Even without doing a past life regression session with Amma, am quite convinced that my mother was in the distribution business in some previous life :). And I will give proof from this life to support my hypothesis.
Only after Appa passed away in 2008 did Amma start living with us and I noticed several aspects of her personality that I never registered before. At that time, both of us were working and we would eat out often. The first time that we took Amma with us to a restaurant, she ordered her favorite idlis. We ordered other items. As soon as the server put the plate of idlis in front of her, she asked if Krishnan or I could take one of the idlis as she wasn’t feeling too hungry. Then she asked if we can share some of the Sambar because it was a little spicy. Finally she ate just about one idli or at best 1.5 idlis. We thought maybe she didn’t like the taste and so didn’t eat much.
The same thing kept happening every single time we went out and that’s when we realised this past life hangover of the distribution business that my mother might have been engaged in :):). It took a huge effort from Krishnan and I to get my mother to first eat what she wanted to eat before starting her distribution work ! After almost two to three years of constant pressure and open threats of doing the same thing back to her, she now ensures that she eats some of the food before sharing some portions with us. She also tells us in advance that she will give away one poori or half a dosa so that we know to adjust our portions accordingly.
It’s not just about distributing food to everyone at the table, it’s also her creative reasons for doing it that we had to counteract. If she doesn’t want to eat something, she will give really creative reasons – the Sambar has no salt, or I actually like this item made by “that” hotel and not here or if I eat tomatoes I will get a headache or the food is piping hot, I will wait for it cool down (and complete my distribution in the meanwhile) or this smells of vinegar or it smells of mustard oil and I don’t like mustard oil or I want sugar with this or I don’t want sugar with this or this is bland or they don’t have any lentil in it or my toe hurts if I eat roti …. the reasons can sometimes be far fetched and sometimes they can sound very logical so obviously dad couldn’t keep track. He would end up eating any extra food because he didn’t like wasting food at all. My poor mother is now stuck with Krishnan and I, who remember everything, every reason that she has used and when she used it …. she still manages to distribute some of her food, but eats some as well.
Here’s a small piece of advise – if you have children of my mother’s age (below 10 years) don’t let them learn from Amma on how to escape eating what they don’t like to eat. She will help them with a lot of reasons, some of which you cannot even imagine.
p.s – she ate the full dosa for dinner today. I still got a small portion – the crispy bits, because they hurt her tongue apparently :):).