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I found that when faced with a crisis, my mom tackles it head-on and does the needful and even more. She is emotionally very strong and tough.
My mother Jayanthy Loganathan has a lot of admirers. No, she is not an actress or celebrity. She is a homemaker. People look at her and find her beautiful. They say beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, but in my mom’s case, everyone finds her beautiful. She is 5 feet 4 inches tall, of medium frame, fair and with a pretty face. She has conventional good looks and has often been compared to Hema Malini and Vyjayanthimala Bali. She is 67 years old, but her beauty hasn’t faded, not in my eyes, and not in the eyes of those who meet her.
But she is also so much more than a pretty face. My mom is a pillar of strength as I discovered when I went through a low phase during college. She was the wind beneath my wings. I found that when faced with a crisis, my mom tackles it head-on and does the needful and even more. She is emotionally very strong and tough.
She took great pains to see that I could complete my education and succeed as a freelance journalist twenty years ago. She used to drive me to college when I was doing my Masters’ degree and also to locations for interviews that I had to conduct for the newspapers. I wasn’t blessed with the best health, so she made up for that by being supportive.
Anyone who hears her voice on the phone thinks a little girl is talking to them. She has a childlike voice, which is totally in contrast with the ‘tough as nails’ woman she is. Maybe that’s what made my father fall in love with her, although theirs was an arranged marriage.
She always says one must have hobbies and not rely too much on other people for companionship. She learned driving from my father in her twenties. When I was eight, she enrolled me in swimming classes and learned swimming herself. She knows sewing, which she honed through a tailoring course after marriage. She loves clothes and has five cupboards full of sarees as well as western wear.
She also learned knitting from her mother. In 2017, she learned to crochet from scratch through YouTube videos. She took to technology like a duck to water and isn’t ‘old school’ at all. She now makes beautiful crochet table mats, wall hangings and other works of art.
My mom loves reading, and her favourite authors include Thomas Hardy, Philippa Gregory and Anne Rice. She doesn’t get scared of horror movies or books, and she has watched several horror movies based on Stephen King’s books.
She loves crossword puzzles and has worked her way through several crossword books. Her brain is sharp as a tack. She got into IIT in her youth but didn’t join it since she was in Delhi. But she does have an adventurous spirit. When I stayed alone in Hyderabad for eight months, my mom joined me there for a bit. She would travel all alone to the Hyderabad Zoo, film city, Golconda Fort and other places. Her sense of direction is excellent. She can also read maps easily.
I was introduced to Western music through my mom at an early age, but it might surprise the reader to learn that she loves rock music and heavy metal! But she also used to watch ‘Aalaya Darshanam’ on TV, which is a programme about temples.
Although her health isn’t excellent, one wouldn’t know about her aches and pains since she never speaks about them. She changed her diet and adopted a healthier lifestyle, taking an active part in making herself healthy and her family happy. She is a spirited woman who doesn’t believe in complaining. When my maternal grandmother battled breast cancer, my mom went to stay with her for a few weeks and offered her support. My mom stayed with my grandma in the hospital for days until my grandma’s last breath on the hospital bed.
Wherever my mom has lived, she has taken part in community activities like in the associations formed for cleanliness and property maintenance. She makes friends effortlessly everywhere she goes.
She has been like a best friend, my travel companion on international and domestic tours, and my confidante. She is not tied to traditions or conventions but is a modern woman of today. She never pressurised me to get married and have a child. She says it’s a choice left to the individual.
She is the quintessential beauty or true beauty according to me because she is the right mix of toughness and softness. There is no one else like her, and I celebrate all the little things about her that make her the unique person she is. I love her and wish her a long and healthy life with my dad and me.
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Image source: the author
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Aishwariya Laxmi is a writer, editor, blogger, and poet living in suburban Chennai, India. She blogs on https://aishwariyalaxmi.com/ and has a newsletter at https://ash.fambase.com/. Her poems and flash fiction have read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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She would serve everyone fresh food and serve herself the stale rice and curries from the previous meal. Some days after finishing the leftovers she was so full she would not even be able to even taste the fresh food.
When I married the first time, my MIL told me that during the Navratri the lady of the house should not eat stale food. ‘Gharatlya bai ni shila khau naye’ — in refined upper caste Marathi.
I was just 26, eager to please, not versed in patriarchy or feminism, and it seemed like a positive thing — respect for the goddess in woman.
But soon I realised she spent the remaining 356 days of her year finishing leftovers. And that I was expected to do the same.
Story - Beauty: Shreya wondered, ‘Are they talking about me?’ ‘But what is the use of inner beauty if the exterior is unattractive?’ Ravi asked. Her heart skipped a beat, and now she listened with the utmost alacrity.
‘Beauty is skin deep, Ravi. In the long run, it’s the inner beauty that matters. I know Shreya is smart and I find her attractive.’ It was Chetan’s voice.
Shreya had paused for a moment on the open door of Ravi’s flat when she overheard him. It was the morning of 27th March, and she had come to give Ravi his surprise birthday present. She didn’t want to eavesdrop, but the conversation had caught her curiosity.
She wondered, ‘Are they talking about me?’