On 19th Jan 2011.

I do believe in the entire universe conspiring to help you when you really want something (but not always. I hated these lines this August)… I find positive words and gestures very powerful and very comforting. Thank you for visiting the temple and for praying or thinking of a girl and a family you have never met or known. I have to believe that that is what changed how I felt as the day brought in emails, calls, comments, messages, a surprise book, precious posts wishing a girl known only online, and photographs I will cherish forever. Thank you doesn’t even begin to convey how I feel.

I have always believed in some supreme, kindly power watching over the world. I have never understood how this power allows a mother monkey to cling to the body of her dead baby or the human heart to feel so much pain for something it can’t change. It should have been natural to remember a child with a smile. I read a sad blog by a father who lost his son, Sanstav Paul in Dec 2008, he wishes, like I did, for some comfort, “Beta, if you think that we loved you so much then please come at least once (in my dream) to tell me that you are all right.”

I told my son, as we sat talking till late at night, that there should have been a rule that if the children die before the parents, they should appear in their dreams and say loving goodbyes to the parents. Son said, “They should appear in the siblings’ dreams also.

My mother didn’t call. She was the first person to hold Tejaswee 20 years ago. She never missed her birthday ever. My sister called her to find out how I was before calling me (when the melodrama-queen had spoken to me just the night before!) and they cried together. My mother told her she sees my grieving face all the time, everywhere. I asked her if that wasn’t too much. I could never be what I was, but I was fine. Grateful to be more ‘fine’ than I would ever have imagined.

My sister had once said she hated god when she heard my changed ‘hello’ over the phone. I had thought that was exaggeration too. I asked her if she still felt my voice sounded like a mother’s whose child had died. She burst into loud crying. Tejaswee was a lot like my sister. One morning we were rushing to drop her to school, as we got into the building lift, she looked at my face carefully and asked if I would like her to tell me where all I was getting wrinkled on my face. As we got out of the lift, a neighbour asked what I was laughing about and Tejaswee tried to shut my mouth, “Don’t tell!!” But I ‘told of course, and we teased her for her Sagittarius (ascendant) tactlessness.  So I told my sister what she said didn’t hurt because I could ask her to stop when it hurt and I knew she would.

My sister in law and niece chose to contribute to Tejaswee Rao Scholarship on her birthday. If you too would like to contribute please do  email me. Unfortunately it can’t be done online yet, but the cheque directly in the name of her college with ‘Tejaswee Rao Scholarship’ written behind the cheque would go into the fund/deposit the college has created for the scholarship.

And here’s how her cousin and his fiancee celebrated her life on her 20th birthday.

Dear Tejaswee,

It’s your birthday today and I wish you could be here to celebrate with us. Even though we can’t be together on this day, Sanda and I have decided to celebrate anyway, so we are going to have some yummy chocolate cake this evening and will also give some to the many stray dogs that live under our building (will post some pictures here!!). I am sure you would have enjoyed this and we wanted to let you know that you will be in our thoughts today and we hope we will be in yours.

Sending all our love and two big hugs,


42 thoughts on “On 19th Jan 2011.

  1. I told my son, as we sat talking till late at night, that there should have been a rule that if the children die before the parents, they should appear in their dreams and say loving goodbyes to the parents. Son said, “They should appear in the siblings’ dreams also.”

    I wish this too ….

    Me – Yes Phoenixritu, I too hope he gets the dream that he needs,I know it can make a difference…


  2. TJ has touched so many hearts and lives including so many in this blog world IHM. I loved what her cousin did and I am waiting for those pics! Hugs 🙂

    Me – Some of the other pictures are of feeding the dogs and three of Tejaswee’s that I did not have. And then two of little Varunavi cutting that cake!


  3. क्या हवाएँ थीं कि उजड़ा प्यार का वह आशियाना
    कुछ न आया काम तेरा शोर करना, गुल मचाना
    नाश की उन शक्तियों के साथ चलता ज़ोर किसका
    किंतु ऐ निर्माण के प्रतिनिधि, तुझे होगा बताना
    जो बसे हैं वे उजड़ते हैं प्रकृति के जड़ नियम से
    पर किसी उजड़े हुए को फिर बसाना कब मना है
    है अँधेरी रात पर दीवा (Deeya) जलाना कब मना है
    – Harivansh Rai Bacchan
    The night might still be long and dark, but I see that flicker of hope and positivity in your post. Hugs….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It should have been natural to remember a child with a smile , but IHM we can make it ‘normal’ to remember our child with a pleasing radiant smile ….
    Hugs !!!

    Me – I wish it wasn’t so difficult Sangeeta… though it wasn’t difficult for me yesterday, the one day I had feared would be!!


  5. Heart hugging post…..I dunno what to say, I am thinking…

    Me – Alka, it was a day I loved and feared both, a day that would have been a list of gifts a 20 year old expected and of plans made and changed, of another excuse to get something crazy done in the hair… now I just wanted it to remain a day that was loved and cherished. I feel grateful that it did.


  6. Tell your son Tejaswee will come one day, and it will be just wonderful when she does. The brother I never knew I had came in my dream 20 years after he died…she will come too.

    Not surprised at the outpouring of support…not at all…like I said she left behind only love.

    Me – He knows about your dream Starry!!! I should tell him now that even if it does take some time, he will see her again.


