Amma is very special to everyone and I am no exception. When she breathed her last, I was in Newcastle at that time conducting audit. I informed the client, aborted the audit and rushed to Sydney to let my company know that I wanted to go to India. They readily agreed and arranged air tickets for both me and Chandra to fly the same evening. Thanks to my siblings, amma’s body was kept to enable us have a glimpse of her radiant face before taking her to the crematorium.

I always took pleasure in riding amma in my scooter to 7 temples on the Vaikunda Ekadasi day every year. By the grace of God, I was able to do it for a few years till I left for Bangalore to take up a job there. Her face was bright and glimmering and she always used to dress up immaculately whenever she went out. She sported a charming smile always and received people with sincerity and warmth. Though appa was the earning member in the house, it was she who managed finance at home and was primarily responsible for the marriages of her daughters. How she collected silver vessels, stainless steel vessels and gold ornaments was an art in itself. I cannot forget my schooldays when she managed to feed us all sumptuously mostly with ash gourd curry, kootu and keerai. Though it was monotonous to cook similar food every day, she did it wholeheartedly.

I learnt the values of life even in dire circumstances only from amma. Knowing my interest towards cricket, she used to listen to the commentary during my schooldays and write the scores on a piece of paper with names such as Barrington, Titmus, Nadkarni et al for me to know the scores after coming back from school. She loved to play card game (MAIL) with all of us including her grandchildren. When she and appa were in Sydney, we used to get them different flavours of ice-cream. Though they both enjoyed eating ice-creams, she was sceptical and followed it up with drinking warm water.

I owe everything to amma for she earnestly prayed for me and visited Maangaadu temple several times after my surgery in 1976.


மே 1, 2021