- 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.
Yet, it doesn't feel like she's gone far enough to not hear when I say..
"Happy Mother's Day, Amma!"