My adorable mom
My mother, Kamala, is a teacher by profession. But I have always felt that she should have been a comedienne. I have always admired her sense of humour. She is a great story teller and has regaled us(myself and my brother) with anecdotes from her childhood days till the later part of her married life.
As a child, my mother was more of a tomboy. Her physical strength was amazing. This incident took place when she was 10. One day, she had a heated argument with her brother, which took an ugly turn and they were about to aim blows at each other, in the back yard. On hearing the commotion, my great grandmother, came rushing out and intervened to prevent them from hurting each other. Being a traditional orthodox Indian woman, great grandma always favoured boys. Hence, she dragged my uncle with her inside the house and bolted it, and barred my mom from entering the house until she sought an apology. Mom was not a person to give in so easily. She yelled at her grandmother and said, “ Open the door and let me in. Otherwise, you will have to bear the consequences.” Her grand mother replied, “ I am not going to be scared by your empty threat. Do whatever you feel like doing.”
This statement infuriated mom. She retraced a few steps and then came charging like a raging bull. She kicked the door with such a force, that it came off its hinges. Great grandma was annoyed with her and took her to task for breaking the door.
I consider myself fortunate to witness mom playing pranks and cracking jokes to liven up tense atmosphere in our house. We used to live in Mumbai with my paternal grandmother. One day, granny had a war of words with my father. She said, “ I am going to commit suicide by jumping in front of a train because nobody has any respect for me.” Then, she carried her purse loaded with money and was about to leave the house, when my mother stopped her saying, “Mom, If you have already made up your mind to commit suicide, then please hand over your purse to me, since the money can be better utilised for your funeral and subsequent obsequies.” Granny stopped abruptly and turned back. She quietly retreated to her room. We ( mom, dad and myself) had a hearty laugh after seeing her reaction.
On another occasion, when I was in college, I heard my aunt requesting my mom to experiment with Ouija board, since she wanted to summon the spirit of her deceased relative and seek answers to her questions. I volunteered to take part in the process. However, my uncle was quite intrigued and wanted to participate in the game. Mom and uncle both did not believe in ghosts but decided to humour her. Mom prepared the Ouija board herself by writing alphabets and numbers with a yes and no option on the back of an old calendar. She asked her brother to keep his index finger on the coin with her. She winked at him and he understood her plan. Both closed their eyes and pretended to be on a séance , chanting gibberish words under their breath. Much to my surprise, the coin started moving. My aunt was spell bound and earnestly believed that a soul has indeed arrived to answer her queries. She kept on asking questions, while the coin moved swiftly over the alphabets and numbers in response to her queries. My aunt was very much satisfied with the replies given by the so called spirit. After thanking the ‘spirit’ and concluding the game, mom promptly put away the board. After my aunt’s departure, mom and uncle burst out laughing. I did not understand the joke. Then, my mother explained that she had deliberately moved the coin , answering the questions and that there wasn’t any spirit. I couldn’t suppress my giggle. Poor aunt still believes she actually talked to a lurking soul.
My maternal grandfather had a great sense of humor. Once our family went on a trip to South India in 2002. After reaching Chennai, we were to board a suburban train to our relative’s house. Mom decided to check her weight on the machine operated by inserting a coin. My grandpa winked at me and put his right leg on the machine after my mother stood on it. She picked up the Paperslip ejected by the weighing machine. She rolled her eyes to see her printed weight as 92 kg when in fact she must be around 78-80 kgs.
All of us had a hearty laugh.
Way to go Mom! I am proud to be your daughter