Tag Archives: Mother

Solitary Learner

Sitting at home now rather empty of the chirpiness of a young person, I look out at the lake almost drying up, the chorus of birds who never seem to stop their eloquent songs and sounds, perhaps trying to reach those who are waiting with an axe to cut down the last tree, I think of how I am sort of getting used to separation and solitude.

When my eyes wander and meet that of Andrew’s, he purrs in return and comes running to settle down next to the lap top. Andrew and his inquisitive tail have their nose everywhere, literally everywhere.

He goes to my daughter’s room and purrs and comes back to me.

But I am kind of getting used to myself and even liking it.

When you reason it out, separation, like, everything else becomes easier to accept.

So when you know that your child is making her future and you can’t be grumpy because you are selfish, you tend to smile at yourself.

When you know that the man you had in your life, taught you a few tricks of living, you are not complaining or victim playing but gracefully and even happily accepting the happy reality that you can get on with life.

When you know that the professional, ‘so- called’ injustices, opened your eyes to long side-lined tasks of greater value, you feel thankful.

Coz some parts of your soul awaken with love

some with pain

some with the slow release of controlled agony

some more with hope, hiding in the corners of your heart

waiting for a let out

‘let me be’

‘let me be’

‘I too shall find love in living’

Coz there are places aplenty

people a dime a dozen

experiences ecstatic

in waiting….

The universe kindly smiles and lets you to learn and relearn, till you learn and learn it well.

Nothing so dapper about Tupperware and some wisdom from mom

At an exhibition in a nearby hall in Calicut, Kerala, someone approached my mother, ‘Please aunty, buy these tupperware boxes. You can store enough things in style in the refrigerator’. “The price?”, asked my smart middle class frugal mom, ‘only 1500 Rs, aunty,” the girl chirped.

Not one to mince words or hide her practicality, my mother replied, ” Child, its plastic after all. We prefer not to use it. ” 

“Secondly, I plan well. So I don’t store cooked food for another day in my fridge. Tell me, who is going to check my fridge to see how fashionably I have stored stale food in it, Thanks, but no thanks, I am happy with my steel dibbas.” She walked off.

In her simple sensible and old fashioned ways, my mother is no less than a revolutionary.

For one she has been steadfast in refusing to take help from maids. She preferred and still prefers to do much of the dirty work of running her home, herself. The benefit, well, a cleaner home and a slimmer mom, active in her sixties.

Two, she is not a believer of medicines, especially the allopathy ones, which we generally call, English medicines. For every fever or cold, there is an alternative therapy that she runs, usually by herself. Her remedies are mostly home made, learned by observation of her father who was a practicing Ayurvedic physician and from her own experiments and experiences. Benefits, well, no medicine pouch to carry around!

Three, here is a lady of grit. Time has tested her patience, wrenched her guts with pain and loss, but she has managed to keep up her spirits through out. She tells me of how she had acted in school plays and now she participates in Akshara Shlokam, reciting Sanskrit Shlokas in small groups for smart entertainment. She learns them, at least a new Sanskrit shloka  each day and recites it in her soulful voice. Results, well, a sharp memory, some happy company and a sense of achievement.

Four, she is a no-nonsense person. So she is not someone to offer false comforts or praises. She will tell you what she thinks of you on your face. It is a little tough at times but beneficial in the long run. So, if you think you are going through a hard time, she will tell you, you are not. She will prove  that your life is better than many others and you will have to
grudgingly admit the same.

Five, her ability to give. She is a giver, she enjoys creating good food experiences, helping in keeping up her good company, aiding senior people around her, asking and inquiring about the members of the family, friends of my brother so much that she is quite a popular woman. Benefits, well, there is always a visitor at home, hoping to see her or talk to her, complaining of not getting to meet her enough! Fan base!

Isn’t she a fine lady? She surely is. Tupperware can never manage to fool this woman with its jargon!

My mother at 66! Dedicated to Shantedathi and Appuettan.

Before driving from my parent’s

home back to Bangalore

I saw my mother,

behind me , at the gate

shining like the morning sun

an epitome of energy and enthusiasm

her face younger by many years

waving at me

she the go-getter

she, no more crippled by the pain of not studying beyond 10th standard

she, no more bound by the worry of what will others say

she, known as the Shantedathi, who helps all

she, the daughter of an ayurvedic physician

she,who has a name for every grass!

and she, who can cook the best food on the planet.

I then look at those young grass wildly clambering for the sun on the roadside

and at her face in the front mirror

my pride and my solace, my no-excuse for lazing around

she, who lost a son and yet found a purpose in living

with her man now learning to be more proud of her

they make a happy picture

she and he, living life to the fullest in 60s and 70s

making it best for those around

ha! pride swells my chest

to call these finest examples of strength, grit and gumption as my own.


Between resources and resourcefulness, choose the latter

Mr. Dikshit the Director at Agarwal Public School, Indore walked into my class one day. He then said, ‘Would you mind if I take some time of your class?’. Though I didn’t quite like the interruption, I conceded to his request. ‘Colour chalks, mam?’ He turned to me again. I excused myself and went to get the same from the office. However I returned empty handed and he remarked,’ Be resourceful!’. I  resented the uninvited comment on my of teaching for a long time.

It is only when I read about Karoly Takacs that I realized what indeed is resourcefulness.

Born in Budapest, Hungary in the year 1910,Karoly Takacs grew up to become one of the finest pistol shooters in the world. In the year 1936, he was hopeful of representing his nation in the biggest sporting extravaganza, the Olympic games. This, however, was not to be because he was not permitted by the army which he had joined to participate. Takacs life took a grim turn when in the same year a hand grenade exploded in his right hand, taking away his precious tool,equipment and his only life boat to get to an Olympic medal.

The sporting world had written off Takacs, when in 1948, he made an appearance in the sporting arena. Takacs won the Olympic gold for pistol shooting that year, shooting with his left hand.

What an incredible story!

Something that makes us think twice before we complain.

My mother lost her favourite child, my brother to a prolonged illness. The years of agony and the loss of her beloved child left her devastated. She stopped visiting temples and offering pujas to deities. She, however, continued to help the elderly in the locality, visiting them, accompanying someone to the hospital or a visit to the temple etc. Spiritually inclined, she had picked up quite a few Sanskrit shlokas as a kid and with a group of like-minded ladies she initiated an Akshara Shloka class in Chalapuram, Calicut.

She then went on to become the President of the Ladies Wing of the Mythri division of the Chalapuram taluk. Last year while distributing books and school bags to students of a government school, she delivered her first public address. She tells me of how her speech was welcomed with a thunderous applause. Simple as she is, all she advised the youngsters is to grow big, grow great and eat right.

I am yet to see another woman, who is so resourceful and ready to help any one. Whenever life tests me, all I do is remember this woman who admits of not having studied beyond tenth standard but is blessed with infinite wisdom,practicality and commonsense.

Being resourceful is then a mindset. Some among us will waste a life time complaining of what we don’t have, others will find ways to reach where they want no matter what.

Every morning, choose life, choose the blessings in your life and know that if losing his right hand did not stop Karoly Takacs from reaching where he wanted to reach, nothing should stop you too!