It was somehow a poignant moment when you walked back with Athimber and just as the car turned to take me to the airport you turned back to wave. I don’t know if you saw me waving back, but it was important for you to look at me as long as you could. I just felt like crying and I did because I had just snapped at you a few minutes before that 😦
No it doesn’t matter to you, you take it in your stride as you have all these years … You promised your mom that you will be born to her and you did, you also stayed stuck to your mother, never liking your strict grandmother much. You got married late at a time when it was important for girls to be married sooner, no fault of yours or your looks, for you were and are so beautiful, but the stars conspired and brought my father to be your husband. The first night of your married life was spent on a railway platform … And your adult life began. Life till then was just fun and games, watching movies, eating food, living in a houseful of siblings, cousins, nephews, nieces, all known and all who indulged your every whim. You came to a far away place called Dehu Road and lived all by yourself with dad and suddenly everything was about responsibility, building new relationships, trying to like new people and customs, and except for the yearly visits, no way of speaking or meeting your beloved mother. No movies, because Appa didn’t like movies, no film songs that you sang so well, only shlokas and Carnatic music that you didn’t necessarily like much. You brought a lot of luck with you … Grandfather harvested his first bumper crop and the grain store never went dry since. All of my aunts got married and you gave away your clothes and some jewellery happily. Appa managed to repay all the loans and finally after 11 years bought you the ear studs and nose ring that you wear till date.
For Appa, you were just the right partner, you never asked for anything and never cared how much money he made or gave away, never bothered about how well off your other sisters were and worked hard at home so that Appa never had to spend anything on the upkeep of the house. The pressure cooker that he had bought a year before you got married, is still working, his trademark white pants and white shirts remained white with your washing and you helped Appa save money. Yes, you never wanted to study or go to work, but you earned because you didn’t let money be spent.
Then I came into your life and while you tried to slip away from life as you delivered me you came back and even though you turned your face away when Periyamma showed me to you, since that day I have been the centre of your world. You fretted over me, you were over protective and you loved me unconditionally. I ofcourse always thought I was the mother in our relationship… You forgot to live your life, but wanted to be part of every minute of mine… You forgot the spunk you had as a child, and have remained scared of everything. You were lucky for everyone else and still bring luck to everyone around you, but luck didn’t work for you – you were always surrounded by people who were stronger, so your fragility got amplified. People around you were fearless, so your fears got amplified. Your defense mechanism for the world that pushed the limits of your sensitivity, were tears and they didn’t work after a while. Life went on in a cocoon that dad built around you, shielding you from everybody and everything.
Then he left and your world came crashing down one more time 40 years after the night spent on a platform. You didn’t know how to deal with me and Krishnan. Our way of living seemed strange to you and while you got your heart’s desire of being with me, you struggled to adjust to the new circumstances. Many conversations later, you now are friends with Krishnan and you are realising how it would have been to have a son 🙂
As you celebrate your 70th birthday next week, I want to tell you a few things. First, you are a very special person for me – there is no measure for your unconditional love and I don’t ever want to repay, because I can’t, but I do love you the way you are. Second, you have remained an innocent soul for all that you have been through, please don’t lose that innocence. Third, you will never be alone. Krishnan and I will be there with you through thick and thin. Fourth, a big thanks for all that you passed along as genes – happy untroubled sleep, my ability to write well, youthful looks, a healthy body, my love for the movies, my neat handwriting and most of all, my ability to deal with change.
Fifth, is a message to myself – to be nicer to you and not snap as often as I do. Am sorry for my bad behavior and I want you to know that.
I love you Amma, and nothing changes that and don’t doubt it ever. Appa, hope we can rebuild the cocoon just as well as you did ….