands his opinion and a man with a great sense of humor. I was born in his family, I was born for his first daughter. My mom is the eldest daughter of thatha. But, unfortunately my father was not a very responsible person that my mom had to divorce him when I was seven. Life was never the same anymore after that.
The man figure that I grew up with was thatha, a figure that not all men can come equal to. There are lots of things that I remember about him when I was a kid. But some things that I will always remember are, first, the scrambled eggs that he used to make for me. I love it when he made it. The scrambled eggs that he made looked like a stack of Jasmines in my bowl - soft and white with some yellowish hue. It was always perfect when he made it for me. Second, the mutton fry that he used to chew first before giving it to me. I was too small and maybe he was afraid I wouldn't be able to digest that properly. I loved the taste after he chewed it. I don't know whether it was his cigar or what, but the smell of that chewed mutton fry is something that I will always miss. Third, his cheeks - when he carried me in his arms, I used to play with his cheeks. If I rubbed it down, it will be very soft, but the moment I rubbed it upward, it will be coarse due to his evening stub. I used to rub his face with mine whenever he carried me in his arms.
I also still remember when I stand on his back and give him a massage while steadying myself on the bedstead. And there was one thing also that my mom ever told me (I don't know about this as I was too small) -- One day I poured all the powder on his face, hands, legs (the way my mom used to put on me) when he took nap one afternoon and that afternoon one of his colleague from office came and he came out of the room with all that powder confidently. He didn't even clean it as he didn't feel shy to be my "doll for the day". Only a gentleman could do such thing. He had a good position in his company and yet I came first for him, his family.
Since mom & dad divorced, my life philosophy, the way I study, the discipline, my thirst in books, my handwriting, my ability to read, write, & speak Tamil, my window to the outside world... was all him. He is the man figure that I have in my life and I am proud to be born in his family.
After I grew up to a young adult, even though I am way too young for him, he always listened to my opinion. If I stand against something, he never brushed me away... he always think for a minute, digest my reason for being super stubborn, get my point and say "If Melly says it, then it will be correct". He did not always say that though, because sometimes I also make mistakes, but when I am right, he will say that I am right. He calls a spade a spade.
Wherever I go in my birth community, if someone ask who I am, I will say that I am the granddaughter of Renggayya and people will know. It's funny, but I never mentioned my dad's name. I mentioned mom's name sometimes, but not many people know her either, unless I told them that she's the daughter of thatha...
That's all for tonight folks... I will continue tomorrow from different angle... Good night and sweet dreams. Bless it be!