A mother is a mother still, the holiest thing alive.
It has been nine crepuscular years. I still remember it vividly. It was as if mom had gone to a deep sleep. I looked at her face for one last time. She was still graceful in death, as in life. She had turned 42, a little less than three months back. I hugged my kid-sister asking her to not sob. “God wants her to look after a small heaven-garden, she will be back soon” I foolishly consoled her. In hindsight I reckon, there are many things in life we don’t have the power to change, even as we may wish to! You simply cannot talk to people who leave you forever, though you may snivel at this supreme injustice. You may dream your mom and then get up excited -- like a hen’s newborn chick -- to look around and find her no more. Such is Life. Bittersweet.
My mom lies interred in a beautiful, simple grave, in a green meadow, by a quietly flowing river, in peach-fragrance of countryside Kashmir. Shaded by Viburnum flower trees, the place appears utterly peaceful but it makes me feel unloved for some arcane reason. In life one has got to be lucky to be blessed with a mother’s noble, selfless, love. Like other kids I grew very fond of my mom. The mother's heart – it is said -- is the child's schoolroom. Mommy was sweet, loving, sacrificing, beautiful. Like all mom’s. I still feel good in my heart when my pals return to their mother’s for holidays or festivals.
Life teaches us many lessons the hard way. It allows us to absorb shocks; we otherwise think will knock us off. I recall my best friends in the US -- Suhail and Salah. They lost their mom in similar circumstances a few years ago. It was a wintry night, they later told me. A snowstorm was raging in New York. It was dark and cold and they stayed awake. Then the phone rang. It was the hospice calling. The storm had stopped, so had aunt’s feeble pulse. My friend tells me that he still feels her presence in his Manhattan home. Yet I know something is amiss. He experiences it, like me.
I can’t say what. An emotional scar, a sense of deep reverence or remnants of the gentle influence of a mother, perhaps. There is this terrible hunger for love. We all experience it in our lives - the pain, the loneliness. We must have the courage to recognize it.
Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,
Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,
Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,
But only one mother the wide world over.
Mom, 28 Sep 1955- 28 Dec 1997, RIP