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She’s a Special Woman

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by twinsmom, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. twinsmom

    twinsmom Silver IL'ite

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    Whenever I hear the Hindi song ‘Tandi Hawaayen’ I see her sitting next to the old Murphy radio singing the song as though she were the voice over for Lata…

    Whenever I see Mala Sinha in a black and white movie, or Audrey Hepburn, or any star with that classic features that radiate beauty which defies verbal description, I see her face, so beautiful, so serene, so soothing…

    Whenever I see an intricate ‘maakkolam’ on a floor or a ‘padmam’ the traditional srichakram drawn with kolappodi, haldi and kumkum, I see her squatting or bending, her fingers flying about creating geometrically perfect lines and curves…

    Whenever I see a woman wearing the traditional 9 yards sari ( madisaar podavai) I see her as she scurries by her chores on festival and pooja days…

    Whenever I smell the divine combination of jaggery, ghee and rice boiling in otturuli ( the traditional bronze vessel for making payasam) I see her, stirring the offering for Goddess Durga chanting the ‘Manthra mathruka pushpamala’ along with the priest…

    Whenever I see a child, cuddling up to its mother, I remember the lazy Sunday afternoons, when she would be reading her tamil magazine and I’d lie on her stretched out legs, my head resting on her stomach, exactly where she had carried me years back…

    I have special bonds with several special women in my life – my sisiter Rat, my maternal aunt, my mum in law, my sis in law Mangala, my friends Mannu, Raj, Shubs and now Puja… but my deepest and the most intense feelings are for my mother.

    My mother… Girija… the firstborn of my Madras Thatha and Monammai grew up with her grandparents and got married at a ridiculously young age of fourteen. I know… I know… it was the norm those days to bring young brides for the sons of the family… but, in retrospect it seems a crime to me to tie down a girl at such a young age to a large family where she starts working and working and working and continues till date to work for others…

    No… she is not special because of that… I am not here to bestow sainthood on her, nor to make a martyr of her… I am here to write why I feel so close to her…

    They say, a daughter is close to the father whereas, the sons grow close to the mother. May be while I was a child, I was my Dad’s pet…I still feel very close to him. But as I grew up as a girl, a young woman, a wife and a mother, I realized just how much I loved, revered and cherished my mother.

    Once I asked her why she had had 5 kids… After my two elder brothers and me, why hadn’t she stopped? She said she had wanted another girl. I asked why. She said, she didn’t want me to grow up a brat! Today, I thank her for my sister Rat a k a mottogucci.

    I admire my Mom for a lot of things… She is the most beautiful woman I have come across in my life. I used to long for her features when I was in my teens… but realized the truth in the saying that God broke the mould after creating her… she is unique. In fact, she and both her younger sisters are breathtakingly beautiful…even to this day.

    My Mom never ceases to amaze me. Every year when I go on my annual visits, she’d have saved for me newspaper clippings, magazines with articles that might interest me, movies, she’s sure I’d love and all kinds of knickknacks… One year she zapped me…! As usual we were listening to some piece of Carnatic music ( she and Dad have a humongous collection ) and I wshed aloud that I could get a selection of my choice… She asked me what songs I’d like… I named a few ( preferring the ‘thukkadas’ to the ‘ragaalaapanais’…) She made a list of songs I wanted from the collection of cassettes and right in front of my eyes sat down and downloaded them all one by one into her PC, converted them into MP3 mode and burnt them onto a CD for me…! My own selection of songs…while I watched with eyes disbelievingly wide open and mouth falling open inch by inch as she dexterously gave commands…. There I was… a certified ignoramus who had access to computer three years earlier to her…!

    The next year I watched in awe as she did the income tax papers for my Dad… ( Dad can’t use his hands to write after his stroke…) Numbers and figures have always baffled me… and she did a perfect job of his tax assessment…making it up to date…! She browses for information for him on ODI ratings of Tendulkar ( he keeps a track on Tendulkar’s career…)… she manages his pension account through the net… downloads music from various sites… all at the age of 60 plus… She enrolled herself into computer classes … recently joined a photoshop class just for the heck of it, her tutor, a young computer engineer coming home to teach her….

