When I think back to the times we spent together, I can’t help but smile and occasionally burst into laughter. Your sense of humor was so very charming and you always believed laughter was the best medicine. It is–thank you for that lovely life lesson.
I am thinking of all the times we fought over who’ll read that new book first! These days, my growing library misses you. There are so many wonderful books I wish you were around to read. I can still picture you rushing through your morning chores and even prepping for dinner early, so you could sit and read in peace. I can see you sitting in your favorite chair, glasses perched on your nose, avidly reading. Then appreciating the cup of tea I brought you. Remember our “high tea” sessions over the weekend with a pot of coffee and samosas and jalebi?
Those days we met after work on Saturdays for lunch, then browsed around the market, mostly window shopping before we returned home, were so precious. I remember how we once saw that multicolored silk saree…we were both mesmerized by its gorgeous colors–brown, ochre, orange, cream, white in diagonal stripes whose borders merged ever so gently. We emptied out our purses to scrape the money to buy it…remember how the kind owner of the shop gave us an extra discount looking at how eager we were to buy it. We took turns to wear that saree! I still have it, although it is no longer wearable. And what about those Calico sarees! So beautiful. Still have two of those!
I am so fortunate you are my Mother. Regardless of the difficulties you went through, you were always gentle and kind. When I was older and questioned it, you always said karma takes care of everything and we should always be our best selves. Why, remember that neighbor who was nasty? You would pray for their happiness every day, saying that if they’re happy they won’t have time to bother us.
When I was in the sixth grade, I remember how your school librarian sent me books to read–that’s when I became crazy about P. G. Wodehouse and I also recall how Gopu mama was amazed how I got that kind of humor–he said he was waiting to introduce the Master to me a little later. I laugh when I think of how I got caught reading James Hadley Chase in class the next year and the principal called you to school to complain. And all I was worried about was that I didn’t finish the book. The book was “Knock Knock, who’s there”
I love how you are woven around my heart like a cozy hug, always there to make me feel better, always there to encourage me, nudge me along.
Above all, I am grateful to you for my existence, this wonderful life that’s a gift in spite of its ups and downs. I am grateful you were in Vidur’s life for twelve years, and that he adored you.
Happy birthday Mi! You would have been 73 years old today. Eight years later…I still can’t get this vision of you out of my head: frail, yet chirpy and energetic and smothering everyone with your love … I guess I never will. I still choke with tears when I talk about you. I can only pray that if I have another life, I should be your Mother…or your daughter…or your sister.
My Mom passed away unexpectedly on 8 February 2010. She was generous in life and generous in death. Honoring her wishes, we donated her body to St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore.
The letter M in the A to Z Challenge is always reserved for my Mom–and by happy coincidence it usually falls on 15 April, her birthday. This year, however, M is 14 April. Doesn’t matter. M is still for my Mom.