- My mom passed away on July 8th 2020.
- I cremated my mom on July 9th 2020 at Panattur Electric Crematorium
- I disbursed my mom’s ash and bones in the Cauvery river on July 10th 2020
- My mom’s 10th day to 13th day ceremonial rites is scheduled from July 17th to July 21st
- For one year (till July 2021), I will be performing monthly ceremonial rites and annual ceremonies thereafter.
My mom Neela was born to Yadugiriamma and Nelkundi Anandampillai Sampathkumarachar as their last daughter in the year 1938. Neela was in 2nd standard when India got independence on August 15th 1947 and all students in that academic year 1947-48 were given a free pass (without examination). Neela’s house was in Mysore city Kempananjamba Agrahara and Devamba agrahara. Neela did her bachelor’s degree in music (veena instrument). Neela used to get tutored in mathemetics from her uncle Ananthachar. Neela’s father N.A. Sampathkumarachar had retired from Banumaiah’s High School, where he was known as the silver tongued orator for his eloquence in English language.
Neela did her masters degree from Mysore University in history and was one among the four women candidates in the academic year. Of the three classmates of hers, one was Dr.M.B.Padma who went on to become the Principal of Mysore’s Maharaja College. Neela learned veena under her elder sister A.S.Padma who retired as an ‘A’ grade veena artist in the All India Radio (earstwhile Akashavani). Neela had given numerous live concerts with her sister in various podiums including radio concerts, for several years.
Neela completed her bachelor’s degree in education after completing her masters. Neela got selected for a government job with a starting pay of INR 75 or today’s one US dollar. She used ot work in different high-schools in and around Mysore like Kadakola, T-Narsipura etc. Neela used to stay with her friend Balu in T-Narsipur even after her marriage with Embar Ramaswamy in 1975. My father got my mom transferred to Bangalore after my birth in 1976 and my mom worked briefly at Kadugodi and then for over two decades at Hosakote- where she retired in 1998. Though my mom had got an opportunity to work as a college lecturer in Basavakalyan (North Karnataka), my mom did not take up the college promotion cum transfer assignment and retired as a high school teacher at Hosakote.
My mom was a devout hindu who did a sort of penance her whole life to achieve the holy feet of Lord Krishna. My mom was not attracted to material pleasures (lesson for me- be detached in material life). After my father died in the year 2002, my mom took me to several discourses by Srivaishnavite teachers, Mr.Velukkudi Krishnan in particular. We both used to attend Mr.Krishnan’s lectures at MES Kishore Kendra in Malleshwaram on several weekends. Mr.Krishnan, who is a chartered accountant by profession also organized religious tours to North India. My mom took me to first of such tours in 2006 called the Sri Rama Anuyatra following in the footsteps of Lord Rama right from his birth place in Ayodhya till the place of his marriage in Janakpuri in Nepal and across India all the places which Rama visited during his vanavas (exile in forest and search for Seeta).
In 2011, my mom and me went to Sri Krishna Anuyatra by spending over 10 days Bhagavatha Sapthaha in Vrindavan and in 2016 we went to Sri Ramanuja Anuyatra by visiting pancha dwaraka, all under the auspices of Sri.Velukkudi Krishnan. I also happen to have a bunch of MP3 compact discs which my mom had purchased through Velukkudi Krishnan’s Kinchitkaram Trust by paying quarterly fees of INR 230 every quarter of the year. These MP3 discs and the annual DVDs containing lectures of Sri.Velukkudi Krishnan Swamy is nectar to the ears and is a cherish-able gift for those with good knowledge of Tamil language.
My mom suffered a heart attack in December of 2010 [around the same time I had lost my first private job (after my resignation from government job ) due to closure of the entity which employed me]. Past few months (especially around my father’s 18th death ceremony on 24th May 2020), my mom stopped her intake of food. I admitted my mom to St.John’s hospital on 20th June 2020 but even after 4 days, when she did not take any food, I got her discharged against medical advice which said that I should get her biopsy done due to some mass around her aorta. It also came to light that she had chronic SDH (hemorrhage in brain during CT scan) and that there were cancerous tissues (during abdomen CT scan). I appointed a 24×7 nurse to take care of my mom when I was away at work and I used to spend many sleepless nights because my mom would not sleep due to her restlessness. On her last day, my mom spoke to my aunt Kannamma that she had got moksham (or liberation from the cycle of birth and death). On the same day evening when I was at my secondment place of work, my sister who had come to stay overnight with my mom informed that she is having breathing difficulty and a little while ago she had passed away.
My relatives and friends have wished me to be strong. I would like to learn below shlokas from Bhagavad gita which I found in a Facebook post, which will surely guide me. I found a website http://bhagavad-gita.org which has commentaries by different Vaishnavaite teachers including Ramanujacharya, which will help me in such times.
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