relationships

Mom #AtoZChallenge

My mom smiled at me. Her smile kind of hugged me.

Dear Mi,

Happy birthday! You would have been 72 today. I always imagined you as rather frail, super-cheerful, gentle-looking and always busy over the years. I have to confess that I never even imagined you in your 70s, because you were always so youthful in your attitude. Sometimes I think, perhaps I should have visualized you in your 70s…perhaps you would have lived longer.

I never imagined a time when you wouldn’t be around. Today, seven years without you, I often wonder how we’ve carried on with life. As you rightly said, life goes on, no matter what. It is up to us to hold the love in our hearts as we attempt to be our best selves.

I miss you when I start my day and like to think that you are smiling over me when I light the lamp, and sometimes imagine hearing your voices when I strike three dud matchsticks before actually lighting the wick and adjusting it.

vidya sury light lamp love

I miss how I irritated you by hugging you suddenly from behind when you were busy doing something, and yet you always turned around to cuddle me back.  How did you put up with me so patiently and lovingly?

You taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. And even treated my friends like your daughters, never forgetting them each time you bought me something. You know, yesterday I clicked a photo of me and sent it to T, wishing her a happy New year and she wrote back saying that I looked so much like you. That made me happy. Although, no surprise there, eh?

Isn’t it funny how we expect a special day to be so different–and yet it goes on like most other days. I woke up early since Sury had an early flight and dozed on and off until 6 a.m. Then decided to have coffee. Today when I took it to the verandah I heard a few crows cawing. I remembered how you’d always claim that it meant we’d have a guest and smiled. I caw-cawed back at the crow and could have sworn it replied to me and looked at me for a while.

After a while I had breakfast as usual, and recalled how excited we used to get when we made idlis and had coconut chutney to go with them, and relished every bit, and saved the leftovers carefully. This brought with it the cozy memory of the days when we’d quickly cook and take a walk around the area, exploring, then buying veggies before picking Vidur up from playschool. Remember that time you tirelessly made batches and batches of burfis because Vidur wanted to distribute it to everyone he saw on his birthday?

Sigh. Today, as usual I ended up calling the Airtel guys to lodge a complaint and their engineer spent the better part of two hours checking the lines and whatnot before declaring it was okay. Let’s see.

I had some sambhar and rice in the fridge and heated it for lunch, accompanied by salad. The idea of making rotis had to be postponed, what with the fellas walking in and out.

It is a rather quiet-ish day otherwise, with just the sounds from the neighborhood keeping me company as I attempt to lethargically work.

Ah, you are wondering what I did for your birthday, no? I organized lunch for the girls at Seva Sadan. There are 82 girls there now, you know. This year I also added to their medical fund, since not many people give on that front. I will be supporting some children at the school for the blind, as well.

You know I’ve been decluttering, and have been giving away lots of stuff. I still have a lot of ground to cover, but I’ll get there. Remember the 400+ books we gave away before we moved cities? How much we enjoyed our friendly fights over who would get to read a new book first! I feel deeply grateful for the stacks of books your school librarian generously sent me, marveling at the speed at which I devoured books. I want to cry when I see my stash of Sophie Kinsellas or the crime thriller novels, or when I see a police procedural on TV. We were drawn to court scenes like magnets.

I am always especially thrilled that M is always on 15 April, and I can dedicate this post to you. I am not worried that this letter of sorts sounds somewhat disjointed. I talk to you so much in my head that this doesn’t come anywhere close to being satisfactory. Also, I write the diary. So therapeutic, Mi. It helps me put things in perspective besides giving me the satisfaction of getting it all out.

I know you’ll be proud of me for enjoying cooking and spending time in the kitchen, experimenting with different dishes. I imagine you happily smiling at me  and feel your soft hand on my head. And yeah, you’re probably telling me to take better care of myself. I promise to do that. “Self-care is very important” you said, but I didn’t always listen.

In spite of all that you went through, you taught me to believe that life is too short to be anything but happy, and that it is up to us to make the choice. You were a champ at finding magic in the mundane. I try, most days. I am still amazed at how you were always so full of humor over everything and made me laugh so much!

To celebrate today, I spruced up the kitchen a little and caught up with pending roasting- I had coriander seeds, flax seeds, sooji and watermelon seeds to roast and keep. Otherwise, you know what will happen. As I worked, I pretended you were with me, laughing, joking, suggesting a nice strong cup of coffee.