    She has gone for baking classes conducted by the Karnataka Govt. Agricultural Dept. and is proficient in the art of baking, pickling and mushroom culture and whatnot… She prefers to bake pizzas and buns for her grandkids at home right from kneading the dough, whereas I stuff notes into my kids’ hands and direct them to the Pizza Hut if they ask for pizzas!

    She has been my source of inspiration for many a thing in life. When I was young, I used to yell at her for tolerating Dad’s unwarranted temper and she used to tell me, Wait till you are married, and you will realize that the worst of battles with your spouse are won by keeping quiet! My interest in singing… old Hindi and Malayalam songs sprouted from all those songs I have heard her sing… my flair for sketching comes from constantly peering over her shoulders while she did her work when she did a postal course in drawing and painting with Maya Chithralaya… My efforts at reading Tamil novels, stem from her constant efforts to keep me in touch with Tamil literary works… My culinary style is a simulation ( albeit pathetic) of hers…

    But what makes her more special to me than all these normal day to day stuff is the valuable lesson I learnt from her two years back.

    I was busy with my school’s annual examinations and the tensions of my girls writing their tenth and twelfth board exams when she dealt me a bolt from the blue… She was diagnosed as suffering from the big C. I was devastated. The distaff side of her family has been prone to cancer… yet, I never for one believed that it would happen to any one of us…. Least of all my mother. The next few weeks were the most agonizing ones for me as I was helplessly stuck here… There was no way I could leave the 6 bundles of annual exam papers for someone else to correct… Everyone was equally burdened… Mom was firm… I was not to worry about her…

    I was restless… Finally with my husband and I decided that I should resign from my job as a teacher and be with her during her Chemo sessions. I did just that… Still, by the time I was able to join her, she had already had one session of chemo.

    I broke my heart to see her… From my childhood I used to envy her long curly hair. Even with strands of grey, they were a part of her persona! Now, she was losing her hair by clutches… But she taught me a great lesson. Not a single day did I hear her rue the fact that she had lost her tresses. Not a single day, she complained of physical pain or mental trauma… I am sure she would have had her share of monsters to scare her during her sleepless nights…

    We spent days talking about everything under the sky… she never whined about her condition… never said, “Why me?”… though I kept asking Gods that. Why She? She has never hurt any one in her life. From the age of fourteen when she got married, till date she has been living for others… as a daughter in law, sister in law, niece, mother, mother in law, grandmother… She is one about whom I have never heard a relative, a neighbour or an friend talk ill… She was friendly with everyone…. Having great rapport with all near and far relations on her husband’s side…. She was Girija Manni to one and all… a very dear person… She has been most devout all her life, doing pujas religiously, expertly assisting my father in his elaborate ritualistic prayers and pujas… why She? Why had God chosen her to play with? To torment physically and terrorize mentally? For months I was at war with my personal God…reprimanding Him for his cruelty…

    Six sessions past, when she was declared free of all malignant presence inside her, we rejoiced… I became busy, pampering my God for doubting Him… for chastising Him… for thinking that He had abandoned us. All those months, I had become so close to her… sat there as she bequeathed each and every little prized possessions of hers to her kids and grandkids… talked about her fears for my father’s life after hers… and when she got a fresh lease of life, I wept with joy…and she said, “God is playing with me again! Just when I thought I have come to the end of my innings, he postpones my journey…” “Hush! I told her, He knows what He is doing…”

    Than all was well for two years… Life went back to normal. I had returned to own complacent existence when last month the alarm sounded again. There was a suspicion that the Big C was back … Now, I was a partner in a business, with my sister in law. Again, there was dilemma. Though she wanted to see me, she told me not to do anything silly… But No… there was no second question to it. My husband agreed with me that my mother was more important than a business deal and I walked out of the partnership… Mom was upset. She was with my sister mottogucci at <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City><st1:place>Coimbatore</st1:place></st1:City> getting all kinds of tests done. When I told her, I had quit and was planning to fly down, she said, “History is repeating…? First your job…. Now your business?” I told her it didn’t matter…I was coming… that was that! She told me to wait till the biopsy results came. Come during my Chemo… that will be better… I agreed. This time I didn’t fight with my God. I just prayed to Him… to please… be kind to her! And He heard me again!
    It was a false alarm… What was thought to be metastasis turned out to be an attack of Tuberculosis… curable…very much curable! We all heaved a sigh of relief and she laughed ruefully that she had scared the daylights out of us all…

    They say, breast cancer is hereditary… May be… quite a few of mom’s cousins and aunts have been susceptible. So be careful, my gynec told me. Fine, I said. I will be. My mom has taught me a fine lesson. If it is there, it is there. You try and get it cured. If not, it is God’s Will. If, God forbid, I get it, I am sure I shall try my best to bear it with the kind of courage and fortitude that my mom displayed… She has taught me that precious lesson and for that I am grateful to her.

