During my last visit my mother had asked me unexpectedly, “Are you going?” something which she never asked me before. If that was not indication enough what else could have been? I should have known then that she was giving me a hint. But, stupid that I was, I smiled, kissed her on her forehead and said, “I’ll be back soon.” And I kept my word. I returned in four days to see her die! Today, she is no more yet; I feel that she is some where around, ready to take me in her arms when I see her next. Without a whimper she left the world, so silently that it makes me feel guilty for still existing.
One December had me mysteriously dwelling on thoughts of death. But then, those were reflections of the futility of living a life without meaning, without a mission. I had no inkling then, that it was God’s way of preparing me for death, not mine but a dear one’s the following year.
“Bahut bhadiaan hein. Bahut achcha laga” was what she told me when I read out an article written for her four years ago. She was proud to see my words and my name in print. I am glad she was alive then, to know what I felt for her. Always there to encourage me, the first one to reprimand me she made my world complete. Today, I stand incomplete with a wound in my heart that refuses to heal.
She came from an illustrious family (the Pandey Ghat in Varanasi is named after my maternal grandfather) but led a life so simple that anyone could identify with her. Yet, she stood apart with her obsession with fitness and perfection, her taste for colour, her broad-minded non-ritualistic faith in God. Today, when I look back and see her in her padmaasana pose reciting Om Namah Shivaya, I can imagine her seated at His lotus feet. Memories come back rushing like the tsunami whenever I am not distracted by the duties of the day.
Critical to the point of being cynical she was my balancing shield. Now that she has made home elsewhere, I am only waiting for that final moment when I shall greet her on common ground. Then, maybe, we shall have some axe to grind.
I know she was prepared to die as she had been talking about it for years as she felt she had accomplished all her duties. Every time she talked about it I would try to appear casual and say, “When God wills it.” Now, I wish I had hugged her more, kissed her more and made her feel happy as a person. I don’t want to get too self absorbed because I need to live for the dreams that she wove for me even as she gave up so many of hers.
Suddenly, life has not just become a day to survive and connect with people, with myself, to evolve – it has also become a long wait only to get a glance of her, to see her smile and talk a few words with me.
Every time, the world doesn’t agree with me, I remember her.
Every time, I feel lost and lonely, I remember her.
Every time, I feel overwhelming love overpower me, I remember my mother.
Every time, I see my friend’s mother, I remember my mother.
Every time, I behave spontaneously like my mother I declare to my family, “Good Lord! I am behaving just like my mother. I remember her then.
Every time, I go out shopping, I remember my mother.
Every time. There are so many every times which will remain forever memories that moisten my eyes.
The love of my life. My guide. My friend in whom I would confide.
My angel. The only one who loved me unconditionally.
I need no Mother’s Day to remember her. She is always there. But, my eyes swell up when I relive the past trying hard to gather the sand of sweet memories and turn them alive once again!
Nothing like a mother’s warm lap of love. I felt it every time I put my head in her ever welcoming lap which smelt of motherly love and affection, something that I never got to feel anywhere else and rightfully so. My son followed suit in her arms to get his share of her love and it increased my joy to see the next generation also partake of her undying love..
Today, on Mother’s Day, I offer my humble pranams to my mother. And, even as I call out to her, she sings, “ Tu jahaan jahaan chalega.Mera Saaya Saath Hoga….