Monday, January 19, 2009

To my mother, with love


When I look at myself in the mirror, it surprises me how remarkably I look like my mother. Everything from the hair texture to facial features show an uncanny resemblance, and our childhood photos look exactly alike, with the only difference being that hers is in black and white, and mine are in colour. I’m proud of the fact that I resemble her; I’m elated when somebody points it out too. For me, my mother has been perfect, and the fact that I have inherited her features is a source of fascination and pride.

The third week of January is not like all other weeks because my mother’s birthday happens to be on the 20th and it’s a day which deserves some celebration. But by some cruel coincidence, I have always been occupied in the later weeks of January, having time enough to drop an apologetic smile at her and say, “Happy Birthday!” before heading off to face some preparatory exam or another before the season of march finals.

On such occasions, my mother has never even faintly looked disappointed. Her birthdays often meant Rotis and Malai Kofta at a nearby restaurant, and then the next day would resume in the same way. She still made all the coffee, and smiled before I rushed off to face another day at college. Thankfully, this year is not like one of those years. This time, I wish to gift her a bigger present, by recounting those little things that will hopefully make her happy. They are the things I have never told her, although she must have already realized them by now. Some words need not be spoken; some messages are silently understood without a single utterance. My mother knows all the things I wish to tell her today, and she needs no reminding. But on her birthday, I just wanted to announce to the world that I love her very much, and that she is more special to me than I can ever tell. She has looked perfect to me ever since I could remember and has understood me better than anyone else on the planet. I thank her for simply being all she has been, for being my moral support system and for converting those simple moments togetherness into unforgettable memories. From my love for her also springs pure admiration for everything she is, and a faithfulness which surprises me with its strength.

I shall never forget the day when I finally called her “Amma” instead of “Binni”. It had been a nickname I had been unusually fond of, and addressed her as “Binni” whenever I wanted her attention, forgetting her yearning to be called “Amma,” even once. The truth had stuck me suddenly, and she had hugged me proudly that day when I had fondly uttered that word, on our way back from Shantamma’s house. I also remember the day I had returned sobbing my heart out after quarrelling with a best friend in tenth standard and the way she had consoled me. I remember being that five year old, in whose eyes her mother is the greatest person on earth. I remember those days of silent expectations, the times when I waited in impatience for her to appear on TV (She was then a news reader), anticipating a friendly wave from the screen that had been promised. When it did not come, I would cry for hours on end, until she could return home to comfort me. I remember waiting for her after school, panicking quickly if she was late my even an instant. I would be lost without her guiding me through every little hurdle of life, and I thank her for letting me hang on.

So, here, Amma is your little birthday present from my side—A banquet of memories. Hope you enjoyed remembering, and hope we could create even more memories together, for us to recount when we are older. Once again, I love you very much, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

14 comments:

Nanditha Prabhu said...

i think this is the best birthday gift a daughter can give her mother... loving thoughts
and birthday wishes filled with love.
she should be proud of you too when she reads this....
wishing your mom a wonderful birthday! and a joyful year ahead....

Praveen G K said...

Nice!!! Simple and touching, the story of every mother :-)

Wishing her a very happy birthday!

A fantastic piece, as usual.

Indrani said...

Mothers are special!
A Very Happy Birthday to your mom!

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

What a lovely gift for a mother!
I am sure she will treasure it far more than anything else you could have thought of.....

Sneha said...

Happy Birthday to my wonderful aunt! Much love from me and everyone at home! Your post made me tear, Lakshmi! You write beautifully!

Maddy said...

very nice - she would be happy and contended, of that i am sure

praneshachar said...

belated birth day wishes to your "amma:" what more she needs a wonderful gift for her very special day from her beloved. yes I know how much she is proud of u. pouring ur heart out has also brought some news for us (unknows things about your amma she was a news reader amazing then I must have witnessed her on TV screen I guess she was for DD am I right?)
you are blessed daughter and grand daughter great and the way you convey has got a punch in it.
may god give all the strength to your amma to forge ahead and take u both ( her ver beloved kids) to bigger and bigger heights
nice post optly composed and kudos to you for this wonderful gift to her
pranesh

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Thanks, all for your comments. My mom loved her birthday present!!! ;-) Infact, she was so delighted that she mixed tea masala with our bounvita...couldn't stop smiling!! ;-) Well...I guess that's a something to remember.

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Thanks Mr. Pranesh!! Yes, you are right. she was a DD newsreader. Thank u. will convey ur wishes too!

narendra shenoy said...

Beautiful!

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Thanks Mr. Shenoy! :)

Happy Kitten said...

Touching....

A very lucky mother and daughter... belated bday wishes to her..

How well you write!

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Happy Kitten: Thank you!!

Kaushik said...

Is this more a girl thing or an individual thing? I've seen a few people do similar stuff, (yours was cute nevertheless :)). I've often thought of doing things which will make my mom feel special, but for some reason, I can never do such things, I have no idea why. In the same way, I don't think I can look at her in the eye and say "I love you". Coming to think of it, I think it'd be easier for me to propose to a girl using the same words! (Ok just, kidding, sorry for bad comparison :D). I don't know if it is embarrassing or plain senti-stimulating, but idhellam just cant do it. :)