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Pangs of parting...

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by ambika ananth, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. ambika ananth

    ambika ananth Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Friends

    Here is the piece I had written when my first son left for the US to pursue his MS in University of Michigan.
    Now my second son too left for Canada to do a course in Animation and Visual Effects at Vancouver Film School....I am planning to write about this painful phase of 'empty nest'..

    Meanwhile, please read this and let me know your feelings...
    ambika



    ==========================================
    Pangs of parting...

    Strong emotions of love and deep affection poured out of my heart and strong sentimentality gripped me in the Airport. I remembered the episode in ' Ramayana' and empathised with King Dasaratha's pain and agony when lord Rama left for the forests. Though the situation was different, the emotion was the same-my dear son, my own extension, was going away to a country thousands of miles away. It was like a portion of my heart being severed. I was numb all over; but I did not cry. I remembered my cousin's word - "If the mother bird cries, it will clip the wings of the young fledglings trying to soar high into the skies". I didn't want my son to feel anxious and pained about leaving us, leaving his home. He was going on a purpose, to realise his dream- to one of the best universities of the world.
    His first day at the school came vividly to my mind - how unwillingly he had stepped into the class. He had fought back tears (the pride of being "a boy" had been fierce in him right from a tender age), yet they shone like little stars in his bright big eyes. The question was writ large in them "When are u coming Ma, to take me home?"
    Now the roles were reveresed and my brimming eyes were questioning him, "When are u coming back son? The lure of the West, the land of opportunity is strong no doubt, but don"t forget your roots. They are in me, your mother, and in India, your motherland.
    The void was too great for me to bear. My son and I are great bosom friends. We talk, share thoughts, beliefs, feelings.He has an unscanny ability to joke about my silly frustrations and make them vanish. He has this keen mind and eye to find the mistakes in my writings. He is a loveable critic, and a writer himself. He is my best friend. How could I stop my tears from flowing, though I knew that I could be in constant contact with him across the space?
    Before going he joked with a wink, "Ma I am getting you a bahu, a "phoren' one", expecting me to bring the roof down.. But I replied, "go ahead, Rajesh but ensure that she is not a phoney one . Love is, beyond cavil or question, the most important experience in the life of a human being. But the quality of love is very important. The fleeting, counterfeit and selfish love 'binds and blinds'. True love allows plenty of room for respect, privacy and independence. It allows one to breathe and grow. It is the primal rhythm of the universe". And when I ended my speech with a warning. "Dont cheat any girl or get cheated by any," he smiled an "I know that Ma ..he smiled and said, "It's not easy to have a writer as a mother, along with love she pours out words and words." He then hugged me warmly.

    I am sure he will learn to live life to the fullest, he will learn to pick himself up after stumbling, he will learn to create a solid ground under his feet to stand tall and mighty.

    I sent him with a blessing. "May God stand between you and the raw evil loose in this world/ Let not destructive emotions of anger and hatred overpower you. May your inner calm and composure reign over this age of stark pervasive fear and anxiety, may there be a healthy integration of your heart and your mind and may simple common sense precautions give you sure protection"

     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2006
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  2. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    A penny for my thoughts, Dear Ambika !

    When I read your post, I relived my days of similar experience, but with a difference.
    When my daughter, the elder one got married & left the house, I felt as if I could not let her leave me. Having a daughter & a son, I know what both mean, but differently .
    Once my daughter reached her teens I had started feeling as if my daughter was a
    "physical extension" of me ! So when she was leaving home to set up her own nest, it was as though I was losing a limb . The next time she came for a short stay with us, I was astonished how her priorities had changed. ( ofcourse we must have given the same shocks to our own parents ! ). When she said Amma, she meant her MIL & not me! I imagined that she was always in a hurry to go back to her house & not stay with me for a few more days. That was the first time, it dawned on me that I have to start practising detachment in attachment.
    Next, as in your case, my son was leaving for higher stdies to U S. Having experienced a child's separation once, I was better equipped emotionally. I plunged head long into various classes held in the city starting from cookery to healing to ikebana - I just wanted to be away from home since my husband was a 7-7 worker & a workaholic. My son used to write how he was missing my home cooked food, how he was waiting to come back to live in Chennai with us etc. After a few years, he did come back & we got him married. He started living separately with his wife & we were also happy that they wanted to be independant from the beginning. But now, it was all changed ! When in the U S, he missed my cooking, now if I called him to come over with his wife, it was always some excuse like " oh, amma, we have other plans for the day, please don't mistake us if we don't drop in today " ! I could see that his priorities had also changed completely. We talk in theory so many things & give advice to others etc but when it comes to your own children, acceptance comes very late & next step is just leaving them undisturbed in every way, mainly withot advice from our end. It was at that time, I made the following lines as my " new profile":
    In all my relationships , rather interactions , I give my best. I work hard to mature & cherish them. My attachment with them is complete. However , I remain detached in the sense that I do not expect them to reciprocate my affection. Most importantly , I make a conscious effort , not to interfere or pass judgements on the lives they choose to lead. My concern for my near & dear ones will not fade with my detachment. If you let go of the ones you love , they will never go away – this is the beauty of attachment with detachment ! I have learnt to love & let go.This dictum has developed tolerance in me. When I let the people live the way they want to , I learn to accept them for what they are. Most importantly , I learn to tolerate the world around me & this tolerance brings in me a sense of peace & contentment. I ask God to guide me in being loving , compassionate , tolerant & understanding when I interact with others. If a person wants to share a thought or concern with me I want that person to feel comfortable to do so. I want to remain peaceful & approachable to others. Before I speak , I pray to God to give me the right words so that I express myself clearly & with consideration to others.

