Was I there when she was?
Asking myself this today, let me assure you I am here right now.
I am absolutely sitting in the same place she was, a few, years ago, where I saw her die slowly but gracefully.
That was mother wasn’t she?
Wish to say, that is mother, do I?
You bet I damn well wish it, as anyone of you would do?
Then ask yourself as I ask myself why don’t we wish it then.
Why weren’t we there when she was?
Always scrambling away to another zone, a territory unknown,
But I didn’t go in to hers, as I made my zone different from hers.
Well mother,I’ve learnt it,and I am right here. Now with an open mind and open hand I write it all.
Spirited and bold was mother, an epitome of grace and love,
Yes, she too was a prey to conditions, which set in early, during her hardship days.
Brought up by a single parent her mother, she survived the partition and her loneliness, with the same gusto as she enjoyed her simple moments of fun.
The fun days were her school ones, where she bestowed great courage, and skill,
When at the age of seven, she crossed the Shivaji Pul bridge on a monsoon night, to deliver medicine to her sick grandpa, and his smile when she delivered it stayed with her all along.
The college days when she turned the clock an hour behind to get an extra hour of badminton time.
Switching from medical science to art, following her heart, did not seem to her a bad deal at all, though when her mother found out, she felt she was meted a raw deal.
Then in college, mum was the heart throb of many, and she thoroughly enjoyed the attention.
But her heart was set on only one, the shy, dashing, dark handsome man from Bombay, my father.
To him she gave her all, her heart and mind, when he made her his.
And as she walked by his side, she was proud she was his wife.
Her huge joint family consisted of cousins and their wives, affluent and rich,
Her husband was the only son, to a father whose wealth left him in mediocrity.
So though they lived together, in a huge sprawling bungalow, her portion was little,
But as she rode behind him on his scooter, she felt the wind tell her, you have it all,
That is how she shrugged their invitation to ride in their huge cars, preferring her husband’s lambretta to their impala.
Then came the worst, when her husband took her away to Coimbatore, where they struggled for years to come.
They didn’t know the language, and had two small daughters, me and my little sister.
But mum was spirited, she laughed and smiled her way out, learning the new dialect, and mastered it as she mastered the art of cooking and housekeeping.
She learnt to laugh and play, for the afternoons were hers , aha those were her rummy days.
She played with the affluent Naidus and Swamys of the south, women spoilt and rich, buttered with hovering butlers.
Yet they chose her home over the rest, for mom had a style of her own, spontaneous and spirited . A gracious host she cooked tasty fare.No matter what, she was happy, and was proud of doing the things she loved.
She had no pretence, or nothing to fear, so when her father in law visited her, she hid nothing
She gave him all her attention and love wholeheartedly, for he was the father she never had.
But when the clock struck two mum was out, playing her game of sequences and trios.
Granddad said nothing, he secretly admired her, and many a time when she came home tired, he would ask her winking at us” Oh beta, have you lost?” And then she would grin and say “.
Aw come on, he’d reply, I’ll take you’ll out for dinner, the treat is mine, and we would all bundle up into dad’s old standard, where dada would insist on driving, and I’d bend my head down, afraid of being seen.
For he would start with a screech, sending all heads turned towards us.
Well this was it, the difference between mum and me, she didn’t care and accepted everyone for what they were.
My father died pretty young, and she lived alone for years on her own happy and content.
A happy go lucky woman with a golden heart, and now as I tell you this I see her during her last days, playing Antakshari and singing songs with my husband.
Yes her ill health did give her painful moments towards the end of her life, but she took them in her stride.
During her last years, she had absolutely no regrets, yes her house which is disputed, till today, did cause her concern.
But then as she always said, some cards aren’t played well.
And as the game of winning and losing continues on, there are days when all is well and others when things just don’t seem right.
The important thing she taught before she left ,” Go along with your heart, for your journey is yours and no one else’s.
Don’t you get into that bullshit of “ Oh what will the world say”
She would just shrug it as “HUMBUG”.
For within you is that beating heart, telling you to walk on your special path.
Walk on till you reach your end, and then as I saw her go, her looks told me she was about to fly away,
And as I told her to go and fly to freedom, I saw her fly away…..
She flew with them along, , her heart and her soul together..