For the first ever time yesterday, I bought a birthday card for my mom. I have wished her every year, bought her presents, sent her flowers etc, but somehow never bought her a card !! I always rave about my father’s influence on my life and say very little about Amma’s influence, but it is no less…..
I always felt I was the older one in this relationship. My mother has always been innocent – challenging when you think of the pressure it put on Appa, but well, we each play our part in the karmic school of life. She is the third youngest child and the youngest daughter in a 11 children family so was treated special. She and her younger brothers were the only ones brought up by my grandmother, all the other eight children were brought up by my super strong great-grandmom. Amma never worked at anything except watching the latest movies, eating the best food and getting dolled up. Ofcourse the fact that she is very beautiful helped it along. She got married really late for her times, only when she was 24 to the eldest son in a far off place and had to leave her sheltered cocoon. Luckily she married an awesome man !! But it took several years before she really understood Appa…. Everything for her was starkly different and no support from her family, so she built her entire world around one person – Me. Even the fact that she wanted a boy and I was a girl, didn’t matter after some time.
We celebrated Amma’s 8th birthday … Actually 68th but 6 is silent ! Amma came to live with us since Appa’s death in Dec 2008. It took the better part of the next two years for Krishnan and I to understand her, to understand she really does not mean to be hurtful, to understand she truly forgets, to understand her siblings are really dangerous in the influence they hold, to understand she has just remained innocent, a little girl all this while. Now I understand why I always felt I was the older one.
I have inherited her mood swings, her quick dislike of most people, the cleanliness streak, the possessiveness, the separate stomach for tea ….. Good looks ? Guess dad’s genes were stronger in that department. I also inherited the ability to sleep peacefully every night – with no burden of the day weighing me down, priceless gift. Thanks Amma and wish you many many happy returns !!