A doting mother waits
In expectation of a windfall!
With a secret joy-
A quiet knowledge,
An earnest prayer
29 March, 2010 …
തനി തങ്കം. Thani Thankam. No, no, this is not a piece on the Grand Shopping Festival of Kerala, and it’s myriad Jewellery Stores! It’s about two special people, and their special Golden Moment. This phrase in Malayalam best describes them. Pure as gold. The kind that is tested by the hottest fires, and still holds the golden sheen, soft and malleable. Daddy and Mummy. And this day, 7th December, they celebrate 50 years of togetherness. A golden moment, is it not?
Quite apart from the fact that they are MY parents ( 😀 ), what makes them special is that they have been just that, to ever so many others. Irrespective of age, sex, social status (and that is a big criteria, you can be sure, generally, in India, not to mention down under, here…!), or whatever…
But most of all, it is their togetherness that, I feel, they have been blessed with- right through their lives, that envelops them in that aura of a gentle mist of gold. (I may be overusing that word today. Do excuse me. I cannot not 🙂 )
They came together fifty years ago, she, a shy diminutive, pretty, dark-eyed beauty, and he, a tall, dashing, dark and handsome Navy man. The early pictures of them have always charmed me. Mom’s kohl lined pretty eyes, the ever-smiling face (even now), the sporting gal (all the more now!), and by my word, I must confess she is perhaps the only one I know who grows younger, with age. Silvery haired, still diminutive, still beautiful woman. An awesome cook, an empathetic friend to everyone, especially in the neighbourhood…. ഷാരത്തെ അമ്മുമ്മ, “shaarathe ammumma” (ammumma means grandmother, and shaarathe, for Pisharathe the house name) is what she is known as 🙂
And he? Well. 🙂 I loved the thick curly mane that rose from his high, broad, intelligent forehead, the quiet eyes, the hint of a smile hovering, but not quite showing itself, the reserve that used to be there (now in shambles, ever since the advent of the first grandchild 🙂 – happens to all the taciturn men, doesn’t it? And that is just such a joy to see too!) Over the years, the hair has thinned and quite disappeared, most of it… from the top of his head, but he’s still my dashing daddy, especially when he dresses up – impeccably as always- be it is mundu- veshti or his format attire. He’s always been a stickler for time, and perfect turnouts, and still is. Dapper, even now 🙂 He is (I ought to say was, for he no longer is 😀) the reserved one. A natural reserve that drew a natural respect from all who knew him. A most sincere and committed Professional, be it while he was in the Navy, the BEL, Tata Telecom or Tata Elixsi – he inspired and continues, even now, to inspire the young… At the young age of 70, he mastered the use of a computer, and is now quite internet savvy too, lately having joined facebook as well! Mom went for classes too, and got the hang of it, but felt that virtual world was not as warm as the real world :), though skype wowed her, and FB sometimes facinates her. She’d rather interact personally 🙂 Wise girl!
Together? Just as beautiful, even now, as they were then 🙂 They rock! \m/ !!!
Growing up , as with other kids, there were some moments of reserve, with dad, of sheer and unadulterated fun with mom, and her large brood of siblings (dad was an only child!).
There are no words to describe our parents, are there? To each of us, they hold that special something, that no other parent in the world does; and you cannot really put it in so many words. It’s the lasting ideals in life, the enduring of their spirit, the knowing ( now, especially, when one is a parent), that they did a darned fantastic job with their kids, kept them grounded (sometimes, for real too!!!), kept teaching, with their lives, even the next generation, in fact a whole generation of their children’s and grandkids’ friends too, that makes my parents a world apart.
I cannot ever say my children might someday say this of me, but this I know, my brothers and I, for sure, feel this.
Have you read Dr. Brian Weiss? His book “Many Lives, Many Masters” is a revelation – how the knowing of someone happens the instant you meet, or sometimes even before you do. I know that if my soul were to find a lifetime again, I would be part of dad’s and mom’s life too. I’d want to be. Even one of the pets they have. Yes, indeed. A pet it ought to be 🙂 🙂
No matter what sourest of lemons life threw at them, they had the gumption to toast a tequila with it, bottoms up! They have endured, and in a way that is exemplary.
Today their quiet celebration is with Lord Krishna at Guruvayoor, and some close family members… partaking of the Lord’s simple meal, and spending time in harmony with their inner selves. Another golden moment in their lives glides by.
