Saturday, November 26, 2011


WARNING: This is a long post. Please feel free to skip. This is more to document my thoughts so I can read them many days hence.

Subhash's mom passed away on Thursday, November 24th. She has left a void which I am sure we have not half assessed or felt yet. It will hit us gradually and slowly. Here is an open letter to her from me, I am sure she can never read it but I am hoping that she can read my mind wherever she is. RIP, Ma, you will be terribly missed.

Dear Ma,

I think of many things about you. It is a collage of thoughts, I cannot straighten them out.

I think of the time I wrote you that first email addressing you as aunty and uncle, wondering how you would take it.

I think of the time when you asked me what colour saree I wanted for the engagement and I said brinjal colour and you actually got me one.

I think of the time you got me that plate of food at our wedding without anyone seeing it so I could eat, since I was very nervous about going hungry till noon. This you did for me alone, while Subhash married on an empty stomach.

I think of the time when you were nervous about coming to the US, getting a visa etc, we used to talk everyday, several times a day.

I remember the joy I felt when I got you to the US. I was showing you our world, and I was quite happy I was able to come to India and take you back, I felt proud that I did the same for you like I did it for my own parents.

I remember you called us as soon as you reached Boston and were happy like a girl because you were able to see and meet Anna.

I remember your child like delight when we went to Disney. I see the pictures and I think, wow!

I remember how much you walked in Vegas. It seems so distant. We covered the entire strip many times in those few days.

I remember how you offered to help S with her wedding rituals when we went to LA.

A remembers you Ma. She says she remembers how you were the only one who offered to help her out with prasadam, when they had their housewarming ceremony.

I remember that yellow wool you got with you from India before leaving for the US so you could knit a sweater for me. You were not very happy with the finish (it was loose) but I always wore it (even to work) just because you'd always be so happy when I did. I am wearing it today (it is cold here, do you know) and wondering are you happy now too?

I remember those UNO games we all used to play and your child-like happiness when you'd win :)

I remember how you insisted I get a chain too when we went shopping for you for your birthday in 2007, exactly 4 years ago, to the date today.

I remember how happy you were that we were moving back. I am awfully glad that we moved back when we did, while you were still able to go around and travel.

I remember how you never let me do anything while we were in your domain in Hyd. Although you were not well, you'd never let me cook or do anything else. If you wouldn't be able to do it, you would arrange for someone to do it, but never let me.

I remember how happy you were when we bought this house and moved into it. I was so happy when we finally got you here and showed you all the renovations we did and when you said it was all so awesome. You were so proud of us! I don't know if I am happy or sad that we had to give you a farewell and send you on your last journey from this same house.

I remember how happy you were when you heard we were expecting. You told me it would be a boy. And I used to tell everyone confidently that it would be a boy. And when they asked me, I'd say, Subhash's mom told me so. Needless to say, they'd be puzzled. Well, we did have a boy!

I remember how you climbed three flights of stairs in spite of it being totally out of your physical power just so you could see Rohan quicker and not wait for the power to be back.

I remember how you arranged for most things for his pujas and naming ceremony. All we had to do was fly to Hyd!

I remember how you'd want to make so many things for him to eat when he went to regular school. I feel sad, you could never finish this dream. I am sure just like Anna and Thammu, Rohan would also have enjoyed your elaborate meal preparations for school's dabba.

I remember how concerned you were about my stressful job and how I had to manage the house, the baby and the job. I know the guilt always stabbed at you horribly. And I was helpless to fix that :(

I remember how you took it on you to do a lot of things which you didn't have to do, for people purely related to me and not concerned with you whatsoever.

I remember how you enjoyed being there for Rohan's major milestones, the naming ceremony, the annaprasana, the first birthday, the second birthday, the aksharabhyasam. We thought, the next and only thing left is the odugu, I wonder if you knew during that conversation that you wouldn't be there to witness that :(

I remember how you bought Rohan his first bicycle. And were happy that he loved it.

I remember how you always let me know whatever little compliments other people paid me. You never missed telling me.

I remember how you said, "You have done so much for me, I can never repay you". After this, you didn't say much else the rest of the days you were at home. You simply were not able to :(

There have been some really awesome times ma and some amazing memories too. You have done so much for me, I cannot simply wrap my arms around it to measure. There were some moments of friction towards the end in the last year or two, but I am glad they were not so big as to glare in the radar. My fault at most times, I admit. I should have adjusted more. I am sorry I did not. The other day, during our last conversation, I forgot one most important thing. To say sorry for all the times I might have hurt you. But now it is too late for it. I hope you can receive my apologies now wherever you are.

Everyone was around you when you finally left. Except me. And Rohan. You didn't want me to see you going. Or maybe you figured that I didn't want to see you going and being the understanding person that you always were, didn't let me go through that pain. I came and saw you, peaceful, detached, finally away in some happy place, far away from all the troubles that beset you here. I hope you will come down once in a while to watch over us. And give us advice in your own way on how to do things or what is best.

RIP Ma, we will all miss you terribly.


Anonymous said...

She getting you that plate for the wedding. only moms can do that . U are a very very lucky girl to have had her for the short duration in your life. Most MIL's might have pounced on the opportunity to ridicule the bride for eating. She truly was out of the world. and doing that sweater for you.

DivSu said...

@Anonymous - yes, truly.

Smitha said...

What a wonderful and compassionate lady she was. RIP. My prayers for your family to get through this difficult period.

Lavanya said...

I was so sad I couldn't make it. But I know she understands... After all that she did for me and being my most prominent well wisher can't thank her enough... After the deliverance from all suffering, may God give her soul the peace she deserves!

DivSu said...

@Smitha - Thank you
@Lavanya - Yes, I hope so too.

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