Amma, with Mother’s day approaching I am remembering you all the more . This year will be my first Mother’s day after you have reached your final resting place to join Appa in your heavenly abode . Thankyou Amma for giving us a wonderful childhood, memories, moments to cherish, education, teaching Sanskrit shlokas , introducing us to the world of stories and storybooks and values. Children learn watching their parents and we surely as kids absorbed many things like a sponge during the growing up years.
You gave us the freedom to express our thoughts even if we differed in our thoughts on some issues and had diametrically opposite views at times . This opportunity to air our views and to agree to disagree philosophy is something I simply love and respect about you.
I say this specially because I have seen some people of my generation not being given this opportunity when it comes to talking to their parents . They call this respect and love . I call this respect and love accompanied by fear ( my personal opinion).
For every child their mother is the best cook in the world. You always made sure that you prepared dishes that your children relish even if it meant making an extra effort since with age/ health issues your likes/dislikes/ preferences for something could have changed.
You were so fond of cooking and knitting sweaters for your children and grandchildren. I never managed to learn these two forms of art with the same passion as yours ( and I don’t regret it too ). You agreed that nature and degree of interests could vary from person to person and also from one generation to another.
Cooking is something which I learnt after marriage and since you were always a phone call away I could always trouble you anytime and ask for recipes and tips before the “you tube “and “google maharaj” made their entry. The practical tips always have been so handy which the books /videos / google maharaj would seldom specify.
You would pack my things for me every time when it was time to leave for hostel before the college reopened. You had the ability to make friends easily across all age groups and with your humour you normally won over most people. I wish I had inherited that quality from you.
I still remember the second Sunday of May 2003 . It was also a Mother’s day and we three sisters were travelling from Baroda to Madras along with you and your two toddler grandkids by train. We realized we had been talking so much (maybe at a volume audible to others) and having fun when some passengers who were travelling in the same coach a few berths away told us that they liked our lively and cheerful banter and struck a conversation with Amma. They seemed as if they were eager to know about all of us.
You always went out of the way to help us . When your grandkids were infants , toddlers and your kids could not go to buy train tickets or because of the summer rush it was impossible to get tickets you always volunteered to buy us tickets by going personally to the railway station by taking the trouble to be there at the booking counter in the morning hours ( around 16/17 years ago – which seldom your generation ladies would offer to do).
You were employed with the Accountant General office in Madras and Delhi for 11 years- a central govt job, but you gave it up after the birth of your twins and I have never ever heard you grumbling about it even at times when you were annoyed with us. Appa left home never to return when a tragic accident snatched him away from us. You remained a pillar of strength for us .
I quote here the words of my dear Uncle ( Amma’s younger brother) to his nieces ( to myself and my sisters)
“From Valady ( a place in Tamil Nadu) to Vadodara her life has been a life which inspires confidence. The life values she has imparted on you all, after the untimely snatching away of your beloved father, without buckling and complaining tells a lot about her confidence and maturity and fighting spirit. Resonating with her name ‘Visalakshi’ she adopted a broader vision and courage to stand against some meaningless customs and practices”.
When we were living in the same city post my marriage , I would call you up on my way to your place to keep tea ready for me. I could take this liberty with you. According to me this is what I call a closest relation called ” Amma” .
Amma , we miss you many times and fondly remember so many things about you . We ( kids, grandkids) remember your dialogues, proverbs that you often used, reactions to our activities . It is lonesome without you since you have gone away but we seem to hear you whisper to us to cheer up and carry on . Each time I see your picture you seem to be telling us with a smile “Don’t cry, I am in God’s hands and we will meet again someday.
Amma, I hope and wish that I too prove to be an adorable mom to my kid, the same way as you are to me.
Today as I am keying in, I want to write so many things but I would restrict myself now and summarize with a beautiful poem by Pat O’ Reily
I borrow the words from Pat O’Reilly
“ Wonderful Mother”
God made a wonderful mother,
A mother who never grows old;
He made her smile of the sunshine.
And He moulded her heart of pure gold;
In her eyes He placed bright shining stars,
In her cheeks fair roses you see;
God made a wonderful mother,
And He gave that dear mother to me.