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Sunday, 24 November 2019

NaBloPoMo 2019: Day 24: Good times too!

Life was difficult, but there were happy events too that took place during our stay in the Tisca house.

Maithili’s son was born. Vatsala got married; about 6 months after that, Bhargavi’s wedding was held. Vijaya, who had decided against marriage, was far away, working as a Medical Officer at the Naval Armament Depot in Koraput, Odisha.

I joined the B. Pharm course and had to stay in the hostel, and so, there was only Komala at home with Amma Appa. She is the only one who went against the tide – all of us had studied Science, but she took up Arts, and stood 1st in the Arts stream for the entire state of Goa!

I remember how happy Amma and Appa were, and we all went to Hotel Mandovi for the rank announcements, and even answered questions from the press. Then, we went to the Doordarshan studio and Appa was interviewed. Later, Amma told us that she had got a vision of the Hotel Mandovi event a few weeks or months before! This wasn’t the first time or the last time she had these “visions” or sense of “déjà vu”.

Bhargavi’s son was born, and Amma spent the first few weeks with her in Bangalore, after which she came home to Goa for the post-birth nurturing of mother and baby.
Our neighbours in Tisca who came for Bhargavi's bangle/flower wearing ceremony 

There’s one thing I must mention here. However difficult circumstances may have been, Amma did not compromise on the traditional procedures that followed girls attaining puberty, or the ones that came post-delivery. 

The special foodstuffs, the alternate-day oil bath, the lifestyle conditions of not exposing oneself to cold air or cold water and whatever else there is – she made sure she followed all the procedures for all the daughters. She even followed a recipe she had got from her father (who knew quite a bit of Ayurveda), for the special lehyam to be prepared for the new mother. That recipe comprised a list of special ingredients that ran into 3 pages, and she’d painstakingly prepare it and make sure the daughters took it. Of course, seeing how much of her hard work and love had gone into making it, you weren’t likely to refuse taking it!

Amma was one of those people who complained of aches and pains – only when she had no work to do and was forced to relative inactivity. Even during her monthly period, when she wouldn’t do any cooking and would sit separate, she made good use of her time to do the things she couldn’t do during the other busy days. She would make artificial paper flowers, string them up into colorful torans and keep ready for decoration during festivals. She would stitch saree falls, or her blouses, or our dresses. Sometimes, she would read magazines or books, or brush up on her already awesome culinary repertoire by reading cookery books. 

Amma making the flower torana
It was from Tisca that we (Amma, Appa, Komala and I) went on a trip to Odisha where Vijaya was posted. After visiting the famous places there, we went on to Jamshedpur where Maithili was living with her family for a few years since her husband had been transferred there by Canara Bank. On the way back, we also visited the sights of Bombay.

For as long as I can remember, whenever we went out somewhere and came back home, there was only one thing that got our energy back. Amma’s coffee that she rushed in to make, despite being as – or maybe even more – tired than us.

Today, managing my own family, there are times when I wish there was someone to welcome me with a cup of strong coffee. And then, I realize yet again what a superwoman Amma was!


  1. Super Woman indeed.... from where did she get so much strength and energy?


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