An Ode to a Mother


Now republished as  Amma

The day a child is born , so is a mother… Being  the eldest child, this is doubly true, I guess, for my mother, who I call Amma.  A mother is your first teacher,  your first refuge, your eternal panacea for all troubles whether you are a one year ‘old’ infant or a 50 year ‘young’ woman. There exists an extra special bond between daughters and mothers which intensifies the day the daughter becomes a mother. An obstetrician by profession, I have lost count of the number of times I have witnessed the miracle of birth yet the novelty never wears thin.

My mother, a “simple homemaker” by definition, was and is easily one of the earliest and strongest influences of my life,as she inspired, coaxed and at times, literally dinned into us, her 3 daughters, the singular importance of being independent and self-reliant in the truest sense of the word.  That we were  “girls” never dimmed that determination even the slightest. I remember once on hearing  that she had 3 daughters, a lady at a local club get together remarked ” Oh I am so sorry!” Pat came my mothers reply… “Why? I am not!! In fact I am proud! ” She would go on to instill in us the courage to follow our dreams, never believe that there was anything that we could not do because we were ” girls”. The fact that we belong to a matriarchal society may also have helped.  The fact that we spent our childhood in Idyllic Goa also did.  Gladly supported by my father, we were allowed  tremendous freedom of choice and were vested with the power to choose from  a very young age. This manifested in me at a very early age when I refused to repeat a class because I was too young to be promoted to the next despite having topped that class.( Class I )

 Breathtakingly beautiful, Amma was a head turner in her youth.  She was an intelligent sincere and good student but her formal education was cut short by her fathers untimely demise, when she was barely 14 yrs. Not a person to let obstacles become obstacles to her dreams, she resorted to home tuition and self-study to become proficient in Hindi soon after her studies. Married at a young age to my father, she retained her spark and individuality even  while she toiled tirelessly for the family and provided an emotional anchor to my father all through their marriage. She managed our farm in the village and her managerial skills on display  prompted one of my friends to remark that she was ideal Corporate honcho material!! An avid reader and a staunch movie buff, she enjoyed whatever life had to offer at each point in her life. 

 

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A young “me” in my gorgeous mothers lap. Also seen is my father to my left
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Amma, her 3 daughters and her grandchildren in 1995

The  care and support continued through my early years as a mother as I , by then a young doctor in the armed forces, struggled to balance a demanding career, marriage and kids. When I had to make a choice of a subject for PG, she supported me in the best way possible by spending valuable time with me and my children. Her immense strength and love was evident when she came to my  duty station  the day the last rites of my father was completed and yet never disclosed to me the fact that my father was no more as I was going through a complicated pregnancy. She even went to the extent of wearing the Taali ( a mangal sutra/mark of a married woman)  till I was finally told the truth on the 15th postnatal day. Hats off to her especially as my father’s death at 61 was a sudden unexpected and devastating event for my mother who was barely 52 then.  I sometimes wonder whether  I would be ever be able to do that.

 

It has not always been hunky dory. Being strong-willed and independent women, we have our differences of opinion, disagreements and discussions, but the underlying bond has only grown stronger and stronger over the years. To date we still talk for hours on end… sometimes over the phone, sometimes in person.  She is an integral part of my life even today and I like to think that I am a part of hers too.

She turned 75 last week and as per her wishes we celebrated it in Guruvayoor a temple town of Kerala. My sisters and my entire family made it a point to be there and it was a joyful occasion indeed. We sisters  had  initially made a plan of celebrating it as an event  attended by close family and friends but finally gave in to her wishes.

 

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The family gets together on her 75th bday
The Bday girl cuts the cake
The Bday girl cuts the cake

 

 

With her doting grandchildren
With her doting grandchildren

A word about Guruvayoor. One of the most famous temples of Kerala where Lord Krishna is the deity, this temple has been part of several milestones in my life. It was here that my Annaprasam (or Chorrunnu as it is called  in Malayalam ) was done  .. it was here that I got married .. it was this deity that I prayed to when I had to appear for my MD exams within days of my daughters birth and it was here that my children had their Chorrunnu too.

Guruvayoorappan the deity
Guruvayoorappan the deity

 

 

Entrance Guruvayoor temple
Entrance Guruvayoor temple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Located about 30 km away from Thrissur, legend has it that Lord Krishna had advised his disciple to carry his idol and  find a suitable place for it  after Mathura was washed away. He along with Brihaspati found this spot and it is said that Lord Shiva himself welcomed the idol and worshiped it too.

