Thursday, January 16, 2014

Amma - None to fill this void

This blog post is very special and personal to me. This is dedicated to the memory of my loving mother who attained Her Heavenly Abode on 13th January, 2014. She was 85 years of age and passed away peacefully. Luckily by the Almighty’s Grace she was fine and looked after herself independently till the very last. Yes, today both my parents are no more but I have sweet and loving memories to cherish apart from the great upbringing they endowed us with. I have been lucky enough to have such loving parents and I have lived life with their love and blessings showered throughout. 

My mother, a simple woman, extremely loving and such dedication for one's family is simply to be seen to be believed.  My father was everything for her, and her two sons , my elder brother and I were her two eyes. She breathed her last extremely content that ours is a happily family. Truly, a life lived to the fullest.
Amma was very magnanimous by nature, extremely enthusiastic and loved to have people around. Her culinary skills were unmatched and she loved to feast guests who came home. I always told her that guests came home only because of her, and thus we had the pleasure of several people’s company. By nature being humble, she would remark in Tamil ‘ Poo ode naar um mannakam’ meaning ‘Along with the flowers, the string also gains fragrance.’ What she meant was we were the flowers, and she the string. I reminded her she was the flower giving all of us the fragrance. Whatever she cooked/bought would be distributed to all her friends and to those who came home, and we witnessed this gesture till the very last. She loved to serve me food and enjoyed my enormous appetite. Sometimes there was no food left for her, but never made it known unless we found out. I remember a quote which said ‘Mother's love grows by giving.’ So apt and true.

She was at the window every single day to wave good bye when I left for work, and this gesture was shown to all her near and dear ones including guests who came home. Whenever any family member or guest left home, I joked with her by saying ‘Tata chollu - Oddu, oddu’ meaning’ ‘Run, run to the window to bid good bye.’ Quite a lot of people remember this gesture of hers and it came to her naturally. She always had an endearing and welcoming smile, and people felt very comfortable in her company. When I returned home from work, she shared coffee with me enquiring about the day’s happenings. She held all her family members close to her chest, and always enquired about every one’s well being. Her grand children were the apples of her eyes, and she humbly but proudly spoke of their achievements. She adapted to her grand children so much that she greeted them with a ‘thumbs up, a high five or a folded fist .’, and said ‘ Its good that I have learnt all of these at this age(80 plus).’
What more to say of my mother, she is truly God's gift. Love, respect  and a window to humanity is what she bequeathed, and this will always remain with me.  I can go on and on. I feel lonely but I am not alone. Wherever she is, she will always be with me.
Anna Taylor's quote would be appropriate to end this piece on my mother:

“Who fed me from her gentle breast
And hushed me in her arms to rest,
And on my cheek sweet kisses prest?
My Mother.

Who ran to help me when I fell,
And would some pretty story tell,
Or kiss the place to make it well?
My Mother.”


No painter's brush, nor poet's pen
In justice to her fame
Has ever reached half high enough
To write a mother's name.

Amma, I love you.


Sylvia K said...

Such a beautiful and moving tribute to your Mother!! Thank you for sharing the love and the wonderful memories! My heart goes out to you! Take care!


Prem said...

What you said is so true .
To this moment it is difficult to reconcile with the fact that Patti is no more. Pattu is what I used to call her , always showered her love and care to everyone.The words that she told me always ,they will remain with me forever..She would say "World le best doctor aghanam..Become the best doctor in the world."
She used to say Pokkiri and Kaladi mangan .(means mischievous)I remember to my sister she always used to say on the phone "HI" as a reply to Namaskaram and always will follow the Aashirwadam.
The moment of pride came when she came for my convocation ceremony on becoming an MD, she knew what it meant to her and my grandfather,she was happy very proud.Then she had her friends-GANGU the most famous as she would ask for patti saying "NA DAA GANGA".
Patti was and always will be special and a void which can never be filled.

Saleem said...

Iyer Sir, this blog is so true for each one of us... God bless you... Saleem Batcha, EPGDHRM, TISS

Murali said...

Amma was a special human being, full of love, selfless love.I still remember the early days, when i grew up with my she cousins,Leela and Girija in the same house, and her first attention would always go to them. I used to get the blame always, scolded always, immaterial of whose fault it was. At that time, I did not understand why she did this. Later on when I grew up , I realized that that was the way she genuinely believed ; she could afford to pay less attention to me , being her son; but to my cousins,she had to do her best, we had been brought up in a joint family, and naturally family came f to her first. My uncle, "appaapa", as I used to fondly call, was always referred to by all people who knew, as her first son. Such was her overwhelming affection, and sense of duty.
She was always a genuine person; her affection was sincere. My maternal uncles and aunts were always very fond of her. Late Raju Mama and Chandru mama have adored her and were always at her beck and call.Harimani mama was the apple of her eye. Rajamma chitti was her little sister, who meant a world to her.
My father was her God, and paternal family was her world in which she genuinely lived.I had very fond aunts Bada Athai, and Ashatha who literally guided her and stood by her at all times. We were a very Happy family.
Outsiders and close family friends remember her for her gracious hospitality and genuine smile.
Her daughters-in-law were more than daughters to her, and her grand children meant everything for her, and they in turn would do anything to keep her happy, Priya, Prem Shashank and Shraddha have been her life line for many years. there always was genuine affection both ways.
Now that she is no more, we feel a great void, which I do not know how we will fill. She was the binding force for our family, after our father left us on 17th April '2007. She quickly filled the void; but now , we do not know.
She has now attained the Lotus feet of the Lord Almighty, May her souls Rest in Peace. Murali

nsiyer said...

