“Because I feel that, in the Heavens above / The angels, whispering to one another, / Can find, among their burning terms of love / None so devotional as that of ‘Mother’”
Edgar Allen Poe
My mother, Ma, as I’ve aways called her frolics somewhere across the rainbow. In a world which is free of pain and pandemics.
Two years back she made her onward journey, transcending the anguish and struggles the Big C had entrusted upon her. But she continues to live amongst us in spirit, in love and in joy.
She lives amongst us in the meals we cook, tempered with her Bengali spices and her recipes that were one-of-a-kind.
She lives amongst the plants whose seedlings she had gifted us, and ones that we have nurtured. When they bloom gloriously, we know it’s her smiling back at us. Through the nodding soft-pink Adeniums/Desert Rose, or the Blue Butterfly Pea/Oprajita (Aprajita), as she would call them in Bengali.
She lives amongst us each time when we lend a kind hand to those who are in dire need. Whether it is the potter by the road side who now doesn’t have money or essentials for one square meal a day. Or the Dhobi (Laundry man) who used to come knocking every day. Whether it’s that Maali (Gardner) at the nursery, next door. Or the adorable strays who comes greeting us in our neighbourhood, looking for a meal or two. And the birds that come calling on our balconies anticipating treats of papaya, grapes etc.
The pandemic has taught us resilience and we know if she were to be around, she would be busy extending herself. We remember her animated banter with the veggie vendor who would come calling by her doorstep. She would invite him in for a hot meal and cuppa once she was done negotiating and buying.
Or the Doodhwala (milk-man) who would arrive each morning from the neighbouring village, to supply milk from his freshly milked cows. She would rebuke him for adding too much water to the milk, while he would continue to deny vehemently, his paan stained red lips curving into a cheesy grin. Yet, she would shower her unconditional love, treating him to a warm cuppa and toast, or a winter coat to keep him warm.
She lives amongst us when life throws unexpected curve balls, guiding us with her nuggets of wisdom that continue to hold us steadfast.
Yes, she lives amongst us, in our hearts and souls, and will continue to eternally!
“According to Buddhism, life is eternal. Death is not so much the cessation of existence as the beginning of a new one. ” – Daisaku Ikeda, President, Soka Gakkai International of Soka Buddhism