As I looked out of the window I saw her getting out of the car. She looked very old, frail and unhappy. As she walked she staggered and almost fell. There was a man with her. He then caught and steadied her as they entered the building. This was the home for old and destitutes. Later that afternoon I saw her, sitting next to me. She was wearing a sari typical of an elderly south indian women. I noticed that she hardly ate any food at lunch. Her moist eyes appeared lost …may be somewhere far away , she was most of the time not aware of happenings around her. As I saw her at close quarters I could see depression written all over her face. She was really weak. There were heavy dark circles under her eyes, may be due to constant weeping or lack of sleep. I was very emotionally concerned by her and so I sat next to her and put my hand on her frail thin shoulder. She looked at me but did not speak. “Patti” can I know your name, I asked. “Janaki ” she replied in a voice with an undertone of sadness. “Was that your son who brought you here “I continued. After what seemed ages she replied “Yes, he is my blood “ . Suddenly an emotional energy surged in her as she sat upright for the first time with an eagerness to take it all out of her chest. “He is my son Balaraman “ . She continued with a flicker in her eyes. “ I remember it all just as it was yesterday. He was born 30 days ahead of time and looked very dark . He would cry for milk very often and made me spend many sleepless nights. “She wailed. It looked as though some unseen force had taken over her as she spoke with the vigor of a possessed spirit. “He would tremble each time a cracker was burst and kept on crying those initial days as he was born just few days before Diwali . I used to sit for hours closely holding him to my chest and tightly closing his ears “ Janaki amma continued unabated ….tears rolling down her cheeks. “ It might be because he was born earlier that he started to stand and walk earlier than others. I remember the small walker his dad had purchased for him. It was made of wood and he loved going around pushing it. O how I loved seeing him doing all the mischief. He used to love dosa and I used to prepare for him regularly. One day he had very high fever and suffered from chicken pox. I was terribly worried and did not sleep for days . He would go into delirium when the fever hit him high. Every day I used to pray to god that he recovers fast and each time promise to fulfill a favor to the lord. Then tragesy struck. His father died when he was 9 . Those days were killing. There was hardly anybody to support and since I was barely educated it was very difficult to keep the kitchen fire running. But god helped as my ability to stitch helped and doing other small chores we managed. I wanted Bala to learn and wouldn’t have anything else. Those days ,although I was not understanding anything much , I used to sit with him daily very late into the night as he learnt over the oil lamp. He studied well in the higher classes and college and passed out in flying colours. “ Janaki amma continued , now slowly getting more composed as it all came out of her chest …“ His first two jobs were within the city and he would take tiffin box daily. Even at that age he was like a kid throwing his dress all over the place once back from office and waiting for me to serve food in his plate . He would lie next to me and wait for me to tell some stories before he could sleep. “ But in two years time he was asked to go on tours and used to be away for weeks. I used to feel very lonely and lost and felt extremely claustrophobic within the four walls of the house. I just could not remain without seeing him every day . ” Then one day he brought a girl home and introduced as her friend. Later I understood he had a liking for her. I was very upset as she was not from our religion. For days we argued on this. I told him if his father was there he wouldn’t have agreed to this. But he was adamant and remained upset.” I can never see him continually down and upset and so I eventually agreed. But he suddenly one day register married her and arranged a party for his friends and colleagues. This made me dejected. He took a new house and we moved in to that. Slowly I began to understand that they wanted their privacy and he also started avoiding me. I felt very distressed and just unaware of what to do. Oh! If only Balaram’s father was alive. I did not have any other relative where I can go and stay permanently. Then came the disaster. Balaram got a job in Mumbai . I told him that if it was for his good , let him go and I would continue to be there. Today morning without telling me where we were going he asked me to pack . Only after reaching here did I know where I have come. O! How I miss him. How can I live without seeing him , hearing him. I just want him to be near me. I don’t need anything else . Janaki amma broke down after this and weeping incessantly , went into a swoon. Thirty days later Today, it is thirty days since Janaki amma came to this place. So far she has tried to commit suicide two times. Her health has gone from bad to worse. She does not speak to anybody . She prefers to be solitary , sitting under a tree just outside the verandah , looking far away , waiting for the end of her journey , lost in deep memories of her son……. We should always remember that we are here because of them. Parents love can never be repaid.