The House That Became a Home
To mark the start of their new life together, my grandpa built a house for my grandma and named it மகர நிலா.
Post image

Date on your own terms! myTamilDate has been the most trusted dating community for single Tamils around the world for close to a decade! We’re the premiere dating site for diaspora Tamils and have the largest membership base in Canada, USA, UK & more. JOIN TODAY

Whenever I get the chance to go back home, I spend as much time as possible with my grandpa. I love learning from him and hearing stories about my dad from when he was my age. The last time I visited, he told me the story of the house my dad spent his childhood in. 

To mark the start of their new life together, my grandpa built a house for my grandma and named it மகர நிலா. He said that each letter in the name served a specific purpose; மானம் - Honor, கடமை - Duty, நின்மதி - Peace, லாவண்யம் - Beauty. He wanted the house he and his children lived in to share those qualities, hence the name. 

After he told the story, he asked for a favor. 

He asked me to promise that I'd never forget the story of the house he built for his wife, which went on to become a home after its walls saw my dad and his four siblings grow up in it. 

I gave him my word and told him I'd love to build a மகர நிலா for my own wife one day - in the hopes that I'd have a family like his own.

He laughed and told me he wouldn't tell my mom I said that. But he was proud, and putting a smile on my grandpa's face meant the world to me.

But as fate would have it, I forgot the ர and what it meant.

Interested In Meeting Other Tamil Creators, Professionals & Entrepreneurs From Around The World? Create Your TC Profile And Join Our TamilChangemakers Community Here

I decided I'd ask him the next time I saw him.

But a couple of months ago, my grandpa was rushed to the hospital because of a health scare. 

He was in the ICU for a few days, and I was worried I would let him down.

Luckily he survived, and I spoke to him a couple of days after he got home.

"Do you remember மகர நிலா and what it means?" His first words on the phone stunned me.

I couldn't believe it was that important for him or that he'd remember he entrusted me with such a huge responsibility.

Worried, I told him that I remembered, and he said he was proud. I didn't want to speak to him over the phone about the missing letter; I needed to ask him in person.

The next time I go back home, I'm going to ask him about the story of மகர நிலா again. And that I haven't really covered any ground in terms of finding someone to live in it with…

Author's Note: An earlier version of this story was published in the Summer of 2021. My grandpa passed away at the start of November this year. 

Luckily, I was able to visit him a couple of months before his passing and learn that the ர stood for ரசனை (good taste). 

My grandpa often said fate brought him and my grandma together - the same fate that took him from me without letting me say my goodbyes. 

It's my hope that fate gives me the chance to become someone he'd be proud of.

Listen to our new podcast 'Identity'!

Shakthi / Theatre, Intergenerational Trauma and Australian Tamil Identity

Mayuran Sabesan
Just a kid hoping my story will inspire others to turn the pages of their own book.
Just a kid hoping my story will inspire others to turn the pages of their own book.
You may also enjoy these
Sarees & Bangles
My dad said she was the most beautiful woman in the world.
Kalyanam Math
Ungalukku eppa kalyanam? You're next huh? I'm not the first, and won’t be the last, to be asked that at a wedding- but the feeling sucks all the same.
Is Attaining the 'Ideal Nuclear Family' Realistic for Young Tamils?
It’s 2023, and the traditional once dreamt of family and timeline 7 decades ago, is no longer the norm.

Jenani & Nav

met on myTamilDate
Join for Free Today
Madhu & Nia
met on myTamilDate
Join for Free Today
Network with TamilChangemakers
Videos Podcasts