Sunday, May 13, 2007

On Amma's Day

  • She is the walking Webster’s English dictionary. Every time an unfamiliar word would cross my path, I’d just have look “her” up, instead of the big fat lexicon.
  • She is the compulsive book worm. Tidying up a house so messy, that it looks like a war field or doing the pile of dishes forming a little mountain in the sink would figure nowhere on her to-do list when she would be in the middle of an interesting read.
  • She is the in-house Deccan Herald Daily Crossword champ. Cracking the toughest of ‘em in record time and having only one person in the household to better it. Herself.
  • She makes the most delectable Mysore Pak in the entire universe. Somehow or the other, it turns out the best only on my birthday!
  • She weaves magic on her knitting pins, crafting the most exquisite of sweaters for Dad and the three of us. Turning us into show-offs amidst awestruck friends who just don’t seem to believe that the sweater was actually created from scratch, on our living room sofa.
  • She carries off a salwar kameez with utmost elegance. Leaving her much younger perpetually-clad-in-a-saree sisters go green with envy when their neighbors mistake her to be their younger sibling!
  • She and I yap for hours on end, standing in our balcony. One way or another, we never run out of topics. Whether it’s having a good laugh about dad’s goofy ways or a serious discussion about what career should choose for myself.
  • She is the one I run to, every Sports Day after coming last in the Running Race,Skipping Race,Obstacle Race, well, every goddamn race and she would be ready with her line. "Never mind, Participation is important, there's always next year". Never mind that next year would be the same miserably sad story, yet that line somehow works like magic when she says it.
  • She tells me very matter-of-factly that I look like Tabu and l’il sister looks like Karisma Kapoor. Lying all bandaged up in the ICU after a major surgery.
  • She is a huge fan of Dev Anand and his histrionics. She must have watched every single Hindi movie produced in Bollywood, including those that the producers themselves never bothered to sit through. Yet cannot carry out a decent conversation in Hindi for nuts!
  • She is “Amma” to not only us but another little cousin. Whose mother went back to work, entrusting him to her every day, knowing a smart post-graduate woman who chose to stay at home to look after her three kids, could never go wrong when it came to raising kids.
  • She just won’t step out of the house without doling out atleast 65 instructions to me and L’il sister. Rattling ‘em off at 120 kmph, she knows we ain’t paying attention, yet never gives up.
  • She knows it’s me, her 12 year old, who has rummaged her wardrobe when she wasn’t home and tried on all her sarees and left the wardrobe looking like a laundry basket. Yet, when she’s back, she just rearranges the wardrobe neatly without a whimper, leaving the nervous 10 year-old thinking her mom has no clue.
  • She accompanies me, her jittery 10th grader to the exam hall every day, advising throughout the way, to take it easy and how getting "tense" could ruin my performance. And when the exam bell rings and it's time to get in the hall,suddenly I am the less "tenser" one around!
  • She walked out on her father who objects to his post grad daughter marrying “just a graduate”, entering into the first love marriage of the family.Years later, all three of her children follow suit.
  • She never fails to say "You won't understand now..You will when you're a mother yourself" at regular intervals. Invariably, l'il sister and I utter the second half of that sentence in chorus with her, as soon as we hear the first half from her. Yet, the line somehow never changes.
It's been six years since Amma's gone.

Yet, it doesn't feel like she's gone far enough to not hear when I say..

"Happy Mother's Day, Amma!"

19 comments:

Orchid said...

what a sweet tribute! reading this...made my sunday afternoon tea much more enjoyable!

Anu said...

