The Empty Fish Tank

The Empty Fish tank

Hard to believe that it is a year since I left the blog. Clinic was busy, and top of it, I had joined a course on diabetes which took most of whatever little time I was left with. I completed it last week. Many of my friends had asked me, why education at this age?
It was fun, like going to school from the beginning. And then there are interesting people I met there, on whom I can write a dozen posts!

The first thing I did when I returned to the blog was looking at my favorite bloggers. Pareltank was one of the first blog I had added to my list. Then it suddenly struck me. It is almost a year since she escaped the tank. She is no more there. The tank is empty.

I thought she had named the tank after the parel fish which are small agile energetic and beautiful looking fish with silvery scales which are abundant in the local rivers. Her tank was as lively, filled to the brim with ideas as shiny as the parel fish.

Kochuthresiamma’s blog was a class apart. Her exemplary ease and skill of the language, her insight in to human behavior as she has seen it the way she grew up and then later when she worked as an English language teacher, was obvious from the first post you read. My favorite was the one she had written about her childhood; memories came alive in words as colors on a canvas. She remembered her gramophone and Starry Starry nights and Don McLean.

I would have listened to that song a hundred times since then. There is something captivating about that song.

Many a time I had argued and contradicted what she had written. And I was silly enough to offend her in one of the posts where she had written about an actress student of hers. But I realized my mistake and had apologized to her. Deeper than that, I have been trying to absolve the guilt attached to that , and it becomes all the more painful, now that she is not alive.

I remember what her son had written about her in his note.

“What I loved most was that to Amma, her universe was not limited to her children and her husband: it ensconced her siblings and their families, her husband’s closest and farthest family, all her friends and all the less fortunate people who managed to cross her path, with the same circle of love as it did her near and dear ones”

Well, that was what she was from what little I had come to know of her. One thing was for sure. She battled the disease for five years. Although her frail body had begun to give up to the disease, her fighting spirit led her on her regular course of life. Her last blog post was just few weeks before she left us. That was tremendous courage.

I thought I knew what it means to face the death of a loved one. By this age, I had already buried both my mother, being the more dismaying loss. It seemed outrageous that the world should go on without her in it. Still it goes on. My wife’s father, my eldest brother, my aunt who had brought me up, my closest friend, and my daughter in law at a tender age...The list goes on, of those whom I bid farewell.

Our dead are not dead to us until we have forgotten them.

I feel immune to the kind of grief that empties the mind of everything except longing. I have wept for all those whom I loved, and whom I still miss.

Mourning has no timetable. Grief is not the same for everyone. And it does not always go away.

Rest in peace, my blogger friend!


  1. how nice to see you!

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral

  2. Dear Doc, for sometime I too thought why no more posts are seen from you. Looking forward to see many more beautiful ones. The Quote from Dalai Lama is thought provoking.

  3. Another heartfelt from you Doc..Thankful for the post.It's become now a routine to welcome the day with all disappointing mindless words..Part of life ! But the balance is people like you who portray soul..keep writing Doc.
    God bless everyone to go through the inevitable losses and realizations in life !
    (a request-why don't u add an 'email subscription' which may be of help to many)

  4. Hi Doc,
    In a way your absence from the Blogs was like a tank that was half full and something amiss. The selected bloggers in my list could not fill the void of another’s absence. Good to see you back and that with a poignant post.
    No disagreement with your observations on the “Parel tank”, the Blog and its Blogger. Though often her curtness and sharp repartees were jolting, it was a lively debate when she involved.
    Of the loss and disappointments one may face head-on in life, the elderly outliving the tender ones, the young must be the most devastating, I’m sure.

    Dalai Lama’s quote is an eye opener- if one cares to open the eyes.

  5. Glad ur back.

    Keep posting.

  6. Hello Doc,

    "then there are interesting people I met there, on whom I can write a dozen posts!

    Keen to read those post. keep blogging.

    Thanks,for taking me to Pareltank's Blog. It was (now) the first time i read a few post by her. I pray her soul rest in peace.

    Grief is like a merry go round, especially when around those who give unconditional love. Such memories get frozen, and that chill at times, bring in a smile or tears. Truly life goes on ... and will always.

    best regards,

  7. Nice to see you back doc.
    very thoughtful post.
    keep writing.
    Tasty Appetite

  8. So good to have you back, I've missed your poignant and insightful posts. So full of compassion, today's offering was worth the wait.

  9. Doc,

    Missed you much! KPJ was all you said and more. Like you, I also disagreed with her on certain things, but I valued her opinion very much. When she appreciated something I wrote, I knew it was good; I cherished her comments.

    Even now, once in a while I visit her blog...

    Hope to see you more often. :-)

  10. Welcome back doctor...So happy to see you here...

    It took me sometime to understand the Kochuthresiamma aunty was no longer there. I was not an active reader in her blog, so never came to know about her long battle with death...

    I always admired her memory about those childhood events, clarity of thoughts and the amazing command over English language.

  11. Nice to have you back Doc! Blogging is always good and so many good folks here; hard to miss

  12. I always feel that the ones who leave us and go are sitting up there and guiding us in our daily activities. Just a feeling.

  13. nice blog as usual Doctor Antony

  14. Oh I never knew this happened. I was an admirer of Kochuthressiamma's writing. But was wondering y there were no new posts from her. May god bless her

  15. Sorry doctor I was away, so sad to read about your friend...

  16. Glad that you are back and good to know that you remember many of the old folks.

  17. I chanced upon this blog by sheer accident.Yes, it is more than four years since my wife passed away.It warms my heart to see that old friends do still remember her with fondness.Thank you!

  18. Hi
    Good to see you.
    Memories live on. Our dead are not gone so long as they live in our memories. I genuinely meant every single word I had written about her.


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