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Sunday, September 20, 2009

AMMA - an epitome of patience., amma this is to you

''Chingari'' –true to her pet name my mother is always beautiful and as R.K. Narayan says in his novel about his grandmother, she is a versatile woman, always wearing the 9 yards sari in a proper manner. She is liked by all for her humour and being nice with any age group, unbiased nature, broad mind, and above all no ‘ingittu- angittu job’

Born in a big family, brought up by a young widowed mother, Amma was given basic education and lessons in singing, cooking, drawing/ sketching, stitching, knitting, embroidery, sewing and handicraft. She can speak Tamil, English, Hindi, Kannada, and Telugu. She got a handsome spouse as well.

Amma has inherited some from her mother, firstly her will power- she is a strong woman. She never grumbled, showed her anger, made any complaints, we cannot quote or recall any incident where she used harsh words or scolded any of us, using abusive / unparliamentary language. To some extent I think many of us are like her. But I can vouch for me as I don’t believe in using them or for that matter taking out my anger with some one.

She was a good’ one-measure ‘I mean ‘orpadi’ to her sisters-in-law. She did her job of a daughter-in-law well. She knows the’ sambiradayam ‘so she is often been called as walking encyclopedia. 

Apart from giving birth to 10-2=8 of us, she brought us well as good human beings. We specially 4 daughters till now are never jealous of each other. She brought us with utmost care that we do not know the word’ jealousy’. I am not able to recall any thing which ignited jealousy amongst us. All are treated equal so also the sons. She taught us, the girls, to stitch [hand as well as in the hand sewing machine,] embroidery, fabric painting. We, specially the girls, and in boys my first younger brother- inherited the habit of reading from her; I have not seen other brothers reading habit: we are all voracious readers once upon a time, and I have never seen appa reading except for ‘Kumudam , ‘vikatan,’& news papers.

My daughter has inherited her reading habit. Actually reading gives a variety of knowledge and exposes to language and culture. I remember in Sivaganga, we would bring the book from the lib in the morning and all [at least 3] would sit and finish by noon, borrow another for the evening and this would go on. Mostly they were’ Ponniyin Selvan,’ by Kalki and we would recall the dialogue and have a big elaborate review with amma, we have read both Eng and Tamil books.

She was the one who introduced us to’ word building.’ She had made us write Eng. alphabet in a small bits of papers and taught us to play word building in holidays, apart from this, we had guessing games with word trains, when amma, appa, , Nagamani  mama, mami and Kalpalathika   visited Anand in 1990- we were going to Dwaraka by a matador and we all played this word train. It was a memorable journey.

She had the time table ready for our holidays about what we were supposed to do with some house hold chores, thus helped her out in easing her burden, and some time for us to do what we wanted to do. This has really made us understand her difficulties and we did whole-heartedly. We did not complain or murmur. My son keeps saying this: whenever amma comes and he says no wonder I am like my mom.

Appa is gifted to have a wife like amma who took complete control of the house except the control of appa’s ANGER .She could save and manage the house hold expenses so well that she got her daughters married. I know at the time of my marriage appa had almost gone broke. The GLC on 1st, engagement on 5 Th and the marriage on 27 Th of the same month.

Unlike these days there were no ATMs; appa was not prepared well for the marriage. Appa never questioned amma about her way of running the house. Amma, the credit goes to YOU only. You are great! And simply superb!

Amma could always look around for appa’s help in caring for us, from applying oil on our head, heating hot water in ‘vennir thavalai, drawing water from well, washing utensils, sweeping the house, ‘’’ kaai garigalai aayiradu etc.

Both were generous in treating stream of guests in Tirunelveli, Sivaganga, we are proud to have parents who could give us whatever we needed, and also the ability to stand for injustice, and be vociferous. More than appa, we looked to amma in our studies.

Many times whenever amma prepared any ‘norukku thinni, she would not keep for her or with such a big family, it is not possible for her to keep aside some. There I enter and hide some, but it is now I realize that it is true mother’s spirit. Very tastefully she would make’’ Athirasam, kai murukku, poli, urad dal jilebi for us. We learnt poothodukkiradu, mavukkolam, izhai kolam, slokam solvadu eating all vegetables, being active wherever we go in helping people around.

As far as I know, she always purchased the same set to all her daughters/ daughters-in-law or the same amount. If she does a thing to one, she does the same type to others. This is in gold or any items. She is well organized. Many times she had to pack things on transfers. She did it so well that we never had to scratch our brains. At the time of marriages- she mentally planned and started storing things for people coming to the hall, and things for sambandhis, things to go to the bath rooms [mugs, soaps etc.]

As my Patti Mannimma used to say—Kannu partha kaii seyanum. We, by observing her have learnt a lot. This is called as hidden curriculum. This was helpful to me coz, when I had to pack alone 80 % from Rajnandgaon [MP] to Anand ,Guj , and total shifting from the NDDB quarters
to our own flat in Anand, and again back to Bangalore alone.

I planned a table and started packing things during 2nd and 4th Saturdays, Sundays from July to send the materials by oct1st week to Bangalore. I had to keep some things for our living [daughter and self] from Oct to June. Now when I sit back and think, I just could not believe myself as to how I could do it alone!! This I should owe to amma only.

So also at the time of my daughter’s marriage. I kept every thing arranged to take to the mantap writing addresses, sending invitations to all friends and relatives, single handedly. The father, son and daughter all took leave on the 9th, 8 Th for the marriage on 11 Th! Definitely amma is responsible and the credit goes to her.

Amma, because of her knowledge of Hindi, could make up and manage the north Indian auditors when appa was in SBI service. They were mostly put up upstairs and appa could do with English. Whenever she was at madras, appa as he was the invitee, would take amma to the party hosted by the Governor.
She reared the cow Surabhi, so that Patti could fulfil her wish of ‘’GODHANAM’’ She took a great care of it and later the calf ‘’ Narayani’’. They were given as dhanam to the’’ sakata puram ‘’mutt, east Tambaram.

We all were brought up with the morning Ragi. / Wheat kanji or milk. Nobody had the habit of drinking coffee, but after marriage everyone has become a ‘’modakudiyan’’ except me. Till now I take milk only.
When we were in Tirunelveli many relatives visited. First it was my maternal uncle Kichhi mama, Patti Mannimma, , Mythili chithi, her 3 daughters, then Babu  periappa, Patti, athai, and cousin. Second athai Lali , her kids, appa’s cousins, mother’s sis, her children all visited us.Amma showed a very great hospitality inspite of her own big kudumbam.

Recently on 16 th of August, 2009 she celebrated her 80 th birthday completion with except one son and daughter-in-law all of us four daughters and her sons -in-law, three sons , three daughters -in-law and a few grand kids in tow had a get together at home , ofcourse we missed appa much he was in SMF in the ward. Her younger sis came and read a poem on her.

Afew of the cousins came and took her blessings .
Amma you are simply great!. What we do to you is peanuts to what you have done to us. We pray god to give you enough strength, good health to you.

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