    Since both my children live in Chennai, I follow this very strictly, you know why !
    Now I have realised that we start growing mentally much more only after the children leave the house & we have to tackle the emotional vacuum, that arises, along with age-related problems like menopause which set in simultaneously.
    I find this is the most testing period for a woman, as well & emerging successfully is a slow process.
    Ambika, you wrote a few lines & I have almost written an essay for an answer.
    Love & regads,
    Chithra.
     
  3. varalotti

    varalotti Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I am speechless before the two great mothers!

    Dear Ambika,
    You have once again proved that you amply deserve the prefix "the one and only" before your name. What words,Ambika! Words that soothe, words that soften, at the same time, words that teach, that chasten, that enlighten and words that edify and words that purify.
    Rajesh and Magi should have done some penance in their previous births to get you as their mother.
    Ambika the way you expressed your love towards your son, conveying the message at the same time that my love will not bind you nor my affection hold you, is a lesson many mothers have to learn. This lesson once learnt will uncomplicate many lives, especially those of the children.
    And these words of blessing, Ambika are poetical and practical at the same time.
    May God stand between you and the raw evil loose in this world/ Let not destructive emotions of anger and hatred overpower you. May your inner calm and composure reign over this age of stark pervasive fear and anxiety, may there be a healthy integration of your heart and your mind and may simple common sense precautions give you sure protection"
    With such a mother to provide strong roots and such a motherland as ours, I am sure both Rajesh and Magi will return to India, for good, for their good as well as India's good. Only when the roots run deep can the wings grow strong. That will be proved in the case of your sons.
    Ambika, may your blessings to your sons become true. May you also be blessed. You have made my day with nice words. Even if I call it a day right now (it's 10 30 Am now) and go home to sleep, this day would not have been wasted.
    May you live long,
    sridhar
     
  4. varalotti

    varalotti Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Your life is a lesson, Chitra!

    Dear Chitra,
    After reading your response to Ambika's post I want to proclaim to all ILites that they have a lot more to learn from you apart from the recipes. You remember the post 'Your Children Are Not Your Children', Kahlil Gibran's poetry by Kamla. What Gibran said in words, you have said it in action.
    Ambika is a mother grand. You are a mother grand as well as a grandmother. When I had the opportunity to meet your granddaughter manaswini I had an idea how she adores her "ammamma".
    Thinking of parting I am reminded of the scene when I and my wife went to leave Preethi for her first day in school. We all expected that Preethi will cry and that one or both of us might have to stay back for the whole day. I did not go for work on that day.
    But Preethi did not cry at all. She waved us goodbye. And as we were returning home in our car (I still remember it was an old fiat) I could sense some extra jolting in the vehicle. 'I should ask the garage to check up the shockabsorbers' I told my wife. But there was no response. I turned towards her side to see her sobbing violently. The jolting was not due to bad shockabsorbers but due to my wife's crying. I felt like crying myself but like Ambika's son I had to protect my 'manly' image. So with tears glistening I just held my wife's hand driving the vehicle with one hand.
    That was 17 years back. Another parting is likely in the next few months. We are now preparing for that.
    And Ambika's post and your response could not have come at a more opportune time.
    thanks,
    regards,
    sridhar
     
  5. meenaprakash

    meenaprakash Silver IL'ite

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    you got me emotional tooo.

