Follow by Email

Friday, 1 November 2019

NaBloPoMo 2019: Day 1: My Mother's Diary


Looking for some paper to write my grocery list, I pull out a sheaf of papers I’ve saved for such use. The first sheets I see are pages torn out of a used diary. Used by my mother many years ago, to keep track of her daily expenses. I click a picture of one sheet and decide I’m going to start the National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) activity for 2019 with this. 
Kannada text.
Reads as Milk....54, Flowers ....20, From old newspapers and plastic items, 45 rupees is received
Looking at this page reminds me of how meticulous my mother used to be about keeping accounts and not wasting anything. It was probably a skill forced by circumstances – having to run a family of 8 with just one person earning cannot have been an easy task. Especially through the 60s, 70s, and 80s when private companies in the mining industry of Goa (where Appa worked) didn’t pay grand salaries.

So, Amma did all the work herself. For many years, she had no maid to help with the housework. She did all the washing, cleaning and cooking on her own, with brief breaks from the grind only for a few months after each of her 6 daughters was born. (Note to self: She didn’t grumble about having to do it all herself πŸ˜…)

She somehow found the time and energy to learn tailoring and would stitch all our clothes herself at home. Sometimes, before festivals, or once a year, a local tailor (I think his name was Sripad) would be hired to come to the house continuously for a few days to stitch dresses for us kids.

Later, when Appa retired from active work and started to go to work only 3 days a week, he set up a shop to generate the much-needed income. Sudarshan Stores started out as a bakery of sorts, then morphed into an all-in-one kind of store. At first, Amma would go to the shop only to allow Appa to come home and rest. But gradually, her innate qualities of attention to detail, being systematic, and astute business sense meant that she began to (wo)man the shop more and more often. She would let us consume some goodies from the shop when we asked (especially the soft drinks) but I’m quite sure she would have kept an account of it somewhere so that there would be no error in her record of the sales!

Staring at these diary pages with her handwriting, I smile as I recollect how they came to me. Last November my parents and sisters were getting ready to shift to a new home. By then, Amma’s health was declining and yet, she got me to go through all the materials in her cupboard, deciding what to keep and what to discard. These diary pages were obviously of no use, but as typical of her, she didn’t want the empty space to go waste. And so, she gave them to one of her daughters whom she believed would make good use of them. There – I’ve done justice to the faith Amma reposed in me. Not only did I make my grocery list using the diary pages, I even made a blog post with them! 


35 comments:

  1. Heart touching....I would always love to read your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awesome expression Anusuya..i can speak hours..but truely u r blessed to pen down everything so well...
    All the best all through..

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well written. But all over the place. Take one quality at a time and talk about it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes! There are 29 days still left πŸ˜„. Thank you for the feedback!

      Delete
  4. Well written. Made me remember my mother too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Read and made me remember my grandpa who used to keep track of his expenses on such sheets neatly clipped into a pad. Those were the days..... Heart touching and nostalgic, not to mention the warmth :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those were indeed the days, Meenu! Thank you!

      Delete
  6. Well written Anusuya, my thoughts go to my mother after reading your blog.

    Geetha Sampath

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Geeta Chitti! I'm thrilled to see your comment.

      Delete
  7. I could imagine all that you have written. Perhaps our parents functioned well even during dire circumstances. An inbuilt quality they possessed. Am happy to have known aunty and a million thanks to her for raising such compassionate daughters. Beautiful piece, Anu. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're spot on with that analysis, Shilpa! Thank you!

      Delete
  8. Nice article madam. I think we have to emulate many good qualities of our elders, especially perseverance. ������

    ReplyDelete
  9. A very simple tale to narrate yet so powerful in terms of memories, feelings, emotions, inspirations all embedded in just a piece of handwritten home accounts chit.
    Your story took me back in time to my childhood delving from my treasures.... Leaving me with smiles and happy thoughts. Thanks akka!☺️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm happy to have evoked that reaction, Vijaya! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

      Delete
  10. Well written. Good beginning of your blogging month..!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well scripted..... Beautiful
    Could connect somewhere lil to our family too .....

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am sure your Amma is reading this beautiful narration with a smile on her face....Anusuya..

    ReplyDelete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  14. There is not a least bit of hesitance in admitting that your parents are the real inspirers of our lives. Inculcating their qualities would probably make us to live a more contented & peaceful life. Awaiting your series of blogs.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anu, was away and wasn't able to go through your blog with intermittent interruptions in internet connectivity. Decided to wait! The wait is worth! As many of them expressed it reminds me of my amma 85+ a dialysis patient for more than 10 years but shares the same meticulous undaunting spirit!! Wonder what makes them move on with this spirit when I don't have even half of her enthusiasm or energy! Mental as well as physical! Will go through the other posts and catch up soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! Hats off to your Amma. Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to read and leave such a sweet comment!

      Delete
  16. Inspiring start...Good connect to the details...

    ReplyDelete

Do share your thoughts on this through the comment section. All you need to do is click on the hyperlinked word "comments" at the end of the blog and then enter your message in the box that opens up. If you so wish, you may also get in touch with me through email: anuranganathan31@gmail.com