If only amma was here..- Part 1
Initiated around end of November 2021, this post had not taken up much shape until Feb 2022!.
Thought the timing is around Mother’s day, it was not intended to be and its certainly not an exhaustive write up. Take this as part 1
Why did I start writing this piece at the first place :
The pure up and downs of our own family is too much to process everything at the same time. When one thing settles down another one comes up. It was as if nature was waiting with bucket list for the family. One after the other …. one after the another ..
In all these situations, I have never thought what if amma was there. Somehow had taken it for granted that life moves on. The inspirations, the strength which we had got when mom was available was somehow missing. The thought of informing amma during the child hood days..”dei… Ekkada pothavu “( Hey, where are you going ? ) got the standard reply.. “oorikka… oka round…”( just one round … by walk, cycle etc). Fast forward to college life and seeing everyone including parents only 6 months once.. hostel days. Unless they come to campus. Properly couple of times in 3 years ?.
Otherwise it’s always through STD call. Just couple of mins at the maximum if amma is in one of the place where the phone is available. 2001- Finally got the telephone connection for home. The number was very easy to remember. By default, amma is the nadamadum (walking ) computer. Specifically, for all the numbers, birthdays events etc. It became bit easy to reach parents from Delhi that time. Don’t know why, but had not taken part in the most of the direct decision making for me, or it’s just the lack of courtesy from me to ask. Don’t know. Hindsight, should have discussed more.
Best part was when parents came to Delhi with another couple and I took them to Haridwar, Rishikesh, (Benares)Kasi and Allahabad ( triveni sangam). She didn’t come out towards north india after this time around 2003. Great trip to remember with lot of photos. We also went for Delhi sight seeing. Memorable photos near Qutab minar, lotus temple.
Life moved on.. new job … few international travels, more focus on the job, marriage, kid… As if she was waiting to see my son(May 2010), before left us in July 2010. Very hard to accept. Was there when it happened. She saw the signs clearly. She told someone is calling. Still…the disbelief continued. She was our strong pillar of support with less words. She was the connecting string. How she managed all these relationships, she only knew. The vacuum was hard to be filled by anyone.. it’s still the vacuum. The conversation with dad is so difficult & that’s the time it makes is more memorable on how amma had navigates all these. The fine balance. The balance which was destabilized by many factors during my childhood m. We have seen that visibly at home. “Saadhu mirandal naadu kolladhu” ( if the sage/silent person decides/shows attitude even the county cannot hold itself. & will create lot of damage for good ). Aug 15 — Independence Day india. One of the year that’s what exactly happened. She had to stand for herself and ensure the authority at home among relatives who were at home at that time.. probably 30 years back ?. But that’s the guts she showed. Stand for yourself. This was been inscribed in me.
The most valuable things are realized when it’s gone! There was no specific mentor or a person who could share the big picture before. Nor has the maturity to look at life like that. The real time we missed when she was not there to see how well we are doing. How are the grand kids.. ie she had probably around 10 years of proper proper life where there was not much of responsibility (after Dad’s retirement). But I would say effectively 6 years, 4 years had gone by in multiple other issues. She deserved more. She deserved more to see us growing..one of the unfulfilled wish- wanted to take her to singapore. Arranged for all passport etc, but could not make it happen. Dad joined us in singapore later but that was different. He also would have been more participative and inclusive if only amma was there with him. He also didn’t expect this to happen. A lifeline companion just vanished. The continued struggle to establish conversations without her continued… and still continues.. Our generation (ah! Sounding old), it has always been “ reach to dad through mom “.. Always. So direct conversations with dad on important topics was new to us and to dad also.
Just true to this quote:
Some of the decisions which we should have taken as family, we didn’t take. May be we would , if amma was there ? More cohesiveness among relatives ? Not sure. We would have been more strong for sure. She would have made us more strong.
We have her in our altar. We see daily.
Kamala Swaminathan : Always with us.