gratitude Reflections

Touched By Love

touched by love vidya sury 10

My friend, also my colleague, lost her Mother last week and naturally I feel very sad, more so because our lives touched. Like my Mom, she was kind and generous.

I met her a few months ago. I was de-cluttering and asked my friend if she was interested in large containers. She said yes and I packed half a dozen for her to take. Not wanting to give empty containers, I filled one with biscuits. As it happened, she couldn’t come home to pick them up as she returned home late every evening. I told her not to worry and said I would drop them off, since she does not live far from my place.

So I set out, with the large bags and after some difficulty found her place. Her Mom welcomed me in. She was pleased that I had dropped the containers off and insisted that I have some coffee. Now, that’s usually an offer I can’t refuse – and didn’t. Conscious that I had to get back home as soon as possible as I had work to do, I had the coffee and got ready to leave. Then, rather reminiscent of my own Mom, she asked if I had had breakfast. I hadn’t. She refused to let me leave and said there was no way I was returning home without eating breakfast at their place.

I was touched by love

What followed was a very loving experience that reminded me so much of my own Mom. I had masala dosa with coconut chutney and sambhar, which she made while I waited. I felt pretty much like a beached whale after I topped it off with another coffee. When I finally got ready to say ‘bye, she gave me a coconut and two chunks of jaggery.  Traditions vary, but it is usually customary in South Indian families to offer married women a   turmeric and vermillion when they leave. If available, a coconut, fruits, betel leaves with betel nut, flowers, a gift and so on. Sometimes we add bangles depending on what day it is. It is especially auspicious to offer this on Fridays.

vidya sury tamboolam

You are looking at a coconut, betel leaves with turmeric, a sprig of jasmine, the white packet is betel nut, the red sachet is vermillion, bangles and a coin

So, anyway, my friend’s Mother offered me bangles as well. But they did not fit, so I gently declined them. Just as I reached their gate, she asked me to wait and rushed back in. She brought a little box with these beauties inside. Ceramic salt and pepper shakers. She said there was no way she was going to use them and gave me the box. I was, of course, delighted and as soon as I reached home, couldn’t wait to place the set on my kitchen shelf where I would see them every day.

vidya sury love

ceramic salt and pepper set

As the months went by, my friend’s Mom decided to replace all her kitchen containers with the set I sent her, and I was inspired to pass on another dozen or so. And each time I would send her biscuits, because my friend told me they became her Mom’s favorite.

We were all worried when she had to be admitted in hospital when her health took a turn for the worse. Sadly she did not recover and breathed her last two weeks ago. Her eyes were immediately harvested and thanks to her, someone has the gift of sight today.

Today they had the “vaikunta samaraadhane” – these are rituals performed on the thirteenth day after a person dies and the day when the departed soul reaches its heavenly abode or vaikunta.

I was invited for lunch and went along with Vidur since he was back from school. We had a sumptuous lunch in the traditional South Indian style served on a banana leaf. The cooking was superb and I thanked the caterers who had lovingly served the food, cajoling everyone to eat a little more of this and a little more of that.

Later, while leaving, my friend took me to her kitchen to show me how her Mom had arranged those containers. I just couldn’t speak, I didn’t trust my voice. I came back home with a full, yet somewhat heavy heart.

Touched by love.

Who knows when a loved one will cease to exist.

So please, celebrate all those lives you touch with love, the lives that touch yours, however fleetingly.

Don’t hold grudges. Look at the positive side of things.

Live with intention.

Don’t forget to feel grateful.

Don’t forget to say your I love yous.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgivukkah!

Thank you for your presence here today!

May your life be as bright as these rangoli designs made by children – school kids! They are colored with colored powder. The base is white – mixed with colors to produce different shades. Sometimes flower petals are also used.

Touched by Love Vidya Sury 6

Touched by Love Vidya Sury 4

Touched by Love Vidya Sury 2 Notice the peacocks?

Touched by Love Vidya Sury 5

Touched by Love Vidya Sury

Touched by Love Vidya Sury 3

Question for you:

Have you been touched by love? How?

Please share in the comments!

P.S.: I’ve validated my word count for the NaNoWriMo although my novel is far from done. Did you participate? How’s it coming along?

Linking with the lovely Unknown Mami for Sundays In My City. We like traveling the world together.

 

 

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Jairam Mohan
    November 26, 2013 at 6:22 am

    This was such a loving wonderful tribute to your friend’s mother. We never forget the lovely food that people serve us, we might forget their faces, their voices, but the taste of their cooking can never be forgotten, can it?
    Jairam Mohan recently posted…KidnappedMy Profile

  • Reply
    Cathy Taughinbaugh
    November 26, 2013 at 7:01 am

    I love the rangoli designs made by the children – beautiful. That is wonderful that you had that loving exchange with your friend and could have some closure. Life is unpredictable, so wise words to “So please, celebrate all those lives you touch with love, the lives that touch yours, however fleetingly.” Thank you Vidya!
    Cathy Taughinbaugh recently posted…25 Quotes To Help You Feel Gratitude This ThanksgivingMy Profile

  • Reply
    Sandra Pawula
    November 26, 2013 at 7:05 am

    You are so right, Vidya! Life is impermanent and we should truly treasure every special moment. I feel more open and receptive to love and therefore also more loving than ever before. I’m very grateful to my husband for his part in this. Thank you for your kind heart.
    Sandra Pawula recently posted…The True Meaning of Non-Attachment and How It Sets You FreeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Proactive Indian
    November 26, 2013 at 8:09 am

