A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)


7; Because the Zero does not count :)

No matter how hot the summer is, and the how delayed the rains are, no matter that schools open partially, and fully by the end of the month, May is a beautiful month for us. It’s when sometimes, the Thrissur Pooram happens (not this year though 🙂 ), it’s the annual Spring-of-Feelings-And-Emotions for Mothers’ Day. It’s the time to celebrate how much younger my mother gets, each year.

Mummy’s birthday. She’s featured here, (link) three years ago. The thing isn’t that I’ve been stumped for more to write, but that she shies away from the mush I pour out here. So I have to temper it; with a bit of difficulty, I tell you. But then, this year again, is special 🙂 The title says it all, if you get the gist of my absurd way of putting it. But honest, nevertheless 🙂

There is very little my mother cannot do. That’s a fact. Of course, you know what I mean. Coming from a huge joint family has, I suppose, made each of the members of her family aware of the need to cater for large numbers. For whatever. Be it cooking up a storm, accomodating that many at home, taking care of guests, organizing an occasion, not just at home, but the neighbours, and family and friends’ places… she’s there! And not just in the kitchen too!

She’s event manager, Supervisor, hands-in-it Chef and Cleaner, Hostess, Grand-Hostess (at her grandkids’ weddings 😛 ), Masseur, Carer, Counsellor, I’m-Always-There-For-You-er, with the gentlest and biggest shoulder there is, to rest your tired head, and bawl away. Not that she’ll take much of that nonsense. She’ll put you straight, and not let you wallow or linger in your self-righteous pity 😆 ! Each time, I keep wondering, who IS there for her? Her faith, her family (though I do wonder if at all we could ever be a solace… having always taken from her!)

Mummy, pink, N'cheriamma, golden-yellow, Veliamma - white :)  The Trimoorthi :)

Mummy, pink, N’cheriamma, golden-yellow, Veliamma – white 🙂
The Trimoorthi 🙂

Going on seventy, she still the most energetic person I know. From the time she wakes up early in the morning, somewhere at 5 am, or earlier 🙂 , to her walk to and fro, to the Temple, for which she walks through paddy fields, up and down a little hillock, in small, but sprightly steps. I’ve always felt that is what has been the mainstay of her sheer life. That walk, that faith. And one she does not preach about, but lives, for us to see, know and if at all, emulate. No preaching. 🙂

After the day begins, and the chores are attended to, the midday meal is done, Appu and Paru, and sometimes my Kutan and Chinnu, if they are there, fed and settled down, you’d think it’s time for a power nap at least. But no, not at all. She’s around, walking through the compound, perhaps catching up with a neighbour, reading something, or watching a part of her favourite film on TV (for an extremely short period of time – she has ADHD, where TV is concerned 😛 )

After 3 pm, it’s bikki time OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(biscuits… for which Paru would have already started wheedling :D) and then a walk with them around the fields in front of the house. The evening time, sometimes, a walk again to the temple, a visit perhaps to a neighbours house, sitting around outside, on the Jhoola :), planning for the next day… sometimes catching up with her children and her siblings by phone… there is never enough time for her to do the things she wants to!

After a knee surgery, in 2011, unlike most people who might have accepted limited mobility and not dared to push it, she was not deterred from doing what she really wanted to. A visit to the shrine at Vaishno Devi, on foot, to and fro, with her eldest son and wife, the next year.. She was sixty nine then. I’m stupefied, even to this day, by that.

She walks on wings of faith, for sure, The certainty of her belief has been a succor to all who know her. Her generosity of spirit, and deed are legendary amongst family, friends and the neighbourhood. Lovingly called “Sharath-ammamma” (Pisharath – belonging to the Pisharody House 🙂 – Ammamma, Amma’s Amma – grandmother) by most of the young people there, she knows practically every family, their kids, grand-kids and is generally looked up to, for all sorts of reasons. Nobody there is surprised. The goodwill created is just that – sheer goodness of the heart.

I know I’ll never be even a fraction of who she is- that is a fact. But just that we have been touched by the loveliness, and have the good fortune to have been a part of her, and have her as part of us, that is benediction enough.

For the seven year old’s energy she has, not minding the zeroes in her life at all… may, May she be blessed with good health and happiness and Peace of Mind (she says that is a Myth – in my previous post on her I remember writing this :D) and love of her dear ones, always.

Birthday gurl :) Circa 2006, Paru being just adopted the previous month :)

Birthday gurl 🙂 Circa 2006, Paru being just adopted the previous month 🙂

Happy Birthday Mummy! Lots of Love, always, but always, from all of us.


