Amma And Me… Ours Was A Bond Of Love Made Special By Its Mundane Details

There were no secrets between my mother and me. After coming home from school, an hour was reserved for the two of us. It was our time.

How do I define my relationship with my amma? It’s been more than five years since she departed to the other realm, but the memories linger. As sweet as the payasam she used to prepare.

They say a daughter is the closest to her father. Well, in my case it was amma. Of course, I share a close bond with appa, and I have written about the feminist of the Manapadam family in a previous post on this website. But amma… How do I begin?

There were no secrets between my mother and me. After coming home from school, an hour was reserved for the two of us. It was our time. I used to narrate the events in school – What did my best friend bring for tiffin, which teacher wore what saree, how a girl was made to stand up on the bench because she didn’t bring her notebook. And if you thought an adult me would grow out of this, you were mistaken. Once back from office, the ritual remained the same. It was just that the colleagues replaced the friends, and bosses took over from the teachers.

A friend to everyone

Amma had this charm of making friends with just about everyone. As soon as the school bell rang, my friends and I rushed out. I was amongst the few girls who still got picked up and dropped by my mother, while my classmates travelled in the school van or bus. The girls made a beeline for amma, screaming Aunty.

My mother used to enquire about their studies, and they yakked about endlessly. In fact, until she passed way, she was in touch with all of them via WhatsApp, while I maintained a Good Morning relationship with them.

Ditto with my colleagues. They spent overnight at my house just to talk to her and relish her sambhar rice. A few of them even confessed their failed relationships to her, while she listened to them patiently, without passing any undue moral judgement. Speaking of the latter, even I have shared my list of ‘crushes’ with amma, while she giggled and sometimes mocked my choice of ‘worthless boys’.

We were companions on much travel done together

Appa hated traveling. Amma was the opposite. Going to new places, befriending the locals, and the most important of all, buying trinkets for neighbours and families back home – these were trivial things she took utter delight in. She found a companion in me.

I will never forget the Kerala trip we undertook. Staying at a friend’s place in Kochi, we booked a car daily and travelled the length and breadth of God’s own country. She floored the drivers with her broken Malayalam and won over their hearts when she insisted they have breakfast with us. As our trip came to an end, it was the drivers and the owner of the car rental agency who lamented the most. It was genuine, not fake. I can vouch for that.

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Neighbours waited with bated breath for her arrival from a journey. Keychains, small statues of Gods & Goddesses, and purses still find a pride of place in their homes. Seemingly small things, but it made amma happy.

She was always there for me… and for others in our lives

I didn’t flaunt my love for amma from the rooftop. Nor did I have a business partnership with her. It was a bond of pure love, made special by mundane details.

Even after marriage, she was there for me. To stay with me. To help me while I grappled with office work. Mr. Hubby, sharing the same passion as hers, joined us as we embarked on tiny vacations. Her last trip with us was to Rameshwaram, as her wish of taking a dip in the holy waters was fulfilled. A sense of peace engulfs me as I think of it.

Maybe she did find the pathway to heaven after all.

Amma! I miss you. Are you watching me from the heavens? Does this article bring a smile to your lips?

Image source: a still from the film Aamhi Doghi

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About the Author

Narayani Manapadam

I am an IT professional, lost in the monotonous world of Excel. So, I seek refuge in Word, pun intended. I write for various literary platforms and have quite a few anthologies to my credit. read more...

42 Posts | 115,781 Views

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