Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sometimes things happen . . . . . . . . . .

These are some of the vegetables that were just plucked from the garden this morning.

Sometimes things happen way far beyond than what you expect it to be.

I mean we came down to Spain to stay with Nalini, an old friend of ours who said that she will take us to this place on Monday and the next day we will go to that place..... in short she and her kids had planned a lot for the eight day stay that we were going to have in La Adrada which is a cute little small villlage about 90 kms from Madrid.

From the day we came I noticed that she was not in a good form physically to play the host that she intended to be. When I greeted her with a kiss she warned me "careful Joe, don´t hold me so tight I am in pain"

Cutting a long story short she just passed away on the third day of our arrival.

I remember many years ago, when she had been to our place in India and said that she missed having a piano to practice her lessons, I offered her the small casio player that I had with me. It was nothing compared to the grand piano she had at home, but she did use it. When she realised that I was musically inclined, she even taught me how to read the musical notes (something I did not pursue which I regret now)

In this age of e mails and computers she wrote a three page hand written letter to us when she got back to Spain.

Well, after I saw the vegetables that were plucked in the morning by her daughter, I took my camera and went out into the garden where Nalini did her gardening.

The figs, pomegranate and apples were not yet ready to be plucked.

Some of the vegetables that she grew:

She probably intended to pluck and cook these herself for us.

and the flowers:

Her daughter showing us around the garden:

The small car that she drove for about a decade.

The gentleman in the village from whose shop Nalini bought most of her provisions. He had a lot of stories to narrate about Nalini. In fact many whom we met in the village had something to say about her as she was a "mother and a good friend" to many.

She was so artistically inclined that most of the things in the house were created by her.

Her painting.

The stuffed toys that she made for her grand daughter.

The crib that she made by cutting perspex sheet (and that too by filing each image with a file and not by a cutting machine)

She used to jot down some of the sayings that she liked.

One entry:
"We meet to create memories and depart to preserve them"

Probably the last entry by Nalini :

One of the entries "There may be times we can´t find help when we need it, but there is never a time we can´t give it"

(note that number four was yet to be entered)

Her house was always open for those who seek warmth, love and happiness........

A beautiful service was held in the church before the funeral.

Preparing for the readings in the church (both in English and Spanish)

The children . . . .  . . .  . .  a moment of grief:

After the funeral, the ashes were brought home last night. (while clicking this, my camera had a very bad fall, but miraculously it is still working)

I hope to write more posts about La Adrada and the other surrounding villages once I am back in India.

Am trying to string up the videos that I shot in the church and once that is done, I will attach it to this post later.

I am sure Nalini wanted us to have a good time in La Adrada and I intend to take back good memories from here.

I love looking at old photographs, especially when it is in black and white.
This one was clicked during Nalini´s engagement, way back in 1974.

And this was clicked about seven years ago when she visited us in Pune.


Teresa Evangeline said...

This is so beautiful, Haddock. What a wonderful tribute to your very loving and kind friend. All of the images support her memory so beautifully. Showing us the #4 left open is very poignant and says so much without words. She was a very talented person, fully engaged in life. What an inspiration.

Thank you so much for sharing all of these images and your kind, thoughtful words. I, too, love old b&W images. They tell good stories.

Wonderful post.

Ze' Incarnate said...

Beautiful Dad...

rama said...

Beautiful tribute. The painting of scene of typical village in Spain is so realistic. Thanks for sharing your grief with us.

anilkurup said...

A solemn requiem, eulogy to a friend, to a heart that knew to love!

Pinku said...

May she rest in peace.

A beautiful soul who really lived life.

Anu said...

What a perfect tribute!!! May she rest in peace!

Renu said...

Beautiful tribute !!May her soul rest in peace !!

Beyniaz said...

May her beautiful soul rest in peace.

Phani said...

What a poignant experience !

All of us after reading this blog would pick up a meaning for our own life. As Nalini had written in her jottings ....she left lot of memories to be preserved. Thanks ,this memory will surely linger on

Bikramjit said...

Speechless and I am speechles seldom


Harman said...

A lovely tribute!
God Bless her Soul!

Virtual Poona Blogger said...

Sometimes the death of a loved one brings out the best in us. You have surely created a heartfelt tribute, one that touches our souls in many ways !

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Your post made me teary... I'm sorry about the loss of your special friend. I just lost a special friend recently to cancer. Both she and your friend obviously lived life to its fullest. You do have many memories of Nalini and I have many of Susan. Thanks for a beautifully written post.

Rebecca said...

I am thankful to have "met" YOU! I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your friend, but my life is richer for having read your descriptions of her gracious life. May a little of Nalini live in each one of us...her hospitality, creativity, appreciation for beauty, and concern for her fellowman.

(I "collect" quotes, too - so that was especially endearing to me.)

Eggs In My Pocket said...

I am so very sorry that you have lost your friend, Nalini. Such a wonderful tribute you have done here on your post. Hang on tight to those memories of her! Blessings,Kathleen

Savira Gupta said...

beautiful tribute... Thank you for visiting A purple Journey

Sh@s said...

Touching tribute. Sorry, to hear about your loss. May her soul rest in peace.

Jeannette said...

Hello "Haddock"
I first read this shortly after you had posted it. There were no comments yet. I wrote a long comment and managed to lose it. I was incapable of rewriting it at the time... In intense grief myself, I was deeply touched by your graceful friend and your graceful tribute to her. And yes, she would have wanted you to continue on in your travels and enjoy your journey....may she be enjoying hers.

Pamela said...

Thank you for inviting me to this post. It's so obvious she was well loved and respected. What a beautiful comfort that her family has the items she made and the book with her beautiful handwriting. Those tangible pieces mean so much.

Utpala Mukherjee said...

Nalini was my friend. She was a pillar of strength for me when I lived in Madrid. I lost touch with her after we left Spain, as we moved into the email age & gave up writing letters on paper. Thankyou for your tribute & pictures.

shivani said...

Nalini...i feel like i know her enough to have respect and very warm feelings for her.
Thanks Haddock for sharing this too. i felt like i was listening to a friend.
It is hard for me to decide if u are a very genuine narrator or a very talented photographer.
And now i am thinking of Nalini...she must be spreading warmth wherever she is now.

Rasha and Ramez said...

We were deeply moved by this tribute to Nalini, whom, we wish we had known. Her sister, Vanaja, with whom we worked for a number of years on Gulf News, is a good friend, as is Nalini's daughter, Vanessa. We offer our heartfelt condolences to them and other members of the family. Nalini's words at this time of her leave-taking are truly relevant: "We meet to create memories and depart to preserve them." May the rest of Nalini's life be fulfilled in the lives of those who cherish her.
Rasha and Ramez

Sridevi Nayak K said...

Very nice dedication. Death is so cold. But we need to move on. RIP Nalini.