14 May, 2013, for 15th May, 2013 (Mummy’s Birthday 🙂 )

Edited to add:
Pictures from today 🙂


M is for Mummy
M is for Madhavikutty 🙂





Mommy Dearest…

No, I am not plagiarizing a beautiful title, of a well known Hollywood actress’ biography (Joan Crawford’s by her adopted daughter). Rather, hot on the heels of Mothers’ Day, is yet another special one for me. Mine grows another year younger, and it’s about time I acknowledged that one 🙂 🙂

My SB said to me the other day, amma, you know we’ve been together the last almost 22 years, and it’s going to be difficult na, when I go? I mean, you’ve known me only a part of your life, but I’ve known you all my life! 😆 Understatement, isn’t it? Of course he was just rehashing an old cliché!! But that is the point I’m trying to make. All our lives, we know one person the mostest, I think, our mother, sometimes, more than our father. In India at least :D! And so it is with Mom. Yes, I call her Mummy, Mom, Maaaaa… somehow never got around to calling her Amma, though my kids call me that. On my insistence! My paternal grandma, at her insistence, was called Amma by my brothers and I. That is another story for another rainy-no-muse day :)!

Mom has been the strongest pillar of our family. Not just us, but even hers, I sometimes think. She takes after her own mother, who I have already described in “A Woman Extraordinaire”, with a zest for life, and an unconditional and uninhibited go-for-it attitude to life. She, like me, is the ham  of a club sandwich, the 5th of 10 children her parents had. 11 if you were to count the oldest, a half brother. Life was tough as they grew, she and her siblings; lots of ancestral property managed by the Kaarnavar, or the eldest Maternal Uncle, the head of the family, entirely matriarchal… a childhood of getting, not much at all, just enough to live, dreaming of things, rushing about doing a 100 jobs around the place, along with the others. Going to school, walking over 3 miles up, then down again; taking turns to carry the large tiffin carrier; being denied further studies after her 10th, which only she and her youngest sister passed, because she had been seen, approved and was to be married off!! Tough times. Times that could, I have felt, crushed one with a weaker spirit.

So almost 50 years ago, she got married, a charming 17 year old, to a handsome tall dashing young navy man. My Dad. Though there are times we, both mom n I, rave and rant about men, I have always felt she was lucky, way luckier than her sisters, cousins, relatives, heck, even me :P! But then, I am biased am I not? She got married to my .. MY dad :D! Tougher times ahead, unfortunately! Being the wife of an only son has its problems. A possessive mother in law, who, though never abusive or hurtful, was possessive enough to make things difficult! But, yet again, she was lucky in that she was able to join Dad and travel with him on his various postings. And then of course, she had us 🙂 🙂 🙂 Lucky her! Lol!

With just a year between my EB and me, it was difficult for her to manage us, especially with Dad off sailing for long periods. But manage she did, and beautifully. For, in an alien city, Mumbai, with alien language and customs, she took to it all like a duck to water, and sailed through with flying colours. In Delhi too, the same happened.

She has  taken us to heights, and been with us through all our lows, been firm, yet loosened the bonds and apron strings when required, and kept us grounded and level headed through everything. Just everything. Be it the double fractures my EB had, the sickly chap my YB was, the rebel I became through my adolescence… right through it all, like a rock, she was there, always there. Never preachy, though she had and still has a booming voice when she gets mad 😉 😉 Dad was also there, but he was the strong and silent type back then 🙂 Now he is just the opposite, ever since his grandchildren got him to open up 🙂 🙂

You see, she grows younger as I have already said. She gels instantly with persons of all ages. It takes just a few seconds to get anyone talking, with her listening and drawing them out. She never holds back, be it advice sometimes, knocking common sense sometimes, listening, encouraging, consoling. There are very very few people I have come across who can reach out the way she has. In fact even my kids’ gang of friends are her friends; she never holds back; nothing, absolutely nothing!

When she knew I was going to be alone, in a few months time, there was no, why don’t you come down here, or shall we come there… just a reminder to be stronger, and have real expectations 🙂 And while we still agree to disagree on a lot of issues, the bonds are stronger than ever. She guides, unhesitatingly, and silently. Waits. Never nags, or asks. It’s cool, either way. She gives us space. Our own, and asks we never trample on hers :D!!

Linda Goodman, in her Sun Signs, speaks of the Taurean Woman as someone who walks tall. That’s her, my mother. She’s barely above 5 feet, but towers in ways we never could. To her indomitable spirit, and endless enthusiasm, not to forget her sheer gregarious spirit, here’s a toast! For health, peace of mind (she says that is fairy tale :D), for smiles each day, and less pain, esp around the knee 🙂 :)… (she’s going to blow a fuse when I show her this one, but it will be worth it! )Since she has already approved the Vishu and Thrissur Pooram posts, I think I might strike lucky with a third I share with her 🙂 🙂

Mummy, you’re the best. That is why even we are 🙂 Happy Birthday! May you grow even more years younger, each passing day 🙂 🙂 And may we be blessed to have your grace with us, always 🙂

The slide above has been prepared by my sister in law 🙂 Thanks Trips and Vinu, for saying is so beautifully for all of us 🙂 🙂

(Click on pic to enlarge, to read the beautiful words they have written 🙂 )

11 May, 2010, for 15 May, 2010