Memories of the Australia trip of our Parents

Raghu & family with his parents when they visited Australia

It was a dream for us to bring our parents over to Sydney after we migrated to Australia. Everyone was surprised and worried about that thought because our parents were no longer young. (My father was 82 and mother was 77 when they visited us in Sydney).

Before coming to Australia Santhanam Anna and Hema took Appa to Spencers in Chennai to give him a bit of practice to be comfortable getting into and coming out of an escalator (or travellator). They were scared to death to give him practice and wondered if he needed to visit Australia at all. But to their surprise (and ours) on Appa’s return back to India, Santhanam Anna could not believe his eyes when he watched Appa walking with full energy, and looking 10 years younger.

Australia was not the first foreign country he visited. He had also visited Nepal and Burma. It was great to have both my parents and parents-in-law together with us for over two months there. There was a good understanding amongst the couples and Chandra’s father was of immense help to Appa whenever we went out.

We used to bring different kinds of ice cream every day. We’d all sit together and enjoy having ice cream after dinner. Amma would be worried and scared of Appa’s cold cough and especially of Appa’s sneeze. Everyone in the family was aware of his famous thunderous {thummal} sneeze. We used to convince both of them somehow, and give them ice cream and also give Appa a glass of warm water. Believe me, he never had any problem throughout his stay there.

we all know that amma is interested in a lot of things and curious to know about everything aeound her. But appa was a revelation. He used to enjoy Vidya/Nitya's singing and dances as much as amma. And had questions about their education, friends and so on.

One day, when we were returning from Helensburgh, a Shiva Vishnu temple near Sydney we took a break to have a cup of coffee and finger chips. Chandra sent others inside McDonald’s and was sitting in the car with Appa as he was tired and we didn’t want to give any strain to appa and asked him how he felt so far in Australia. Instead of replying directly, he told her of the conversation with his eye doctor. In Chennai, the doctor who tested the eye sight of Appa was curious. He wondered why he wanted to visit Australia as he wouldn’t be able to enjoy much. Appa told the doctor “Yes, Doctor. I understand that. But my son and daughter-in-law want me to visit them. I am going there only to be with them and my grandchildren for our mutual satisfaction.” Hearing this, tears rolled down her eyes. With all the difficulties of old age, he’d come down just to satisfy us. We realised that day that we don’t think about the difficulties of our parents, and we take them for granted.

We have one lasting memory that we will always remember with joy: When we took them to a Buddhist temple in a place called Wollongong, we also spent some time in a park nearby. All parks have basic Gym facilities including swing-sets. We made them sit in the swing and rocked them. Both Appa and Amma were ecstatic, and it was fun seeing them enjoy such small pleasures.

We owe a lot to our parents. We miss a lot of conversations, advice and suggestions from them. We realise only too late. We took a lot of photos and videos of their visits to different places. It is a treasure to us.


Click on each photo to enlarge

Click on each photo to enlarge

Click on each photo to enlarge

Click on each photo to enlarge

Click on each photo to enlarge

Initially Appa and Amma were worried about our move to Australia. But after they saw us settled well, they expressed to us that they are very happy to see us progressing well. It is only because of their love , prayers and blessing that we are living happily and we are very happy to say that we belong to Ranganathan family.

Raghu & Chandra
1st July 2017

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