My simple wish is that they continue fill each other’s lives and ours too, with the wealth of their love, their affection and their blessing. For as long as they can, happily and in good health. For they deserve nothing less. First, they say, you have to deserve, then desire. I don’t think they would desire much more, than to see all of us happy, healthy and together… and I hope their desires, all thoroughly deserved will be theirs.
As we are too. Ever. Daddy, and Mummy, a wonderful and happy anniversary to both of you! May the Lord Bless us to have you with us, hale and hearty, for a long time!
(for the 7th of December, 2010)
5 December, 2010 (Scheduled post)
Pssst… there is another one for them on A Quest, my other blog called “Golden”, if you have the time, inclination and energy after reading till here!
Sticky post for 2 August, 2012 and 2 August, 2013, 2 August 2014 – Indygurl’s Happy Budday 😀 😀
God Bless! Hope you have a great day! And year! And the rest of your life!
When daughters are born, Goddess Lakshmi walks into our abode, they say. I have always believed that. I have always wanted to have a daughter that I could pamper, and befriend, and grow up with. In fact, when my second born finally made it out to the world, I told my doctor he had it wrong, when he told me it was a boy! Well.
That little thing couldn’t stop me! I knew I was destined to have daughters, and who says that they have to be born of your womb? Sometimes they are born of your heart, as with some I have been blessed to have. There is Sashu, daughter of my yearnings 🙂 and she knows it too. “A Daughter I wish I’d had” is solely hers… but it found resonance soon after with one more. That one daughter comes into her own on 1 December. My Meggie. This one is a daughter of my heart too! Never mind that we have never met, or even heard each other’s voices. It is there, in the things we have shared, and the things we have never spoken of but knew, anyway, all along…
18th January, 2009, she visited a post here, and wrote, :“From one teacher to another…..:)”… and that brought me to her space, and how could I not, and how could she not? Connect. Just that… It goes beyond just being in the same profession; it is a clairvoyance of thought, of emotion, of certain likes, certain notions. You know, the feeling that one is just catching up with a person one has known for a long long long time? That is how it was with this gurl.
19 Jan 2009, she gifts me this wonderous quote: ““Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” — Anais Nin”… 🙂
And on 24th Jan… she writes, finding yet another treasure of books we share… 🙂 “and Robert Fulghum?What are you doing to me?After Richard Bach?This time I don’t even have to search for it…I am re-reading it again right now…:)come over and see!just for you..:)”
And on Jan 27th, after the Mangalore incident, she overwhelmed me “I love you too…this mother who sees so much and says even more….and makes me understand things I ought to…and makes me remember that which I had forgotten…ma would love to meet this mother someday….another who understands…”
And this, when she discovered I did not have a daughter of my own 🙂
“You don’t have a daughter?Seriously???You really ,truly don’t???not one?pssstttt are you sure??:)Then how in the name of heaven did you write this??how?and the answer comes to me..because you have the ‘heart’ you see.:)…very few do …If you ever picture me…then just imagine ….that this indeed is me…the chatter box,the compulsive hugger, ”’ my fears, my joys my secrets, and my ploys”’…oh yes!so many of these have been shared in college and cups of chai with ma…..and beyond…..thank you …and somehow that’s still not enough….not really….hugs to you too!!! a mother who sees so much and beyond…:)”
It is like that sometimes, the knowing. The gifting of the self. The sharing that is just so clairvoyant. And so it has been with this beautiful person, whom we all know as Indyeah.
Her last post, Que Sera Sera painted the loveliness of a daughter, the oneness of a mother- daughter bond, the sheer beauty of a mother 🙂 and gave us a hint about how she was soon to leave her nest 🙂
Indygurl, my Meggie, has, with her beloved, walked the seven steps to a new life, a new beginning… a whole new universe of love…
And as she takes those baby steps, her mothers still watch, still hold out their hands, still yearn…
and this is what we shall wish her…
for warm sunlight, dreamy soft moonlight,
for rainbows, after little thunderstorms that excite, more than scare,
for the fragrance of wild flowers to come unbeckoned and envelop you both,
for a life together, blessed by each other’s best 🙂
And a lovely song : Stay the same, Joey McIntyre 🙂 Just for you, Meg 🙂
Oh, and why do I call her Meggie 🙂 ? A favourite character from yet another of the loves we share, “The Thorn Birds” by Colleen McCullough. Mr Vinod Sharma, a regular at her blog, first referred to her by that name, and I loved it 🙂
Meggie my dear 🙂 Congratulations to you and PM :D! And may the Gods Bless you and yours, and keep you ever in Their Loving Grace!