So that has been the highlight of this week for me….. and it made me go down memory lane. 

“The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children!” – Elaine Heffner

Amma has  indeed taught me the art of living  and more… thank you Amma, for  just being you … A blessing…..

 

 

 

 

 

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31 thoughts on “An Ode to a Mother

  1. myreflectionsblog June 29, 2014 / 1:50 am

    Thanx Amita….ur positive comments are encouraging. ..

    Like

  2. Anita June 29, 2014 / 2:23 am

    Poignant and resonates with my life too. Well worded.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. myreflectionsblog June 29, 2014 / 5:29 am

    Thanks Anita…blessed to have u in my life. …am glad it touched a chord …

    Like

  4. rajiv krishnan June 29, 2014 / 6:24 am

    Wonderfully worded ….. a befitting tribute to a most amazing Lady. May the bond continue to grow in strength.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. myreflectionsblog June 29, 2014 / 7:49 am

    Thanx…. all because of the wind beneath my wings…you….

    Like

  6. Nandu June 29, 2014 / 11:25 am

    Superb narration.

    Very captivating and inspiring….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. myreflectionsblog June 29, 2014 / 3:26 pm

    Thanks a ton…. .Nandu…do u blog?

    Like

  8. Rashmi Kashyap June 29, 2014 / 6:15 pm

    Intense writing for a well deserved person !!! penned down emotionally & so true…..Gods’ own family can relate to ur PG struggle coz she was in Bikaner at that time managing home & grand kids. An ideal tribute to Amma

    Liked by 1 person

    • myreflectionsblog June 30, 2014 / 1:11 am

      Thanks Rashmi for taking out the time to read and encourage all my efforts. This post was an emotional one, from the heart…’dil se’

      Like

  9. Danyealah Green-Lemons June 29, 2014 / 10:32 pm

    Hi, I am Danyealah and I am a young writer/blogger/poet. I really enjoyed reading this post about your mother. It was very inspiring for me as a young woman. My mother and I are moving into the phase of life where mother and daughter become friends/partners in life. Naturally, I thought of my own mother’s strength in reading about yours. Wonderful to have read this. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • myreflectionsblog June 30, 2014 / 1:07 am

      Thank you so much, Danyealah. It means a lot to be appreciated. I hope and your mom have a wonderful journey together…God Bless.

      Like

  10. Bulbul July 1, 2014 / 5:11 am

    Good read Aruna. The “simple homemaker” as mothers are called don’t tell the true story of their influence on our lives, their sacrifice and strength of determination. It was sheer pleasure to read your tribute to your mother. My very best regards to her.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. myreflectionsblog July 1, 2014 / 11:31 am

    Wonderful hearing that frm you, Mrs Bulbul Ghosh esp as I am so new to this..Thanks for stopping by. …feeling encouraged. ..take care.

    Like

  12. Sunitha Srinivasan July 2, 2014 / 5:59 am

    Beautifully written and I can relate to this so well.My mother single handedly raised two girls after my father’s sudden demise when she was only 42..she being a doctor herself instilled in us the importance of being self reliant and financially independent. .a salute to all the wonderful mothers out there…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. myreflectionsblog July 2, 2014 / 2:21 pm

    Thank you Sunitha……here’s to all mothers.. here’s to us, too! Cheers…..

    Like

  14. myreflectionsblog July 3, 2014 / 6:03 pm

    Thank you …. am glad it touched a chord.

    Like

  15. Fragments of Light September 22, 2014 / 6:16 am

    I loved reading about your love for your mother. Mine, too, is an anchor and one of my dearest friends. Thank you for sharing this very personal reflection.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ripplesnreflectiontimes September 22, 2014 / 7:34 am

      Thank you so much for those lovely words. I see the bond between you n ur mom too….n that is why my words find an echo in you…😊☺
      God bless all mothers including u n me…have a good week!

      Like

  16. mira65 November 27, 2014 / 10:09 pm

    Lovely!
    Remembering mom!

    Like

  17. Mathukutty P. V. November 28, 2014 / 12:21 pm

    She kept about father as secret? How it is possible? very strong mind. Lucky mother and children. May God bless you all.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Saya November 28, 2014 / 4:06 pm

    hats off to your mom 🙂 give her my hugs.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. looneybitch February 9, 2016 / 12:57 am

    I absolutely love this. Love our ” take on life” – being so positive and calm.
    You seem to have the secret of Life. Just returned from KL… love the gentleness of the people there and went to see Baku Caves.

    Like

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