    I’ve been ‘touched by love’ so many times I’ve lost count.
    I try sincerely to touch others by love, particularly those less fortunate than me. These could be simple things that need no expense and almost no effort: addressing a waiter/sweeper/etc. by name, requesting (not ordering) them, thanking them, acknowledging their greetings, etc., etc.
    Proactive Indian recently posted…Little gestures, huge impact!My Profile

  • Reply
    Seeta
    November 26, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Such a beautiful and touching post.. we really need to cherish the time we have with our near and dear ones..esp. when we do not know what tomorrow has in store for us.
    Come to think of it, putting things into a perspective, your previous post “Stop complaining..” also has a similar message! 🙂
    Seeta recently posted…A Lesson From LifeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Sheethal
    November 26, 2013 at 10:38 am

    A very beautiful tribute to a very beautiful mom. We often understand the value of our loved ones only when they move away from our life… even I realised the same when something I like this happened to me. Embrace your loved ones more closer to you each day.
    Sheethal recently posted…To, Mr.Life-of-Mine.My Profile

  • Reply
    Usha Menon
    November 26, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Vidya, this is a very moving tribute to a Mother. Small things matter a lot. I was touched by her spirit of grateful thanks for the containers. So sorry that such a compassionate lady is no more. This is Life!
    The rangolies are awesome. So colorful!
    Usha Menon recently posted…Haiku Heights #310 – Thanks!My Profile

  • Reply
    Shilpa Garg
    November 26, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    This is such a heartwarming and inspiring post, Vidya! Yes, I have been touched by love, many times and remembering them always leaves a happy smile in my heart.
    Sorry about your friend’s mom though! May she rest in peace.
    And those are some real vibrant and wonderful rangoli patterns. 🙂
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…Had I Looked BackMy Profile

  • Reply
    richmiraclefiles
    November 26, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Hi Vidya,
    Your posts strike a chord everytime.When we acknowledge the fact that human life,all life for that matter,is evanescent and ephemeral we realise how tightly we are gripped by our petty concerns.
    We are not sure about the next moment, yet we go about occupying ourselves with the most mundane and trivial potterings.Our loved ones are there with us for a little while.The Hindu scriptures point out that we are here with a raeson;to resolve our karmic issues with everyone,and the best way to do taht is to love evry one around,to forgive,to give,and to share our happiness with others.
    Thanks for the lovely reminder
    Mona
    richmiraclefiles recently posted…Look For The Diamond In Everybody;Appreciate UnabashedlyMy Profile

  • Reply
    Richa Singh
    November 26, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Vidya I loved the post. And I found it so amazingly sweet which is a definite characteristic of all your posts. Yes we often find that the life is too short for us to communicate what we feel for someone.
    Richa Singh recently posted…Five things I believe in- I Believe week is on!My Profile

  • Reply
    Clare
    November 26, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Hi Vidya,

    What a beautiful Tribute to your friends mum.

    We are all touched by love more than we ever realize or appriciate, taking the time to spend with loved ones and friends, being grateful for them and life and appricating the little things can truly change your world.

    “So please, celebrate all those lives you touch with love, the lives that touch yours, however fleetingly.

    Don’t hold grudges. Look at the positive side of things.”

    Just love this.

    Thanks for sharing

    Clare
    Clare recently posted…How To Move On When A Relationship EndsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kajal Kapur
    November 26, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Yes, I have been touched by love…so many times. I also like to believe that I have touched many a lives myself. 😀 Yeah am proud of that too!

    Sorry to hear about your friend’s mom. So nice that she has left with so many happy memories with you. the gesture of giving gifts when someone leaves one’s home is really nice. I especially liked that!

    Lovely colors on the rangoli too 🙂
    Kajal Kapur recently posted…MemoriesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Elle
    November 27, 2013 at 3:45 am

    As always, you put things into beautiful perspective Vidya. Love the rangoli, so vibrant and full of life.
    Elle recently posted…One Choice That Will Make The Rest Of Your Life AmazingMy Profile

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    November 27, 2013 at 6:40 am

    you are a beautiful prayer, Vidya.

    LOVE you more than chocolate and marshmallow.
    My Inner Chick recently posted…You’re An Effing Super StarMy Profile

  • Reply
    Patricia
    November 27, 2013 at 7:52 am

    I came over to see who you were after you RT’d a tweet and what a wonderful surprise to a) find your blog and voice and b) to read today’s love note. You definitely made me smile today and allowed me to feel the love in my own life. Thank you.
    Patricia recently posted…FDA Moves to Halt Sale of 23andme DNA TestMy Profile

  • Reply
    Pixie
    November 27, 2013 at 9:05 am

    That was beautiful. A wonderful tribute to a kind and loving person.
    Nothing else matters as much as Love does 🙂

  • Reply
    Garima nag
    November 27, 2013 at 9:59 am

    An honest & straight-from-the-heart write up . Life is simple & beautiful . Donno why people tend to complicate it . Thanks for reminding us about the existence of love in our lives .
    Garima nag recently posted…A vulnerable Society & paralyzed civic senseMy Profile

  • Reply
    Michelle Liew
    November 27, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Love is purest in simplicity, and that comes through well here. Thanks for sharing, Vidya!
    Michelle Liew recently posted…Songs crooned in jailMy Profile

  • Reply
    Bhavya
    November 27, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Its the best way to touch our soul na? Love the greatest of all emotions can give us a warmth and a smile no matter how low we are feeling 🙂
    Bhavya recently posted…The BoyMy Profile

  • Reply
    kalpana solsi
    November 28, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    This is so heart-warming. Your friend’s mother reached out to people through her actions of love. I too have been touched by love and its a very nice feeling. loved the colourful rangolis.

  • Reply
    Amit
    December 1, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    I don’t know what is more beautiful – the rangolis or your friend’s mother’s gestures.
    Amit recently posted…Money in the blouse and other storiesMy Profile

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