Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mother’s magnanimity

by KParthasarathi Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Ranganathan is a very senior commercial executive in a consulting and engineering firm. He lived in the company’s sprawling fully air conditioned flat with several bedrooms in SaltLake area. He had a small family of wife and two children-a son and a daughter studying in college and school. As an executive in his department I had gone to his residence on a few occasions. A very jovial and friendly person, he had a good name in the company for delivering results. He grew up in ordinary circumstances at Srirangam near Trichy.He studied on scholarships being a bright student and rose to the present level by dint of hard work. His wife is from an affluent family and the only daughter of her aged parents. They were also living with Ranganathans permanently.
I had some official work during Deepavali time for a couple of days at BHEL, Tiruverumbur near Trichy.I always avail such opportunities to visit the nearby famous temples at Srirangam, Tiruvanaikaval, Gunasekaram etc.My boss called me and said” I learn you are leaving for Trichy early tomorrow morning. Can you do me a favour? Drop in at my place after 7pm.I will give you an addressed envelope containing some money to be delivered to my mom at Srirangam.” In the evening when I went the entire family was watching TV. After pleasantries, he came up to the gate and took the envelope from his pocket and gave me. It seemed to me as if he was doing this unknown to his wife. He said ”Tell my mom that I am extremely sorry for not seeing her for long ,that I am tied up with work and that I will snatch some time in a month or two to visit her.”
It was three days more for Deepavali.I had finished my work and was to leave for Kolkata after the darshan at Srirangam temple. I went in the morning to the address given on the envelope and enquired about Ranganathan’s mother. One girl of about ten who was skipping a rope took me inside the house thro a narrow passage to the rear of the dilapidated tiled house. The last room was locked .The girl said ”Uncle, she must have gone to a house closeby..If it is urgent I can show you the way.” She made the gratuitous remark “.Do you know the old lady is very poor and works hard in several houses making sweets and savouries for Deepavali?’I could not believe what she said till I saw the lady in her late seventies when the girl brought her outside the house that was a little away. She was a frail lady bent and emaciated in an old faded cotton sari tied in a traditional manner of an ayyangar.I was shocked and rendered speechless by the pathetic sight. Still doubting about the correct identity, I asked her, “Are you Kolkata Ranganathan’s mother? He has given a packet to be delivered to you. There was a trace of a faint and tired smile in her face when she nodded her head in affirmative. I told her how Ranganathan was feeling bad at not being able to meet her for long and that he would find time amidst the busy schedule to pay a visit to her. She asked “Are Rangan and his family keeping well?” when I nodded my head she replied “That is more than adequate. Tell him not to worry about me. If my son Rangan is not here with me, there is the Lord Ranganatha at the temple to take care of me.”
When I gave her the envelope, she asked me to open it. I found two five hundred rupee notes inside. When I gave her, she took them from my hands and asked me” Have you visited the temple? You must hurry if not.” When I told her that I was on my way to the temple, she asked me for a favour.”Can you kindly drop these thousand rupees in the hundi at Sri Ranganatha’s shrine? I will pray from here for the good health and happiness of my Rangan and his family. You see, I am having arthritis problem and am not able to walk much. Please do not mention about this to Rangan.Tell him I am hale and hearty and that he can take his own time to come.“ She asked me to wait and brought for me two hot Jangris that she must have been making in the hot kitchen.
Tears welled in my eyes as I took leave of this noble lady who had not a single complaint to make of her ungrateful and inconsiderate son. When I noted her concern for his well being by offering the entire much needed amount at the temple, that very moment my boss Ranganathan went down in my esteem by several notches.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Very touching...

    Some mothers are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same, and most mothers kiss and scold together.
    ~Pearl S. Buck

    She is perhaps another kissing mother.