I’m a 4+ year old mother now and with passing time I have come to realize that I’m stepping into my Amma’s shoes.
We were three siblings and each one of us would place our demands w.r.t food in front of Amma. She would have mentally planned the menu for the next two days based on the already lying resources in the kitchen/fridge or based on festivals or any other event. She would not indulge us immediately by chucking her pre-planned menu but would silently make a mental note of our wishlists. We would forget our demands in the coming days and would remember only when our requested dishes featured on table. Somehow, I recently noticed that I too have been doing the same with Mantam!
Amma believed in getting things done before hand and not waiting till the last minute. She would insist us to do the same, be it our homeworks or anything else. I still remember, as soon as our final exams got over, Amma would make us sit with our books and make us keep the text books aside. They were neatly stacked, packed and handed over to our juniors in school. Next came the turn of notebooks. We would surf through pages and tear the unwritten sheets and accumulate them. These sheets would then be sent to a book binding shop which would serve as fresh notebooks. Ever since Mantam began getting their homework from school, I make it a point that they complete it on Friday evening, I sign their dairies and they keep the books in their respective school bag ready to be picked up on Monday morning.
As soon as we kids outgrew our clothes, Amma packed them off to an acquaintance who had kids a bit younger than us and was financially not in a sound position. All our old books were donated to school library. She used to keep only a few clothes that were made by loved ones for us or a few that had sweet memories attached to them. She had made two separate bags for my sis and I with our respective articles that she wanted us to carry when we would be married. I still remember a pair of pink socks that my aunt had knitted for me and Amma would show it to me once in a while and say that she had kept it with care for my child to wear. Alas! Let alone wear, my kids never got to see their mom’s childhood memories. I digress!!! So, I too have been doing the same with Mantam’s clothes, craft stuff, school projects etc. I have neatly kept their memories in their respective folders. A few cherished clothes are preserved and rest are passed on to the lesser privileged.
I can go on and on. But what made me realize all these Amma’s attributes brimming in me was when Mantam uttered my usual dialogues that I keep playing back in the same tone and breath as I. Sis and I also would do the same to Amma. How life comes back in full circles is amazing!!! Wish Amma could see this shadow of hers playing her role. She would have taken a back seat and enjoyed mocking at me with Abbas and Mantam, I’m sure 😀 Miss you Amma…