Very well written, Murali and Prem
Your comments are a great obeisance to Amma.
May Her soul rest in peace.

nsiyer said...

Very well written, Murali and Prem
Your comments are a great obeisance to Amma.
May Her soul rest in peace.

Purav Sanghvi said...

may her soul rest in peace...she would be very proud of u prof...

nsiyer said...

Thanks Purav.

nsiyer said...

Thanks Salim.

Samyukta Ganesh said...

Beautifully written Sir. I feel blessed to have had the privilege of been in here presence albeit so briefly. That moment remains etched in my memory forever. Her smile was her bejewelled ornament that she wore with so much elan. I remember I blogged about our meeting immediately after. The impact was that profound. May she find peace eternally. God bless her.

Sowmya said...

Meena Chitti, as I knew her was ever-smiling, full of warmth and always interested in the well-being of others. She always had good thoughts about others and wished the best for everyone. I have known her for the past 50 years, right from my childhood days when I spent a lot of time with my grandparents in King’s Circle. My grandmother was Meena Chitti’s older sister, hence she was Chitti to my mom and I called her the same. I clearly recollect those years when I was 4 and would visit chitti , chittappa and family in Paradise with my grandmom. Then as we grew up, we got engaged in our own activities in life, yet I used to try and visit Chitti whenever I was in India. Mostly once every year. I could see with each passing year how the young Chitti that I knew when I was a kid was gradually growing old physically, yet her endearing qualities only seemed to increase with age. Last I visited chitti in Paradise was on Dec 19th 2013 with my mom. She was very, very happy to see us and of course wanted us to have lunch with her etc – the chitti I have always known – that when I heard that chitti is no more from my mom, it was hard to comprehend at first. And when I left that day after visiting her, there she was at the window, waving out as usual. Little did I know that this would be my last goodbye, but my memories of her are frozen as of that day – her smiling face and warmth that always touched our hearts. RIP, Meena Chitti.

nsiyer said...

Beautifully captured, Sowmya.Thanks.

Sridhar Thinniam said...

Iyer, I do share the same thoughts. With whatever little interaction I had with her during her visits to Cuddalore and during my visits to Mumbai, I have felt and experienced the warmth, love and caring words of hers. I saw yor blog only today. A very nice, fitting and well written post. ---

One thing I do Iyer, whenever I feel like talking or sharing my view with my mom I writea letter in my PC, to her and keep it in folder nammed amma. I feel relieved. Even Usha does not know.

A very well written Tribute Iyer. Thanks.

Prashant Likhite said...

There is story in Kuran. Allah used to directly speak to Muhammad. Every evening he used to climb at the top of hill outside his village and ask difficult questions about world around. Muhammad's mother passed away and that evening also he went on top of hill. But before he could start talking Allah, said from sky "From now on watch your words while talking to me. Because your mother is no more to pray sorry to me for your arrogance

Dewdrop said...

I think we realize the value of our mothers only after we become parents ourselves and experience first-hand what it takes to bring up a baby and teach him / her values and give roots and wings. She is an epitomy of love, generosity, patience and an endless sea of prayers for the safety, happiness, well-being and success of her children and family. Nothing brings her more joy that to see her children happy and more tears than their pain. Truly she is the best thing a child can have and her loss is irreplaceable. I had the opportunity of meeting her once at your home and I still remember her warm smile. The photo that u have in the post is how I remember her and am sure that she will keep smiling down upon you and your family.

Samta Sardana said...

Beautifully written .. But I am sure the fragrance in this writing also comes from the flower (amma) being written about ...

VCMouli said...

Reading about your Amma reminded me of ALL OUR AMMAs who were the epitome of self-sacrifice,personification of unselfish love and the Pillar of strength on whom rested the very foundations of all our families!

A mother is a mother and one's mother is one's very being!
From the terminology you have revealed I believe that you are Palakkad Iyer -'kallladi mangan' etc.
It brought back nostalgic memories of my mother,PeriAmma and Paati!
Through your tribute to your mother you have stringed together so many hearts of people known and unknown.
My humble namanams to your Mother.
I do wonder what sort of mothers are in the making under the present day conditions in our very own land!
Matri Devo Bhava!

Anonymous said...

I tried to avoid talking about it.
Talking about missed love, it just did not seem fit.

But life goes on and you will never hear the same song; your heart will tug at very thought long gone....

If only she were here a request so dear; can't god understand you need her near.....

All grown up teaching others to live; but god alone knows she taught you everyday to live....

iyer - n - higher that's the way to go.... cause your every positive step would surly make her glow.....

god bless.... now do what you do best.

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kaka small said...

Such a beautiful and moving tribute to your Mother!! Thank you for sharing the love and the wonderful memories! My heart goes out to you! Take care!!!
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