One Saturday after noon to spend some time with Amma, I went to her room in our house here in Tirumalai Pillai Road. She was lying in bed as she was tired and Ellama was watching TV and so I casually sat in her chair. I felt very comfortable and peaceful. First I thought that was because I am with my mom. Then I realised it was not that this was an unusual comfort and that being with her was nothing new to me. I slowly saw the nice view of the road, the soft breeze was soothing and I opened up the windows and saw a good look of PSBB Vidyalaya, the shops there and the buzzing vehicles. The scene came with an unique advantage of total protection from prying eyes (as it had mesh on windows). When I turned to the TV and had a good look of the books and papers amma was reading, my mind was filled with Aarthi’s reaction the other day ……

It was mid-afternoon time a perfect sunny day when Aarthi (Parthasarathy Mama’s daughter) had come to Uri’s house in Sarangapani street in T.Nagar about a couple of years back. She was talking to her Vanaja Athai who was very intently watching TV with her head phone on. Suddenly Amma would lift her head from one side and turn towards Aarthi and ask her some questions in her eagerness to converse with Aarthi. Before Aarthi could finish her answer Amma would turn back to the TV with the very same intent and seriously start watching the serial and continue with the charming screaming, crying and shouting going on there in that house. This must have happened twice or thrice and Aarthi was quite zapped before when Uri explained to her with her usual touch of sense of humour. ‘You see when there is an advertisement or some boring break amma will turn towards you. At that time, you are more interesting. This is her usual routine. Actually for amma, this –we are the virtual world and TV is the real world’. This indeed made us smile before which amma again turned towards Aarthi with a new set of questions which really made us laugh.

Amma left her coveted seat to the bathroom. Aarthi as if she had discovered some thing rushed to athai’s chair and sat there. ‘Wow! What a perfect corner! From the window on one side nice breeze, on the other corner an interesting TV (which she is fond of) a table to stretch her leg and books and bottle of water and snacks, a full good view of the house. I would give anything for this perfect corner. I am sure she is fine’.

When Amma saw me smiling she wanted to know why I was inspecting the place. So I explained to her all these and told her that she had a very good sense of comfort even in discomfort. Srinidhi who came then reminded me how she calls out to the Security Guard in the next doors apartment. I said ‘oh yeh!’.

There was a power cut that night unannounced and unexpected. As power cuts are very rare we were not prepared. So immediately I rushed Srinidhi to take a torch to Amma even before Ravi and Uri could take out an emergency lamp. Suddenly we heard some voices in amma’s room. She called out to the next door watch man to switch on the generator. “why should she call out?” Srini silenced me and signed me just to watch without making noise. I could’nt make head or tail as to what she was up to. Srinidhi was shrewd enough to make out. And soon her room was differently well lit. Well lit with borrowed light from the next doors. After all moon itself does that. I was zapped.

Radha Seshadri
January 2010

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