1. The only memory I have of my pre-2 year old days is the pattern of her pink saree. Amazing that I get the same feelings of relief, happiness and security even today when I see the saree in a photo!
2. The only one who would play badminton with me for hours(!) when bro and sis would drive me away since the racquet was almost as tall as me!
3. She keeps saying "Intelligence can never be an accomplishment, it is just a privilege. Sincerity is what matters" when all around, my over enthu teachers, aunts, uncles and even Appa would indulge in glorified tales of my academic "excellence"
4. She musters enough energy to walk across a room to sit by my bed at midnight when I had a very light spell of fever even though it was a major struggle for her to even move her arm without help
5. The only one who thinks I am not being a jerk when I scream at her if she looks ill. The only one who knows my nervous yelling at her is my only escape from the morbid fear gnawing at me when I see her display any signs of fatigue
6. The only one that understood why I would turn down a seat at IIT because living away from her in Chennai would mean worse than a prison sentence to me
7. The only one who knew I was damn serious when at 15 years, I was theorizing that all kids ought to die before their parents because life is not worth living without parents anyway.
8. Lying on the bed at the hospital, minutes before a major surgery, she is reassuring me calmly that nothing bad is going to happen and that I should be brave! The doctor who had come to reassure the patient gave up after seeing this scene. :)

To think that a few years ago, my sole goal in studying and taking a job was to be able to afford to buy her pearl earrings for her birthday and an air ticket for her to fly over the Himalayas to take a look at the snow capped peaks :)

accidental diva said...

Hey smi..that was a beautiful post.
Am sure ur mom heard you:):)

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Smi Dear, Your best post ever. Truly touched my heart.
Love, G

Smi said...

@orchid
Thanks!:)The list actually can go on and on, but I had to stop somewhere!

@anu
Words fail me.

@AD
Thank you so much!:)

@G
Thanks!:)

Lavs said...

I have no words. Losing some one dear is painful no matter how much time elapses. I am sure your mom hears you even now.

arbid said...

Hey Smi, you are a darling...can't say much...have been touched so deep inside...your best post ever and will ever be the best...

Anonymous said...

Your blog was beautiful about your mom. I know what a hole you have in your heart from missing her and how your life is affected by her passing. It's so sad that the world isn't a 'fairer' place and we can keep the ones we love here on earth for a longer time. But, from reading your blog, I know that one day you will be a wonderful mom, since you had such a wonderful role model to show you the right way of being a mom.

I love your blog, so do keep writing and sharing. It makes my day.

-Liz

Shyam said...

Nice blog to write on a Mother's Day.

Just a grail said...

That was really beautiful, your mother was a wonderful person it sounds like, you were blessed. But you also sound like you already know this.
Hope Mother's Day was not too difficult.

Smi said...

@lavs
Thanks for the comforting words:)

@arbid
Hey thanks for that, dear:)

@Liz
//I know that one day you will be a wonderful mom, since you had such a wonderful role model to show you the right way of being a mom.

I'd be grateful if I even did half as well as my role model.

@shyam
Thanks.

@just a grail
Thanks for stopping by.
I would normally say, I don't need a Mother's Day to remember her. But then yes, the day did kind of evoke mixed feelings, in a way that it made me want to pen this down.

Deeps said...

That was so heart-warming..

The Mad Momma said...

that was beautiful..ur mother sounds like an amazing lady...

Smi said...

@deeps
Thanks.

@the mad momma
Thanks for visiting.
And yes, my Amma is the best!
But then, all Ammas are, aren't they!:)

Priyanka Sarkar said...

ammmmmmmmmmazing post!!!!
Gosh u almost got me in tears with the last few lines...
ur mother s sure proud of u..wherever she is!!:)

soumya said...

Hey Smi..lovely post! it was really touching.

Smi said...

@priyanka
Thank you so much. I had tears rolling down while typing out the last line myself.

@soumya
Thanks.

Just Like That said...

Smi, Came here from Lavs' blog, and was going through your posts and liking them all... but I just had to comment on this one.

The love you have for your Amma is so heartwarming, and I'm sure she hears you, and feels the love.

After all that you wrote, "its been 6 years since Amma's gone" was a bit of a shock.
Empathise with you, and am sure she had a happy Mothers' Day.