My Mom Devi – One Sweet Day in 1973
You are always more, much more than words. You are hugs, smiles, laughter, love and above all, fun. October 15 – what happy memories we have, enhanced even more by two years of unexpected strawberry and chocolate cake which we all shared and ate together, and stored in the fridge for our daily high teas.
Now, Vidur prefers to remember this day, your pseudo-birthday, and celebrate it with something special. I suppose people would expect him to sit and sulk and feel bad. But then, that is not what you taught him. You always believed that the living must remember all the good things and laughter shared with those that are physically not with us. If we do believe in angels, then you are obviously our head-angel, with Paati right behind you.
I am so blessed to have known two strong women, you and Paati, who influenced me throughout my life. I credit you with all the strength and wisdom you’ve help me build within myself. I am grateful to you for all the good things I am today, and hopefully will be, as long as I live.
Last week, we were talking frequently to ‘Shnu as Vidur had an assignment that required him to interview a famous personality. Sury suggested our Shnu, who is now India’s top ranked tennis players, at No.2, nationally. Sury and Vidur put together a set of interesting questions which we then emailed to Vishnu, as he is in Delhi at the moment for a series of tournaments. We got a prompt reply from him with a set of wonderful answers. I found it so endearing when he mentioned the bad “first” haircut, the Bournvita bottle breaking and other things. I think we have more photos from Shnu’s childhood than he has. I still have the cassette where we’ve got his baby voice and Padma’s “rasam curry” dialog. Oh, nostalgia!
Even now, I find it so hard to believe – okay, not so hard really, but it all seems a bit unreal. While talking to Shnu and marveling at how nice he sounded, I kept thinking about the time we met the family for the first time. I was 24 (am 48 now) and Vishnu was about 8 months old (and is 24 now). Truly amazing, how we’ve kept in close touch – and I think it is one of the most cherished relationships we’ve got.
Mi, that shwee pan’s handle finally came off a couple of weeks ago. I have to get it fixed. I remembered how you advised that these utensils are the pillars of the kitchen, thanks to years of use and rough handling and still looking great. Luckily the pan was empty when the handle came off, or else, imagine! Also, we have such sentimental value attached to our two shwee pans. Every Sunday, during 1987 to 1991, you made “kesari” in it. Shnu got so used to it that he’d toddle in on Sunday afternoon, point to it and say “Shwee”. And how can we forget how he would point to the last shelf in the steel cupboard and point to himself and smile, expectantly, waiting for us to give him something in a brown paper packet. Just because you once kept a little vest for him in a brown paper packet in that shelf. And how he would always point at you and keep saying “Chia, Chia” if you were wearing a saree he had seen me wear, assuming only I should wear it.
Sigh. One head. So many memories. I was sharing all these funny tales with Vidur, who’s home with a bad cold and cough and on antibiotics. You know what an avid listener Vidur is. Just loves the old stories, sweety that he is.
Blessed to have Vidur. He prays to you every day.
After all, Maata, Pita, Guru, Devi, no?