I feel I've understood you Ma in true sense only after becoming a mother myself. There are so many things that we overlooked or took for granted earlier whose importance I realise now.
Ma, how did you learn to be so patient with us? I seem to be a total failure when I look back as I just cannot remember you shouting even 1/10th of the times that I shout at Anirudh. He's just one kid and you had four!
Ma, from where did you get the patience of teaching us our subjects whereas I get really irritated and angry when after telling Anirudh twice what 'S' looks like he still cannot recognise it among the group of alphabets in front of him?
Ma, how did you tend to us when we were sick and still went on with the rest of the house chores without a frown on your face? Here its just Anirudh and I feel so drained out in just half a day when he's not well and the house looks like a tornado hit it.
Ma, where did you get the energy to teach us after taking care of the house, cooking, cleaning, laundry, ironing, even stitching clothes for us? After few hours at work when I come back home, I've no energy to play with Anirudh and if I do, literally have to force myself physically. And after a while I just let him sit in front of TV to watch cartoons.
This space is too less to write about the various other things that I feel so awed about you, what you did and how you did when I look back and realise that I cannot do even minuscule proportion of them myself.
However good or bad we have been, you loved us to no end and were proud of us no matter what. I remember your ever smiling face except for occasional times and days when you would not be happy or be angry about something but only momentarily - at least you never let it show for too long. Your long silky hair which I feel so glad to have inherited from you. I remember how much I loved combing them because they felt so nice and soft. When I look at your pictures now and then I feel how you looked so beautiful naturally and never had to use any makeup like we have to.
We had our share of fights as Mother and a difficult daughter too but on the whole it was a can't-live-without relationship :D
I'm sorry for all the times I've troubled you Ma, for the worries I've caused.
I still remember your face expressions when you saw me climbed atop the 30-35 foot high water tank behind our house in Iraq when I was just about 8 yrs of age and how you were so scared when I was climbing down after getting a big big scolding from you for playing so dangerously. Its only now I can imagine how horrified you must have been because I get jitters when I think of me in your position and Anirudh atop that tank. I still went on to do such pranks but I tried best that you don't come to know about them. And I worry when I think of Anirudh doing the same to me. I worry so much for his safety just like you did for us.
I remember the various yummy dishes that you used to try out in various cuisines. Your sizzlers, your mysore pak, your yummy sabudana pakoras, the yummy mughlai palak which I also make and everyone loves and I so proudly tell them that Ma taught me this recipe. And ohh how can I forget the chunk chops mixed vegetable that I learnt from you. Every time I make and whosoever has eaten it till date just can't stop raving about it. I again proudly tell them that Ma invented this dish! And every time..yes EVERY TIME I eat samosa's I think of you coz I know how you loved them :D
I remember how lovingly you made the special mango pickle for all of us just a month before you left us... though only physically. It amazes me how you got all that energy when your body was so drained out with the fight against the illness.
I had always admired your determination and I will also try to be as determined as you were Ma. I saw your determination to get well and get over with the illness. I was so shocked learning about it and instead of me trying to give you strength it was the other way round. Seeing you totally unnerved by it and going around just like you used to earlier gave me the courage to face it and the hope to fight it back.
I can never forget the birthday just few days after your surgery, when we communicated with just using our eyes and smiles..words would have failed to convey what your eyes and smile did. You were still in the ICU with IVs running though your hands and so many machines around you monitoring how you are progressing after the surgery. I clearly remember your smiling face with a questioning nod as if asking me if its my birthday and when I nodded in affirmation, you lifted your hand to pat mine - wishing me 'Happy Birthday!'. It has been the best birthday wish for me so far...where words were not required and we understood each other completely.
Every single day I hope that a time will come when you will come back and be with us again!
I still remember those special Rs 10 that you used to give us whenever we would go out to spend on things we wanted. Even when we grew up and went to college we always looked forward to that special Rs 10 despite the fact that you had given us enough for our expenses. :D After all those were THE SPECIAL Rs. 10 for us...very special.
Whenever I wear the Sarees that you used to wear, I can so clearly see you wearing them. And I get a certain kind of happiness as it feels that you are so much close to me then.
But then you have always been close to us even though not physically but in our thoughts, in our memories in everything. You will always be there. I know you know it but still I want to say it "We love you Ma".