On this day, I would like to celebrate all the great women that I know in my life. Starting with the ‘bestest’ women in my life – my Mother. Her place in my whole life is the topmost and most unique – the great lady who gave birth to me (ya ya my father was also a part of it, but then he did not carry me around for 9 months right?). No matter what happens, I know amma is always there for me. In the most difficult of times, where I was even at war with her, she did not let me go. In her own ways, she always showed her love to me. What I wanted was against her will, she tried to reason, cajole, force me – but in all that she never turned away from me. Some of my most happiest moments in life have been spent with her. All those rides on our two wheeler – initially it was her at the front and then, very soon, it was me in front and has always been that way – chatting away nineteen to dozen; her plaiting my hair in the morning rush – while I spoke non-stop about this and that, much to my father’s annoyance at not being able to read the newspaper in peace; the evening tea times, when I would sit on the little foot stool near the spare gas in the kitchen and re-account all the happenings at work, pour out my frustrations as she poured a hot glass of the best tea and made a muru muru dosa for me; those fun-filled, adrenaline pumping hours of ‘porukkal’ in the streets of T.Nagar; the typical women-women talk about colors of sarees, jewellery, local family gossip; all her energy boosting talks each time I felt low and depressed…. and so much more. I miss amma so much.
The woman that I admire second in life is my Patti (Mom’s mom). Almost reaching 90, she is an epic by herself. The mother of 9 kids – she has seen and borne so much in life. She is bed-ridden and needs help with every single activity, but whenever you go to meet her you will see her with this big broad smile on her face. She will ask about every single thing about your life. There are 3 generations after her that are alive today and she remembers everything about each of those people. She knows how long it takes me to go to office, who my colleagues are – even met a few of my colleagues in India, how big my apartment is, which area in Mumbai my cousin lives, what is the name of her kamwali bai – all this just sitting on that bed in one dingy room in Adambakkam. It is always a pleasure to talk to her – someone who genuinely cares about you. If you tell her about something you are going to do , say, 3 months later and go and meet her after that – you can be sure that she will ask you about the thing that you were supposed to do. Rarely do you find somebody who is interested in others than always talking about themselves. I miss you Patti – wish there was something more I could do to ease your pains.
And then there are scores of wonderful women I have met in life – my Friends. Each one unique in herself, each one has been or is a significant part in my life, each one with many admirable qualities and each one from whom I have learnt a lot.
So, here’s an ode to all of the womanhood – for without you there would be no ‘Life’ and no meaning in it.