“Your mother is always with you. She is the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street. She’s the smell of certain foods you remember, flowers you pick, the fragrance of life itself. She’s the cool hand on your brow when you are not feeling well. She’s your breath in the air on a cold winter’s day. She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colours of a rainbow, the festive spirit of your favourite days. Your mother lives inside your laughter. She’s the place you came from, your first home, and she’s the map you follow with every step you take. She’s your first love, your first friend, even your first enemy, but nothing on earth can separate your bond not time, not space…not even death…”
She would have been seventy-six today had she not left us for another dimension to find her eternal peace. They say time heals everything…almost does. The pain of the loss lessens but that empty space where your mother should have been, it stays vacant.
Her parents named her ‘Sushumana’ for my grandfather was a great believer in the healing powers of alternate systems of medicine. In the subtle energy channels of the body, as described in ancient Vedic physiology, ‘Sushumana’ is the body’s main energy channel that connects the base chakra to the crown chakra. She was undoubtedly our family’s energy channel and i remember that my maternal grandmother always addressed her by that name. Later for ease of saying, her name got shortened to ‘Sushma’, a Sanskrit name that means ‘sparkling beauty’…so apt again for sparkle she did with an outer charm and elegance and an inner grace and dignity.
In our growing years we cannot really comprehend what our mothers toil away for…on a superficial level they do what all mothers do~plain mothering. Only the hindsight that comes with the maturity of passing years reveals the gifts with which she enriches your life.
From my memory-gallery i retrieve some images…
~ her love for plants and flowers. We always had a garden in our house and she managed to bring some little patches of green inside too. There were those pretty Chinese-jade potted plants or foliage of some money-plant or goose-foot decorating our window-sills or table corners. And those lovely fresh flowers arranged with some twig she picked up from here and there. From her I derive whatever sense of aesthetics i have, the belief that beauty is an essential part of life.
~ her knitting and other needle-work skills. Her clicking needles were a familiar soundtrack of our home and as my father proudly declares even today, everyone in his or her extended extended family has been comforted by the warmth of a garment knitted by her. She had this humongous collection of patterns from her ‘Women’s Weekly’ magazines which she would consult to weave beautiful patterns in ‘cables’ and ‘fair-isles’. From her i learnt the inexplicable joys of creative pursuits.
~her culinary skills. For us she will forever remain the ultimate ‘master-chef’ who could joyfully rustle up the yummiest dishes. We tried to copy and learn, but the flavours she could bring out, we never can. From her i inherit whatever cooking skills i have and a belief that cooking and feeding should above all be flavoured with love.
~her reading habit and love for all things Bollywood, specially the songs! My parents were movie-buffs, appreciated good music and always had a house full of books or comics to read…traits which have been joyfully passed on to us.
~her patience and fortitude in coping up with a life that wasn’t easy many a times. It’s a struggle for me to even be half of what she was in those matters…