Started the day looking at a Virtual Tour of Srivilliputhur Andal Temple here at view360.in. In fact there are quite a few there, which I came to know about, thanks to the Hindu Blog. I was just thinking how much my Mom would have loved looking at these. We didn’t know about this when she was alive. And as I keep saying, festival times without her are rather unbearable. Navratri, especially – when every day of these nine days would be full-fledged activity, with her always planning to make a new recipe, reading slokas with Vidur, going shopping and window-shopping, getting squashed in the rush at the 8th cross market just for the heck of it – because it would look “festive” and ending up buying things impulsively. Sigh. And at the end of Navratri, when it was Saraswati Pooja day, we’d get to hear about – ahem – how I was born for the umpteenth, as if I were a celeb – which I guess I was – as every child is for its mother.

Its funny how we miss all kinds of small things. We would celebrate an unofficial birthday for my Mom on Oct 15 – as per her official records, and last year I remember we cut a cake, a piece of which even Mom had, saying “I have my cake, and I am eating it too” to which we all laughed. This year, as with every other occasion, she will be conspicuous by her absence. Sometimes it is just not enough that someone we love is in our hearts. We may get on with life – but that little dot of white hot pain unexpectedly stabs when you least expect it.

When we were on the way to the Forum Mall yesterday, we were recalling the hospital-doctor runaround at this time last year. I can’t believe so much time has gone by, because it seems like just last week! She was advised complete bedrest in October 2009 for her spinal TB (Kochs Spine) – and I doubt if many people would cooperate the way she did, God bless her! We laughed through most of her forced confinement to bed – except during those times of acute pain, which she bore bravely. In December when we took her to the hospital on a stretcher for a review, we were excited after the visit to find that her back had healed. What a miracle!

She was mobilized by our doctor, Dr Raghu Hiremagalur’s physiotherapist – who was a real sweetheart. And gradually, in January 2010, we were pretty convinced that Mom would quickly recover and be back to normal in a couple of months. It looked that way, too, until Feb 2 – when she developed the discomfort. Admitted into hospital on Feb 3 – unconscious and fighting for life with a collapsed lung, mild heart attack and organ failure – full life support for three days – then – she just passed away with complete heart failure on Feb 8.And life just seemed to stop, for us. Coming back home and knowing she’d never be there again with a smile was painful.

I suppose I’ll never stop going through this narrative from time to time. My mom was my two-in-one parent, my best friend, a great teacher, a wonderful person. We’ll never stop missing her.