    I told her she better be there for my twin sons’ wedding…. For I don’t know of anyone who puts Maakkolam on the floor for the sacred fire as she does…! She has agreed to try.

    Now you know why she is special to me!


     
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  2. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    Twinsmom,

    A tribute that comes from one heart and touches another! You have written so well and with such love that the words actually enact the emotions for the readers. I am sure your mom will be well to do maakolam for your sons' weddings and for functions beyond that. Here is wishing a woman with a fiesty spirit all the best ever!

    Vidya
     
  3. Devika Menon

    Devika Menon Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Twinsmom,

    SHE REALLY IS A VERY SPECIAL WOMAN ,ALL MOTHERS ARE, BUT SHE IS A VERY STRONG WOMAN.I truly admire the strength that she possesses. Any other woman wouldnt have been able to do that and I absoLutely admire the dedication that you and your sister have shown. I'm sure watching her fight the big C has also instilled alot of strength in you.Reading it is in itself very inspirational.
    MAY YOUR MOTHER LIVE A VERY LONG LIFE AND PUT THE MAAKOLUM FOR YOUR TWINS WEDDING.

    Regards,
    Devika
     
  4. Jananikrithsan

    Jananikrithsan Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Twinsmom,
    The way you have spken about your mom was so moving and shows that she has the will to fight the big C and the odds that come with it.Wishing her a very long life. Really appreciate you, your sis for having been at her side when she needed you the most.
    Here's to many more CD 's and conversions from you mom to you, not to forget her maakolam.
     
  5. Sriniketan

    Sriniketan IL Hall of Fame

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    :bowdownto your mom and wish you and your family to enjoy being with her in the days to come.

    This post made me look back and see what all I just missed noticing in my mom and dad...thanks yaar...

    sriniketan
     
  6. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

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    Twins mom,

    Hats off to yr mom,may god bless her.and to u.May god give every mother a daughter as lovely as you.You hve touched a cord in every I lites heart.You will always have all the happiness that god can give u.

    and yr Twin sons will make u a Queen just wait and see.God bless u all.

    I nominate this for the March nominations.One of the most moving pieces that i have had a privelge to read.Regards.kamal
     
  7. Paulina

    Paulina Moderator Staff Member Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear twinsmom

    That was a breath taking ,glorious beautiful trbute to your dear mother.Bow

    I did'nt pause even for a second,read it fast right through, and was happily

    relieved to know that she is still continuing as the perfect picture of graciousness

    and beauty.With the blessings of the Almighty and all your family's prayers,may

    such a versatile personality regain her health speedily and continue to be a source

    of inspiration to all of you.She is not only special but out of this world !! What

    talents!! Your descriptions were superb!

    You as a dutiful daughter who was at her side ministering to her also highly

    praiseworthy.......you gave up your career and business to rush to her in the hour of

    need.

    May she be blessed with good health and long life to be with all of you to celebrate

    your twins wedding and other happy occasions.

    warm regards
    PAULINA:wave
     
  8. Paulina

    Paulina Moderator Staff Member Platinum IL'ite

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    I would like to follow Kamalji and second Twinsmom's post for nomination

    to the best post for the month of March.

    A very touching ,sensitive portrayal that deserves recogonition.

    PAULINA
     
  9. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    Kamalji and Paulina,

    I see that both of you wish to nominate the lead post by Twinsmom for Finest Posts March 08. Please put your nominations in the relevant thread. We can consider it only then.

    regards
    Vidya
     
  10. tsseethalakshmi

    tsseethalakshmi Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear twinsmum,

    The style of describing your grate special mother's love is very touching.
    Pray to God for your mother's good health and smooth life.
    Your mother is also lucky to have such a loving care taking daughter.

    tsseethalakshmi
     

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