May 2, Pedatha’s birthday, a day that brings back memories; the perfect day to share this beautiful letter written by her son to her! On this very day in 2005. Thank you Preetham (A P Parigi) for sharing this. We have always admired this mother-son duo, and reading this letter just reiterates what we saw and felt. Pedatha was indeed blessed with a golden heart, her undiluted adoration for her son, her affection for her daughter-in-law – the lovely Vrinda, for her grandson Rohit, his wife Arathi, and the large circle of family and friends. She had this uncanny capacity to make people feel hugged and loved. And of course, can we ever forget the peaceful and harmonious relationship between her and her neighbour, Mr Badami, who happened to be Vrinda’s father. Hope all of you, our readers, will cherish this letter, and write many more of your own, because letters are indeed one of the best creations of man, a celebration of the human spirit.
My Dearest Amma,
It is ages since I wrote to you. I wonder why. Yes, my job does keep me busy but that’s no excuse for not writing. It’s an art that’s dying. I in no small measure did contribute to the death of the art of writing or for that matter written communication. What with the great revolution of mobile telephony, the sms culture, drop in long distance tariffs I always believed and do continue to believe you are just a phone call away. Yes, life further gets complicated with the frequent flier miles culture that gives me supreme confidence to fly down at short notice to see you. But again I have never been proud of my inclination or capacity to fly down; that too, whenever you have not been well or when I felt guilty of not keeping in touch. Amma why are sons so different? Or is it that this son is different from the others? When they are single they always presume their dad will take care of their mothers needs and when they get married they transfer the responsibility to their wife!
What a pity. I still vividly recall the days when I would write to you, with hardly any provocation, when you did go visiting Tatayya at Trivandrum, I did shoot off letters by the day, without even waiting for a reply. I would sit for hours on end to coin specially crafted titles for you…do u remember…Kamli Pu of Rangi Uru Estate!!! In fact Tatayya was rather intrigued by the titles I had given you!
When I look back, the times were so different…you were far more slimmer, hardly any grey hair, wore fairly large glares, sarees with heavy motifs, you loved your high heels, perfumes, fed any mouth that was open…and always the world’s best cook. Now just imagine – I have lots of grey hair, I have put on weight, wear fairly predictable dress to work, keep late hours, forget to call home despite promising to do so, make resolutions that I will change but never do, and yes I too have a daughter in law!
Do I miss you? Frankly, I get so immersed in my work…that I sometimes tend to believe that the Sun would not rise or set if I were not at work!
It’s so strange that at work and during travel I only focus on such pedestrian things like profitability, growth of business or why my boss was unhappy or disappointed with the last meeting, will I again get to carry my board of directors at the next meeting etc.
Then when do I get to think of you Amma? The truth is when I hear you have been eating too much of your favourite foods, been consulting with every doctor in town, preparing to overstay at someone’s residence or fly over to Chennai or Delhi. Or withholding information from me if you were not “well received” or taken care of at the destination. That’s when I really start thinking about you and rush in to un-load, on the phone, a few lessons in discipline and caution to you!
What’s amazing is that we are so similar!!! Politely stubborn, agree to all advice, in fact empathize with the person giving advice and finally or precisely do what we always used to.
Amma, this year I thought I would give you a very special gift. I will henceforth write to you every month. Happy birthday Amma. May all the celestial beings conspire to keep you as cheerful as you always been. May they bless you with the best of health in the years to come.
Amma I miss you. I love you so much that I believe you are the magic in my life.
Mumbai. Monday, May 2, 2005