(For the 1st of December, 2010, when finally I got to speak to her. To say it felt awesome, is an understatement! )
4 December, 2010
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
This is also for my MOM 🙂
Today is special. It is Vishu. It is also my EB’s birthday 🙂 (Elder Brother). Happy birthday to another special Arien, and also to a year, reborn again, bringing with it hope for a better tomorrow.
കൈ നിറയെ കൊന്ന പൂവും, നിറപറയും, നിലവിളക്കും, മനസ്സുനിറയെ സ്നേഹഹവുമായി വിഷുവിനെ വരവേല്ക്കാം … 🙂
If you are seeing the above in “????” or a whole lot of little squares, you probably do not have the malayalam font! I’ll just transliterate for you, in English.. “Kai niraye konna poovum, niraparayum, nilavilakkum, manassuniraye snehavumaayi vishuvine varavelkkam ”
Meaning to say:
“With our hands and hearts full of the beauty, and the golden sheen of the konna flowers (cassia fistula, or indian laburnum), the fullness of a nirapara ( a measure of paddy, in golden grain), and the light of a lamp lit on the morning of Vishu, let us welcome it with our hearts full of love…”
A nirapara looks like this 🙂
(Have taken the image from a search engine, and it belongs to flickr.com )
The Kani Konna (- Cassia Fistula, a lot like the laburnum) is the flower of Vishu. Gorgeous chandelier like flowers in the sunshiniest yellow golden, filling the tree, our eyes and our hearts, come Vishu 🙂 It is the key to the Vishu Kani (what you ought to see- kani- the first thing when you open your eyes on Vishu day 🙂 )Here is the tree, at my parents, taken about a week ago… a beautiful sight!
The Vishu Kani, mom’s
The lamp at the nearest end, is called a Maadambi (മാടമ്പി)- It is pretty ancient, a family heirloom, has a wooden stand, on which is placed the brass lamp. Mom uses it only on special occasions. The nilavilakku is at the far end, on the other side of the uruli (ഉരുളി), the brass basin in which the kani is arranged. The pic above is when she arranged it, and below, when it was time for the kani, at 4 am 🙂
Incidentally, I was tweeted as to why a mirror is placed in the vishukani. I have been told it is because we need to see ouselves, the best in ourselves, to appreciate the Godhead in us, as we prepare to start a new year, with this auspicious sight! It figures then, I think that you need to love yourself, and respect yourself, to be able to see in oneself the Godhead, isn’t it? I like that viewpoint, immensely 🙂 🙂
The chakka (ചക്ക)… jackfruit, is then taken out, after the kani (കണി), and facing eastwards, it is cut 🙂 That is mom doing it the naadan (നാടന്), the traditional way with a mazhu (മഴു).. or axe 🙂 And below, the halves arranged, for a few seconds left as it is 🙂 🙂
I am also told, that Vishu begins the cycle of rain patterns, the njattuvela (ഞാറ്റുവേല)… 🙂 Today marks the ashwathy njattuvela (അശ്വതി ഞാറ്റുവേല), and it is likely to rain soon 🙂 Each of the 27 stars has its own pattern, with the rohini, makayiryam, thiruvathira, (രോഹിണി, മകീരം, തിരുവാതിര) bringing in the most amount of rain, which is so essential for the farmers.
Today is also the day when it is most auspicious to sow a few seeds, being the ashwathy njattuvel 🙂 ((അശ്വതി ഞാറ്റുവേല))
*Whew! Wipes sweat off her brow* This has been satisfying, but hard work. Finding a transliteration page to work with, and finally opening the google transliteration malayalam page, to write there, and copy paste the malayalam here. But it seems to be worth it!
Have a wonderful year ahead, everyone!
സര്വ ഐശ്വര്യങ്ങള് കൂടിയ വിഷുദിനാശംസകള്
Wishing the best of the season, for Vishu, greetings and blessings…
15 April, 2010
Edited to add on 18th April, 2010:
Found this video, of a favourite song , in Malayalam, Kani Kaanum neram (കണി കാണും നേരം കമല നേത്രന്ടെ) on Sindhu’s FB wall 🙂 Thanks Sindhu 🙂 Just to share, because I know those who love this song will certain find it in the right post 🙂
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