    • Of course … she will .. Tell him siblings no matter how far can never forget to bully and inspire. It would be like just when he would think he can’t jog anymore she’ll come and whisper a tease and he’ll end up taking two more rounds 🙂

      Me – I really hope this does happen! A pain like this needs support like this.


  7. TJ must have been very happy from where she saw all these.

    Me – Yes I think so too Scorpria!!! That dream on the 3rd of Jan brought me the peace to be able to smile on what I had always thought was the most precious day in my life.


  8. Read it twice.
    Being a gray haired male, crying is not acceptable.
    But I can be excused for feeling a lump in my throat.
    May God be with you and your family.


    • Gray haired men can cry too Mr G Vishwanath. I read somewhere that tears are a tribute to the memories of our loved ones… But despite everything, this day turned out to be quite fine. I was filled with immense gratitude for all the support.


  9. Hum na samjhe the baat itni si …. bandh aankhon se baatein hoti hai aaj bhi. Ek tinka main yahan muskurai Ma .. ek aksh tune wahan giray .. aaj bhi maine rulaya tune hasaya .. badla kya hai Ma … dekh zara idhar aur sun – maine kahan tha na – main tenu phir milengi 🙂

    We shall talk and not remember for we remember memories and talk and discuss the present – when she lives on in such a wonderful way how can we say that she’s gone! 😀

    Hey Tj waiting for your next visit … I think it’s time to bully the younger sibling .. what say 😉 😉


  10. I was thinking of TJ on her birthday. I feel like we all have this bond with her now, thanks to you IHM.

    Me – Hugs Shilpa!!! This means a lot to me… I hate the thought of her being forgotten like she never was there…

    I hope you take good care of yourself. Seems like you are not.

    I would love to contribute to the scholarship. Should I send the check in snail mail or is there a way to transfer money online?

    Me – Online transactions are not possible yet Shilpa. The cheque should be for the college, I will email the details to you.


  11. Hugs,IHM!! I am sure she will reach into the hearts of many many!!

    I read through all her posts on her blog on 19th, smiled through a few. Saw all of her posts on deviant art (her sketches and some of her photographs made me smile) . Thanks for sharing all those links with us. Much thankful that she has left so much for us to savour…


  12. IHM, Tejaswee has made a huge difference to how so many of us perceive life. I know, for one, how much her words, her thoughts, her attitude have always struck a positive note in my life and continue to do so 🙂

    I’m sure she must have been delighted to see her loved ones turn her b’day into such a beautiful one.

    Hugs to you!

    Take care, IHM


  13. Am so glad that positive conspiracies like this exist! My resolve is to make sure that there is a happy birthday post on 19th Jan as long as my blog exists. She will not be forgotten.

    And please let your son know that elder siblings don’t let things like lack of breath prevent them from watching over the littler ones. God knows what the littler ones could and would do and who would protect them from themselves?! 😀 It’s a bond that does not break. Ever.


  14. I am not able to read any posts about TJ with dry eyes. What loving gestures of the family members; I am sure TJ is loving that stray dogs were fed cake on her b’day!
    I totally agree with your son….I cannot even imagine how hard it is to lose a sibling 😦


  15. TJ is one of the few people who have touched our hearts without even having known her. I am sure she will come in your son’s dreams – when he needs her the most.

    Hugs IHM!

    Me – I really hope this happens. He and my husband both need their dreams…


  16. {Tight Hugs} I know you only thru the blog and that too thru Starry’s blog. But I have shed so many tears for you all, that you wouldn’t believe.

    But have faith that wherever she is, she is very happy and you know it as you saw her happy and content in your dreams.

    Me – Yes AA_Mom, now whenever I think of her, her smile in my dream is what I see.


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  18. This post reminds me how we mothers, in such pain that we cannot fathom anyone else, including our other children, can come close to how we feel. But your son gave you a clue when he said his sibling should come to HIM in a dream as well. I forget,as they seem very busy, that my other children also have pain over their sister’s death. Mine is so heavy, an everyday pain , while theirs seems less. But that is how God made us, especially the young, to survive emotionally by pressing on, moving on, and looking at their future with expectation. A mother’s cocoon of pain over their child’s death. ( I may have to write about that ), sending love, Gina


  19. I didn’t know TJ until today and yet I cried. I can only imagine your pain…I know she’s happy and if its any consolation, I’ve asked my mama to look out for TJ.
    Love and Hugs


  20. I read Tejaswee’s letter to the future every once in a while because it reminds me that while everything in life may not work out the way I want it to, what I do have right now is the “strength to rise” and work towards my dreams. I can even quote lines off it now 🙂
    Her words gives me courage and I’m sure she epitomises it for you too. Though I never met her myself, I’ve read so much about her on your blog that I felt I knew her well enough to write a few lines on her myself…I’m sure it doesn’t do justice to someone so close to your heart…but I thought I’d share it with you nevertheless.
    It it helps, the last verses in the first chapter of the book of Job in the Bible are a source of strength for me. I hope they help you too.

    Me – Thank You.


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  23. tu dur hai uss chand mein, udte panchhi mein, uss badal mein
    tu paas hai, baithi hai, kehti hai yun hi
    ma, bhookh lagi hai, ek roti aur do na..
    bachhi tu hai yaadon mein, meri khushi mein, meri hasi mein..


  24. Pingback: In our hearts forever. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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