Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mother-my best teacher

It was 6.15 pm and most had left office. I was busy making an urgent report for the board. When the mobile rang, I ignored it and when it persisted I glanced at the caller name. It was from my wife Ramya.
“Ramya, what is it? I am busy with an urgent report” I said with a trace of irritability.
“Sorry, amma (mom) is not seen in the house. I rushed home from office when our maid Padmini rang me up to inform”
Without allowing her to proceed, I interrupted her “How could amma go out when Padmini was there and the doors were locked? What was she doing? She is careless. Is she not employed only to take care of amma?”
“Listen, we can discuss about Padmini later. We both went around in different directions to the surrounding streets but there was no trace of amma. Someone said he saw an old lady walking aimlessly. I went to the temple also only to draw a blank. Can you rush home? We may have to ask the police to help trace her. I am afraid in her present condition she may unknowingly stray into busy roads” pleaded Ramya.
“I will be there in a few minutes. You be at home” I said
As I drove the car, thoughts of my younger days came rushing and how after my father’s sudden demise, she single-handedly brought me up slogging  all the seven days of week in the hot kitchens of many houses. It was back breaking job which she did without resentment, and with the only aim of educating and making a man of me. Her world revolved around me. There were no relatives to help her.
 She would not tell me about her aching limbs even as she tossed on the mat at nights waiting for sleep to embrace her. She would decline my offer to massage her legs and hands asking me instead to do my homework. She would make fresh food for me to eat and be content with eating the leftovers she brought from the houses she worked. I did not know in my tender age whether she begged or borrowed but my needs of books, fees and uniforms were fully met while she managed with old saris often sewed at many places to cover the torn portions. It was only after I got my degree and a well paid job, I could persuade her to stop working and keep her in comfort. Ramya luckily turned out to be affectionate and caring to her.
What I am today is largely because of the lessons I learnt in my young age from her-not to be overwhelmed by adverse circumstances,to have a goal in life and to strive hard to reach it.She taught me not by words but  by  her own example.Verily my first expert teacher and mentor, she is 
Suddenly I woke up from my reverie  when a creeping fear filled me at the thought of her wandering into the main roads with speeding vehicles. She has been sick since a few years.years. Of late she could only stare at things and people without any sign of recognition. She talked of houses where she worked several years back and remembered their family members but turned her face blankly whenever Ramya or I asked her to tell our names. She would repeat the same refrain “Where is my son Raju? Will you ask him to see me at least once? I must tell him to do his father’s ceremony”
“Amma, I am Raju. Won’t you recognize me? I am your son” I would plead
“Go away, you are not my son. He would look charming with the face of a child and a dimple in his cheek. Go and find him immediately. Take also that woman with you” she would shriek.
When I reached home, I saw Ramya crying.”I am terribly afraid. It is getting dark. We should inform police” she said amidst sobs.
As we were getting ready, I heard a knock. We both rushed to the door fearing the worst. We saw a middle aged lady with her son and my mom.
“I saw this lady loitering aimlessly in the road opposite our house. I have seen her in the temple many times a few years back and have also spoken to her. When I asked her where she was going, she could not talk coherently or reply properly. I vaguely remembered she lived in this house. It helped me to bring her here”
“Aunty, we have no words to express our gratitude. I have been searching for her for the last three hours. Please come in  “Ramya said
“Where are you taking me? Who are these people?”asked my mom in an abrasive tone to the lady.
“Amma, please come in. You put us in great scare” I said even as I held my mom’s hand after taking a small packet from her hand to take her inside.
“I am not your mom. Give me that packet. Why are you snatching it from me?”she screamed.
“I will give it to you after you come inside. What is it you have kept in it for you to worry about so much?”
“I have bought some orange and lemon candies today for Raju.He likes them immensely. Do you know my Raju by any chance? He is a gem. Can you take me to him?”she asked in plaintive tone.
Tears flowed from my eyes even as I sobbed seeing her pathetic condition.
“What did I say for you to cry so much? I only asked you to take me to my son Raju”
“Amma, I am Raju”I shrieked even as the vacant stare settled on her face.
A mother holds her sons hand for a while but holds his heart for a lifetime

Written for Indiblogger My First Expert contest


  1. That is such a touching story. Old age with its problems can be merciless....

  2. very touching...apt story for Mother's day! I seem to see a few mothers like this nowadays. Life's pressure makes them forget themselves, I think.

  3. I was expecting a twist in the end, but I appreciate that you kept it emotional this time.

    Destination Infinity

  4. Very touching story, hope we could understand the sacrifices of our mother's!

  5. A very pathetic but touching story ! Memory loss or dementia is afflicting many elderly people these days. They need lots of love and caring !

  6. Very nicely written. Wish you all the best for the contest!

  7. Very touching story. All the best for the contest!

  8. I couldnt stop crying, just went deep in to my soul. I know exactly how it is to remaian in past and not believe and relate to the present. Best wishes for the contest, you are always a winner to me!

  9. I couldn't stop crying. It is really pathetic if our near and dear ones fail to recognize us. It breaks us in so many ways.

  10. Two drops tears for this amma. Very very touching as throughout my reading my ammoomma(grandmother) was standing before me. she passed away one and a half decades back.

  11. Very touching... A tale of love and gratitude!

  12. This is so beautifully written... Loved it! :)

  13. Touched our heart.Beautifully written Partha Sir.