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Ma, I Admire How Your Grit Came Forward After Baba’s Death

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Ma, there are few things that still lie unexpressed and I want you to know…

I have been numb, and the numbness never goes away, since the time you left us. Is it really 14 years since you left us, unbelievable! When Baba passed way,  you were there to hold us together but when you left we became alone, really alone for the first time. Yes, we are five siblings, but yet we feel orphaned, still. We were all leading our separate lives but you were our anchor, with you gone we had to forge our own paths.

Sometimes, when I wake up in the middle of the night and am unable to go back to sleep I look at your and Baba’s picture by my bedside and involuntarily call out ‘Ma’…I know you hear me because at once I am calm and I go back to sleep. That picture of you and Baba is always by my bedside since you left us. Do you know what else is there? The last pen that Baba had with him and your last wrist watch, both safe in a slim box,  near that picture frame. Both of you are always with me.

I remember the sheltered life you had led till Baba was alive but your real grit came forward when you had to live alone after Baba. I have inherited your strength I guess which has helped me tide over many ups and downs in my life. I hope you are proud of me with how I have handled my life so far.

I remember you loved dressing up and always wore the prettiest of sarees in prettiest of colours but when Baba passed you gave all that up, it killed us to see you so bare. But we respected your choice. You did that in his memory, all of us understood.

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What I remember most about you is the silent strength with which you weathered storms. Yes, just after Baba passed away, all of us siblings were like your protective shield but later you were our pillar. I remember the sheltered life you had led till Baba was alive but your real grit came forward when you had to live alone after Baba. I have inherited your strength I guess which has helped me tide over many ups and downs in my life. I hope you are proud of me with how I have handled my life so far.

When I visited you, when you were living alone in an apartment I could feel your happiness on seeing me. Do you remember when once I had come to visit you asked, “Have I lost weight, the thing is I do Yoga watching the postures on TV.” You know what, you had lost weight and looked fit and happy. But I want to confess that I felt guilty because I realised how lonely you were. Yet you never let us feel your loneliness.

Do you know what is the best memory from these visits of mine? Having a cup of tea with you in the morning. You were the only person who could make tea just the way I like it. Sitting at the dining table with our tea and biscuits we would discuss and gossip about so many things. They are my most precious memories of us together now.

You let all your children choose their own paths and careers. After Baba passed away it would have been very easy for you to ask your sons to be with you, but you never imposed your choice on them or your daughters

But you know what Ma the one regret I will always have is that you are not there to see my daughter grow. And your other grandchildren as well. We see a little bit of you in all of them. Now that she is growing up she keeps asking little things. When I bathe her she asks, “Did Nani too bathe you like you do?” “Did she get angry at you as you do with me?” But she knows you are a star in the sky now always looking after us from up above.

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My friends too remember you with fondness. Why wouldn’t they, you had let our home be our adda. All our friends knew they were free to drop in anytime of the day. You just let us be, that way you were cool and non-interfering kinda mom.

But you know what Ma the one regret I will always have is that you are not there to see my daughter grow. And your other grandchildren as well. We see a little bit of you in all of them.

You let all your children choose their own paths and careers. After Baba passed away it would have been very easy for you to ask your sons to be with you, but you never imposed your choice on them or your daughters. You were selfless like mothers are. Maybe you wanted us to be independent. It does fill us with guilt that we were not with you but we didn’t know you would leave us so soon. Just when we were all settling down in life and planning to do things for you, you left us. Not a day passes when we don’t think of you. You live on in us.

I always remember what one of our relatives said when he had come to visit us after you left us, “Your mother gave you wings before she left so that you all can soar.” I hope you are proud with the way we have soared, in different skies. I hope you are happy with me, who everyone says is a replica of you.

Happy Mother’s Day Ma!