A reblog from Selvan Muruvan, Bloggers Hangout Place :
For those who know me as a writer, I always prefer Poetry. But for this composition: No poem or rhyme, or song, or phrase. Neither lyric, nor chorus, nor verse, nor prose, will suffice. I didn’t want to even write or post this, because I was afraid that I would grandly fail to express the essence, of what I am trying to say, in tribute to my Mother. Hence, the late post.
[ I was supposed to write this many times, for many years.. I just procrastinated, due to the fear of not accomplishing the desired result ]. But today, it kept gnawing at my conscience. I hope this will, at the very least, be acceptable.
I don’t know what good deeds I have done in a previous life, if there was such a thing, to deserve the Mother that I was so lavishly blessed with.
If every noble woman that ever lived, were multiplied a million times and poured into a single human body- that would be, my Mother, incarnate. But it would still pale, in comparison to my Mother’s nobility, humility, selfless love, purity and impeccable character.
I had never heard my Mother laugh out loud, or shout any exclamation to the fullest, whether it was in joy or anger. Always reserved. Ever-calm. She never cursed. I vaguely remember her saying “shut up” only once. Just to me. Sternly, but softly, because off-course, I must have earned it. I have never heard her speak ill of anyone, even of those that were nasty to her. She taught us, just the same. To never hurt anyone, no matter who they were, or what they had done. She was so harmless, it was sometimes quite irritating!
My mother only achieved a Grade 6 education, [ Standard 4 ]- but helped us all, in the most intense aspects of the English Language and Literature, up to grade 12! Analysing the likes of Shakespeare’s plays and Sonnets and Wuthering Heights, amongst other glorious works. She was fluent in South Indian Tamil. Being a great teacher of it, when she had the time. This, all because she was an avid reader.
I never came home, to find her idle, or gossiping to anyone. If she was at another person’s home, it was because of a happy or sad event, where she would be found busy helping with chores. With comforting someone, or nursing them to health.
Most illiterate people in our neighborhood and family came to her for help and guidance, in matters of the heart, or state. She was the one to fill out their necessary application forms, for whatever the need. She was the one to take them to the hospital or to the clinic, no matter the distance, or mode of transportation. She was the one to advise on their diagnosis- [ the doctor would explain it to my Mother, as the patient she accompanied, would not understand] -and My mother would administer their further medications, at home. I have seen her doing this effortlessly, all through my childhood and adolescence. Yet she had seven children of her own!
I have never seen her wearing anything other than the traditional Sari. Not until the last few months before her death, when she had to wear a gown, due to severe illness, of which also, she resolutely bore, with such strength and dignity.
She never wore make-up or jewellery, except for her plain earring studs and a common, silver wire toe -ring, which was also a cultural necessity. Her sovereign chain [only on special occasions]- and the marriage string around her neck. What she wore fabulously though, was the kindness, that ever-brimmed in her placid eyes.
The reason I never saw my Mother in anything other than her Sari, was because she was up before daybreak and she slept, well after we had all gone to bed. Every. Single. Day. Never a word of complaint. Not a murmur of despair. Even if she scolded us, she did it with such calm and quietness, you would think that she was paying us compliments. But she did give us a beating with a stick, when we deserved it!! That was non-negotiable!
If there were visitors at our home and we did something wrong. No active response. Just one scalding look from her irridiscent eyes, was enough. Even so, she had the kindest eyes. Like those of an observant Doe. They were light brown, with flecks of Amber and Jade-green. A piercing kaleidoscope of colours, but gentle, soft and accommodating. You would never notice the tinges, unless you really paid attention to them. They were so subtle. Much like her pristine character.
Besides running a household of nine. Seven children, of which I am the youngest, and my father, she frequently attended to my extended family of seven. We lived together, in one big house. Being the nurse, midwife, advisor, healer and confidante to the people in our community, she would visit relatives who were poor, by bus- as often as she could afford, bearing goods for their households. I sometimes accompanied her, and boy! Those packets were heavy and cumbersome, to tote along. The bus stop was quite a distance away and so was the train station, and they were far and few between.
She loved to sew clothing for us and for some of the poor, of friends and family. Despite all of this, my Mother had quite a few hobbies. Crocheting. Knitting. Reading. Embroidery and filling out crossword puzzles, by the dozen. Even playing cards and Carom-board, snakes and ladders. Chess and draft-board, when the mood took her. It was so much fun and delight, to beat her!
God only knows, how she managed her time!
All I can attest to, is that my Mother was a diamond in the rough. A pearl of immeasurable price, who never put herself above, or before anyone else. Not even her enemies! Actually, she would help them too, if they asked via third party, even if they were not speaking to her! She would just help, without saying a word. Figure THAT one out!! I saw it for myself. It angered me, that people could use her so! It was somewhat hilarious too. Watching the “enemy” succumb to my Mother’s Matron-like authority, with no exchange of words. You try and picture it!
I can go on and on, about my precious Mother. I’m sure you hold your dear Mother in high esteem, as well. I salute you for that! But just to express what a superwoman, my Mother was, there just aren’t enough words.
“If all the oceans were made of ink and every man, a Scribe by trade. If every blade of grass, a quill pen and the entire sky, a sheet of paper… And An Eternity of Time, to write.”- It would never suffice to describe, in written word, even an iota of my Mother’s Love. Her beauty. Her essence. Her purity. Her devotion, to us and to humanity..
If I had to be birthed a billion times over, I would still want Her, to be my Mother.
She was as sufficient as Mother Earth. As celestial as the highest Heaven. As versatile and accomplished, as any person of renown.
SHE, was my Mother!
I love you, my dear and precious Ma! I miss you more than words can ever express. Till we meet again on that Eternal Golden Shore, stay amazing in God’s blissful Paradise.
*My mother died of hepatitis B, a liver disease akin to that, which afflicts only severe alcoholics. Cirrhosis of the liver resulted, with its debilitating effects. But still, she was NEVER down. Through all the pain, she was not a burden to anyone. I guess, all the good she did for the ailing people in her younger days, ushered her quickly into Heaven’s Glory, without long suffering.
*My mother never smoked, or drank a bit of alcohol. It was a rare liver disease, due a blood transfusion that she had, in 1968. It affects approximately, 1 in 1000 000 people.
She passed on to Sainthood, in 1996. She was 61.