When I decided to write about Amma, I had no clue about how it would flow. I had ideas and memories of my own, and the ones shared by my sisters…and looking at my table, my sister Komala had laughingly said, “It looks like the table of someone into serious research!”
Re-search it certainly was. And in the process of my search and re-search, and re-re-search, it looks like so many people have been touched by some or the other aspect of Amma’s story. The feedback I received is a reflection of that…
Many of you have been sharing your thoughts with me daily, or as and when you could. Some of you left comments on the blog, some messaged me on WhatsApp, a few elderly relatives called over the phone and told me how much the blogs touched them. I'm extremely grateful to each and every one of you, including the ones who didn't write in despite reading...
I had thought I would sum up what people said. But then realized it would be futile to try and convey their thoughts in my words. So, I’ve simply taken shots of what they shared, so you can read it for yourself.
Another person told me this:
What I learned from your Amma’s experience was that she had no inhibition to learn new things at whatever age. She did all the normal work, but also learned new things. Also, she did all the work with a song on her lips (you wrote that she would recite shlokas and stotras while doing housework), and that means she must have had a song in her heart too. So she could do all the work because she did it out of love, without feeling it as a burden. This is an inspiration to me to adopt the same spirit. Despite being married at such a young age, she learned to become independent later in life. I also realized that nowadays, we feel proud of being so educated and all, but our attitude to life is not so positive. Your Amma had that positive spirit, I felt. Another thing I noticed is about how despite being Brahmins, your parents treated everyone equally – that is something to appreciate because in those times, many Brahmins used to have a superiority complex. Now I can understand how you have the same spirit of equality because you have learned it from your parents!
I’m touched and humbled by this experience of writing about Amma, and the kind of response it has generated in the ones who came along on this journey.
I’m most grateful to Amma and Appa for bringing us up the way they did. The former wouldn’t have been possible without the latter.
I’m equally grateful to all my sisters for us being what we are – and for always being there for each other for things that matter the most.
After Amma passed away, there was this deep desire to write something about her – but there was an equally big block too. I couldn’t get myself to write about anything else either. But when I started this blogathon, it was like the floodgates had opened. The topics suggested themselves, the ideas and memories we sisters talked about coalesced into words and words became paragraphs and paragraphs became blog posts, and, judging from the feedback, the posts glided right into people’s hearts to create a lasting impact.
My sister Vijaya, who is more reticent than all the rest of us, had this to say at the end:
I have been keeping away from commenting on the blog about AMMA, for a number of reasons and the basic being it does not come easily to me to write or share my feelings.
One of our bhajan group friend Mr. Sundarshekharan continued to visit us frequently even in the shop-house.
He would bring storybooks for ANU to read.
A lot of reading from a young age has made Anu so good at her writing.
I think it was more due to anxiety that parents decided the living space rather than the actual financial condition.
Amma like most women was insecure due to not owning a house and with six daughters to be married off and all the customary rituals for married daughters I think she thought of ways to save money.
She had an inherent quality to live with the bare minimum and always avoided buying new things especially for herself.
Blogging by Anu regarding Amma has helped me in the grieving process.
What more to say....such is Amma’s mahima that she continues to help us even when she’s no longer here!!