An interesting journey...our Amma's journey from Thukkachi, a village in Tanjore district near the temple town of Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu to Talegaon, an upcoming town near Pune in Maharashtra; with a brief stopover in Jamshedpur, then in Bihar, as a young bride. From being one of the youngest of a brood of nine born to a martriarch - the widow of a landlord who was also a postmaster - to being one herself, this epitome of simplicity waded through thick and thin of life with such stoic courage you can only marvel.
A down to earth person, her kindness and ability to forgive is legendary, her sharp sense of humour, her retorts, some distorts… we know them as parodies… of songs to suit the situation, multi-lingual puns, what a legacy she has left behind! Conversant in English, she had also picked up Hindi and a smattering of Bengali in Jamshedpur and spoke Marathi in her own style after she moved to Pune.
Her connect with people, be it relatives or friends, was such that she was loved, revered. I have seen her being welcomed into homes by relatives so glad to have her over that they would cross the threshold and grip both her arms to usher her in. That is because, she would say, she never indulged in gossip and if ever she came across one, she was sure to keep it with her. She lived by the quote of Saint Thiruvalluvar which she would often repeat to us, “odhamal orunaalum irukka vaendaam, oruvarayum pallangu solla vaendaam. maathavai orunaalum marakka vaendaam”. (Never fail to learn daily, never say bad things about anyone, never forget your mother).
She showed her ever receptive mind ready to learn anything even at 75, she eagerly learnt and borrowed a book to practice Vedic Mathematics from her grandson. She would proudly say she passed her SSLC from Town High School in Kumbakonam, the same school that legendary mathematician Ramanujan graduated from.
Giving came so easily to her as did forgiving. Never the one to hold grudges, she was nice to people even if they did not deserve.
Now, a year after she passed on, We realise the enormity of the concept that is Amma. No task is completed without a thought of how she would do it, or what she would respond to certain situations, how she diffuse a tense situation with a funny quip, every gesture of her’s is recollected, retold with so much fondness and damp eyes.
As recalled by one of the sibling........She must have held my hand as a child to teach me to walk, memory fails me here; but what will forever be etched in my mind is how just a few months before her demise she would grip my hand as we went for a stroll. I can still feel the hand that gripped mine. I hope it will guide me to negotiate the ups and down in my life.
Our mother ..ever in our memories
Selfless , accommodative , caring , adaptive and a very gentle easy going personality sums up our mother who left for her heavenly abode last year on 6th June2020.
A year already gone by but the child in us is very selfish, constantly seeking mother’s presence.
She doesn’t have to wake you up early in morning and get you ready for school along with your siblings, pack delicious lunch in boxes with care; which your friends still recall even after 30 years.
She doesn’t have to be the tolerant aunty who puts up with your cacophonic gang of friends who crash at your place at all hours …. at times throughout the day ….. even if you aren’t around, and keep up a constant supply of tea, coffee or even food at times. She could just be there listening to us talk.
She doesn’t have to be the loving mother fussing over you or the doting grandmother eager to turn out traditional delicacies for her grandchildren, her mere presence in the kitchen would suffice
She doesn’t have to regale her grandchildren with stories of her childhood punctuated with funny expressions. She could just sit on the recliner to watch over the gaggle of grandchildren with an amused look.
She doesn’t have to actually feed you with her own hand much to the amusement of her grandchildren who have only seen tiny children being spoon fed. She could just be there.
She doesn’t have to be the generous hostess who with open arms is forever welcoming friends, relatives, friends of relatives or relatives of friends who drop in unannounced and entertain them to the best of her ability; even after ravages of age had caught up with her fragile frame. She could just be sitting on the couch chatting with visitors.
Somethings are just not meant to be.
A year gone by today without Amma, it is so difficult to come to terms with her departure. Does one really get over that loss? The gaping void stares at you, yet the heart yearns for her just being there in person.
A simple, unassuming, kind, doting lady who seldom lost her cool, hardly raised her voice while raising us. A people's person who would haggle with the vegetable vending woman, but make piping hot tea for her and chat with her on the verandah on cold winter mornings.
The warmth that only a mother can give will always be greatly missed.
May her soul find eternal peace.
Miss you, Amma!
Shri Aravamudan Raghavan (Son),Shrimati Sudha Aravamudan (Daughter-in-Law),Shri Rajagopalan Raghavan (Son),Shrimati Sundaravalli Rajagopalan (Daughter-in-Law),Shrimati Rajalakshmi Satyamurthy (Daughter),Shri K Satyamurthy (Son-in-Law),Shri Seshasayee Raghavan (Son),Shrimati Srikala Seshasayee (Daughter-in-Law),Shri A S Rangarajan (Brother-in -Law),Shrimati Radha Rangarajan (Sister-in-Law),Miss. Vidya R (Niece),Mr. Srinivasaraghavan (Aniket) (Grandson),Master Srivatsan ( Abhishek) (Grandson),Master Jagannathan S (Grandson),Miss. Nithya R (Granddaughter),Miss. Kavya S (Granddaughter),Master Shrikant R (Grandson),Master Shreyas S (Grandson),Baby Shrikar S (Grandson)
(FAMILY OF Shrimati JAMBAGALAKSHMI RAGHAVAN)
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