    Dear Chitra & Ambika,

    you both have made us think about our future too.
    I get a sinking feeling when my daughter, 10 yr old says she wants to stay with her Grand ma (my mom) for the holidays - once I leave her there, I expect her to call me to say she misses me but she never utters what I want & I do feel let down sometimes. She has already started telling me that she won't be around when she grows up and that I shldn't depend on her - I don't know how much she understands about those phrases but just that thought of her not going to be around makes me emotional.

    wonder what future has got in store for me.

    Do take care Ambika - we can see you & Rajesh share a beautiful bond & you are a lonely Mother now. you've expressed your thoughts so beautifully - as usual - a beautiful post from a beautiful YOU!! I hope you'd find ways to cope with this phase of your life & of course you do have a small crowd here with whom you can share you time & thoughts & e..t..c.

    Chitra, it was wonderful to read your post. I've read some of your earlier posts on relationships & I know how dedicated a Mother , you are!! Reading your post I can understand how painful it would've been when the kids left home. But then, you also seem to have coped with that phase wonderfully and seem to have emerged as a winner your own way!!!

    I heard some of my uncles say, once a child is 18, (once they develop wings), they shld be kicked out. I mistook them as stone-hearted but after marriage & experiencing life, I feel that sentence had so much meaning to it.

    Chitra, your descriptions were really touching & I think each and every one of us will go thru this phase one day.. we are all in a queue. I'll remember your phrase detached attachment always. I think its a circle of life, and it has to rotate that way. We have got so much to learn from you. I'm glad we have such matured ladies around and just reading your posts gives us so much insight into life itself.
     
  6. ambika ananth

    ambika ananth Bronze IL'ite

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    heart stirring response maam

    Dear Chitra

    Thanks for your response. You have filled it with so many life truths, some how it acted as an eye-opener and it helped me see everything in a better perspective.
    Actually I am such a sensitive and emotional person, I always wish that my children don't become like me..being like me will prove to be more of a liability than anything else, because over-whelming emotions always hamper one's growth, because they are binding and sometimes blinding...
    As you said Chitra, I am planning to engage myself in activities which will enhance my self-worth and bring out my latent potentials...
    Thanks for your heart stirring response..
    warm regards and love
    ambika
     
  7. ambika ananth

    ambika ananth Bronze IL'ite

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    wonderful reply..as always..

    Dear Sridhar
    As always, a wonderful reply from you...and reading what a father feels and seeing things from a father's perspective, it completed the picture of what parents love is all about..
    I remember a quote now.
    " Fathers have very stout hearts, so they have to be broken sometimes, or no one would know what's inside'... That breaking happens when children leave home and all that hidden love, affection, concern....will flow in torrents...
    I like the way you express your thoughts about the impending inevitability of Preethi leaving the nest...some men think that it is 'womanly' to feel for such situations, but they are horribly wrong...it takes only a 'wholesome man' to feel all that a woamn feels too..it takes a fantastic father to feel all that what the mother feels too...
    My respect and love for you has increased many fold Sridhar..
    God Bless you..
    ambika
     
  8. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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    thanks to all mothers out there......

    dear ambika,
    all i need to add in chitra's letter is my name so much alikeness in all aspects never knew this could exist,and ur words like how varloo says will keep ringing in the heart...alll mothers do that ....but yes a close relation with the elder child is more because they grow fast when the mother is young and r able to relate with them...nice words..ma be ready getting u a foren bahu...from this one line ur relation is so well described..and yes u r a grt writer who could convey in a parah a wonderfull world...may relations like this be all the more all over the world so that our children that is the children of india and the world over refrain from terrorism...this bondage will bring abt peace....hail u mothers......regards sunkan
     
  9. ambika ananth

    ambika ananth Bronze IL'ite

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    thanks Meena..

    Dear Meena

    Thanks for your good wishes and kind words. Sure, I will depend on the friendship we all share here- when I feel lonely and listless, I will pour out my thoughts here and enjoy all the love and genuine affection you all give..
    Mothers are God's noblest and loveliest creations...yet the 'soft tender spot' in their hearts needs cushioning..
    best wishes and love
    ambika
     
  10. ambika ananth

    ambika ananth Bronze IL'ite

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    thank you Sunkan..

    Dear Sunkan

    thanks for your reply. Yes, with the eldest child a mother bonds very quickly and since they both 'grow up together' the bond deepens and becomes very special..
    Thanks for calling me a 'good writer'...encouragement is the sunshine which can nurture anything 'under the sun'..
    regards
    ambika
     

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