“Mother’s love is bliss, is peace, it need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. If it is there, it is like a blessing; if it is not there it is as if all the beauty had gone out of life.” —Erich Fromm
|Through this painting, I try to visualize mother spinning cotton yarn in the company of her youthful friends.|
MAKAR SANKRANTI 14th January 2017
REMEMBERING DEAR MOTHER
It was the sacred day of Makar Sankranti - the 14th January 2001. My dear mother chose this pious day to leave for her permanent abode. Unforgettable day it was. It will stay in my memory for the rest of my life. It was tragic too because I failed to reach on time to see her beautiful face for the last time. Her frail body was consigned to flames on the funeral pyre without me. I had been feeling traumatized since then. Guilt feeling has taken root in my subconscious. Off and on a sudden trigger point brings alive the memories of that day. “Why did nature will this for me?” The question bothers me to no end. Mother was like a lighthouse and loved me so much. Then, why, when she left the world, her daughter was not there to bid her final adieu. The tears meant for her had remained unshed. Got stuck somewhere in spite of the irreparable personal loss.
Mother was a devout soul and a giving person. She was fearless, truthful, full of piety and honest to the core. Her wise counsels were always forthcoming to help anybody tide over tough situations. Whenever I took something for her, her response was always the same. “Why did you bring it? I’ve enough of everything.” I wonder why she was so selfless and undemanding. The word lack was never a part of her mental makeup. Her management skills were such that there was always a feeling of plenty in our household.
She did face many trying circumstances in her life, though. As a young bride, she had to live with her in laws who obstructed her integration into the family. They didn’t allow my army man father to take her along with him. They did everything to prevent my father from being attracted towards her. She bore this and other umpteen unpleasant situations with fortitude and remained steadfast.
Later on in life when my father left the army, he collaborated with a friend, and bought farmland in U.P. Alone with us children, she looked after us diligently and could manage the household like a pro. I don’t remember her ever complaining.
Throughout her life, she remained a Karm yogi in the real sense of the term. She had been an accomplished woman in many spheres. An excellent cook, she would prepare the most delicious sweets on Diwali and other family occasions. Flax-seed pinnis in winter were our favorite and her expertise in it was inimitable. She would design our dresses when we were young. She had woven designer KHES (thick cotton sheets) and Durries in her parents’ house for her dowry. And the yarn for that she would make after spinning cotton, (which my Nana cultivated in his large farm) on the CHAKHA. During her lifetime, she kept gifting that precious handmade stuff to all her children. These remain my priceless possessions,
cementing a permanent bond with her. My Nana (maternal grandfather) had installed a loom in his house. He hired a village woman to teach his three daughters weaving skills. My mother was perfect in that too.
She was a great raconteur. She was well versed with the popular tales from the scriptures. She had listened to them through wandering groups of singers in her village when she was young. Often when she had time on her hands she would regale us by narrating those stories and enjoyed the task herself too.
Mother was my staunch well-wisher. She glowed with joy whenever I visited her after my marriage. There was always a sweet dish waiting for us at home. The purity of her unconditional love, which I took for granted, I would ever yearn for. Time’s scythe doesn’t spare anyone.
Her position of an anchor in my life is permanent. In time of need I only have to seek her in my mind and forthwith receive all the answers.
The pain in my heart of her absence is a constant. Yet I know where ever she is, she is in peace and showers her blessings on me.
Her brief illness was the outcome of a fall, which fractured her femur bone and incapacitated her completely. The doctors did not operate upon her because of her fragile bones. Lying down, eating little took its toll. Within two months, she lost her vitality and resilient spirit. She went away peacefully in the sacred dawn of Maghi.
Whenever I happen to gaze at her picture hung on my bedroom wall, tears trickle down my cheeks. And my heart aches for her.
Friends,welcome here as always!