Friday, July 29, 2016

My mamama, a gift from God

My Mamama, the gift from God

She was a lady of great fortitude, very non-judgmental, a patient listener, a compassionate human, an amazing host. She was well loved and the visitors to her final rite prayers were proof of the same. She was intelligent woman who was capable of managing home and business. She was the neck that moved the head of the family - my ajja.

To me she was a pillar of strength, a sounding board, someone who would love me and not judge me. Someone I could call anytime and speak my heart and mind.

This time, July 20-23, 2016 when I visited her, I noticed she had lost her patience. She was annoyed and irritated by her long life which she considered a curse rather than a gift. In the past few years she had been in and out of the hospital on multiple occasions. Usually the one to listen patiently to her son, this time she retaliated . She complained of the food being served to her. Clearly she was fed up of the dabba wala and his menu.I joked telling her that her relationship with her son tending to her was much like a mother in law - daughter in law one.

This time, I visited her, things were different. She dozed off many times while we sat chatting. She showed signs of being fed up, fed up of having to live this long, fed up of having a limited say in matters, fed up of being dictated to. She praised me, may be the first time in the last 2 decades. She said I had the capability of managing all situations. She added that my daughter followed suit. At which I retorted, "much like you" She looked back at me, and then nodded in agreement.

While I bid her goodbye on 23rd, there was something final about that moment. She asked to be helped to the treasury room, she wanted her almirah opened. She then asked for her black purse. She said there was something in it, she wanted me to have. She said there was no one who would use it and do justice to it. Maybe she was trying to tell me that she wants me to use it. After rummaging through the purse, she pulled out a small maroon box and opened it to check if the contents were intact. She then handed it to me saying, "I want you to have this". I looked down at it. It was a tiny golden brooch in which were embedded glistening pearls. It was a delicate piece. I asked her where it came from. She said her dad gifted it to her in 1942. It was at that moment that my guts felt twisted. It was a strange feeling. Happiness entwined with a deep sorrow. This gesture made me realise that she was telling me that we may never meet again. And that indeed was the truth. I spoke to her once again after reaching Mumbai, that night at around 8pm.

Midnight of 23rd she was admitted once again to the hospital.  The doctors said the lung infection was not responding to medications. She lay still breathing solely with the help of the oxygen being pumped into her lungs. She pulled on through 24th and 25th and then moved on to a better world.

She will remain my inspiration, a role model and my most loved one. And each time I remember her, I tell myself,"Don't cry that it is over, smile that it happened".