Happy Mother's Day Tribute

I love you, Mi, and if there’s another life for us, I wish you are my daughter, so I can pamper you and shower you with love.

Happy birthday, Mi!

As per my Mom’s last wish, we donated her body to St.John’s Medical College, Bangalore. She was generous in life, generous in death.

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Shailaja Vishwanath
    April 16, 2017 at 12:10 am

    I waited to read this post since I knew what M would be for. I wasn’t wrong. Big hugs and she’s here, watching you, smiling, giving you a very happy hug 💓

  • Reply
    Soumya
    April 16, 2017 at 12:52 am

    Now I know where your gorgeousness comes from. A very happy birthday to your mom!

    She’s looking down at you so proudly you have no idea 🙂

  • Reply
    Asha
    April 16, 2017 at 8:07 am

    A beautiful ode Vidya. Today is a day of remembrances for me too. It’s my dad’s death anniversary. 7 years since he’s been gone.

  • Reply
    Natasha
    April 16, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Lovely ode to your mother. I’m sure she is looking down from the heavens above and smiling and shining her beautiful light upon you.

    Blog: natashamusing
    Theme: Travel Epiphanies
    Mighty Cerulean Sea

  • Reply
    Shilpa Garg
    April 16, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    I love reading your letters to your mom. What I like is the beautiful and heartwarming relationship you shared. Your mom was an amazing woman and so are you, Vidya! A big hug to you! ♥

  • Reply
    Meenakshi
    April 16, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Such a heart warming post ma’am
    I am sure she is always taking care of you and your family from above 🙂

  • Reply
    Chicky
    April 16, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    I also often find myself wondering how my mom would have looked like today, if she was still around. Would she have taken to the internet? Would she have started her own blog? She loved to write, you know. She used to keep a baby journal for me. And she was very creative. Cooking and DIY stuff. What I wish for more than anything is that I could teach her how to blog, so she could share all that she knew with millions of readers all over the world. That would have made her eyes sparkle like nothing else! I can even imagine her joy at receiving her first comment! She used to laugh like a little girl!
    Look at me go on and on! Well, your post did that to me! 😛
    That was a happy picture there at the end. Loved it!
    Btw, I’m lagging behind. (Was unwell.) Will post my ‘L’ and catch up with your ‘L’ next Sunday. In the meantime, DO visit my ‘M’.

  • Reply
    Amrita
    April 16, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    Such a lovely post Vidya.Donating body after death is actually not easy.I know that.Your mom was obviously a generous person.Lovely way you spent her birthday.

  • Reply
    Sreesha
    April 17, 2017 at 8:59 am

    This is a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful post. Lots of hugs to you. Happy birthday to your mom 🙂

    <3

  • Reply
    Tina Basu
    April 17, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Wow, she was such a wonderful woman. Donating the body is not easy and for her to wish that tells us what a generous and strong lady she was.

  • Reply
    upasna
    April 17, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    I knew this- It could not be anything else. Always happy to read about your Mother Vidya Ji. and those lovely lessons of inspiration.

  • Reply
    Darla M Sands
    April 17, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes. You are so lovely. And your family, too. I wish all the best for you and your goodhearted loved ones. May your son’s future be bright as his heart and mind.

    http://darlamsands.blogspot.com/

  • Reply
    Menaka Bharathi
    April 17, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    This is such a heart warming post….Loads of hugs to you…I realized the importance of mother only after giving birth and it really touched my heart that My mother would have taken care of me soo much..I mean they have so much selfless love in them

    Launching SIM Organics This April
    *Menaka Bharathi *
    *SimpleIndianMom*

  • Reply
    Debbie D.
    April 18, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Such a lovely tribute to your Mom, Vidya. <3 She must have been a remarkable woman, just like her daughter.

  • Reply
    Rekha
    April 20, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    I have no words. It scares me to even think of it. Losing a parent. My biggest nightmare. I don’t have a similar equation with my mother, but that’s not at all because of her. And somehow I keep on wishing that I could go back in time and correct all those mistakes that I made. The way I found joy in annoying her. The way I used to ignore her. Today I am sure that no matter what I wouldn’t have been able to spend the kind of time she spent with us with all her liabilities and responsibilities. But at that age somehow I got it all wrong. I keep talking to her I’m private in one of my journals. I wish I find the courage to talk to her like that in person. Vidya, you made me cry. Hugs! Big hugs!! <3
    Rekha recently posted…Nest – A Place You Call HomeMy Profile

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