Amma


Proud of You, 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.  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 a 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 son. 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

 I’d published this post way back in 2013….. the feelings remain unchanged …. she still  continues to  be an inspiration – you don’t have to always  burn your bras to prove that you are a thinking, independent, woman with a mind of your own……  Salute!!

 

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11 thoughts on “Amma

  1. rajivkrishnan57 February 25, 2016 / 6:14 pm

    I have known the Lady – the ‘creator and maker’ of the author for the last 28 plus years and have seen the strength that made her dream of making her daughters independent, in every sense of the word, come true.

    Overcoming problems, issues and obstacles – is second-nature to her as it is to her eldest daughter today which makes my wife a most sought after friend, philosopher and guide (as also an agony aunt) to anybody and everybody who has come in contact with her … a genetic hand over through her mother.

    I see this wonderful mother-daughter influence and bonding passing down strongly and surely to the next generation of our family and am secure in the knowledge that my daughter will mould herself into an independent and strong, yet a caring and compassionate, young Lady whose values in life are admired.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Saswati February 25, 2016 / 7:46 pm

    I had a choked throat when I was reading about the most difficult situation of this Iron Lady. She is phenomenal. My deepest regards and love to her.

    Love, Saswati

    Like

  3. suranch February 25, 2016 / 10:01 pm

    BEAUTIFULLY PENNED WORDS & EVERY BIT OF IT IS TRUE

    Like

  4. Parul Thakur March 1, 2016 / 2:58 pm

    Such a lovely tribute to your Mum, Aruna. She would be so proud to read this. Mothers are wonderful 🙂 And she is beautiful – by heart and by looks.

    Read this when you get time. I wrote this for my Mum. http://happinessandfood.com/maa/

    Liked by 1 person

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