My Daily Prayer starts with thanking my Parents immensely with all Gratitude!
My Mother @Srirengam
Today is My Mother’s Remembrance Day and hence this written tribute to a Great Woman,just studied upto 8th std and got married after her elder sister suddenly passed away, without any issues to the very Great Man,my Father!My father with my mother’s elder sister,a rare suited and booted Teacher (see above)
Appa in Suit
In those days young Teenage girls like my mom used to start their life in alien surroundings,without any knowledge of cooking and my father’s mother and my father’s Periamma (picture below )gave all the help to this new entrant, in their Family!
My Periamma Patty used to cook till her death for all of us!My mother was completely protected and taken care of by this Great Lady, we shd remember life long!
Mother’s Love is Gift of God!I have seen her suffering after a Scorpion, caught in her sari,repeatedly bit her and her sufferings!She was carrying too and luckily that offspring died saving my Mother!
My Parents during my Marriage
A woman’s life changes drastically after her husband’s demise!Especially in those days when you have many children and each one is busy minding their own Goals!
In 1974, I cdn’t recover from the shock of my beloved Father’s untimely demise, for quite sometime when I asked my mother ‘what shd I do for her!’ She said in one word:”I can never live in Ramnad after having lived like a Princess all my life.You take steps to get this house disposed off and gve me the amnt.Let not any of you(6 of us)bother about me!”
Our Ramnad House
I took power of attorney for my borther and elder sister,took all younger sisters to Sub Registrar’s office Ramnad and handed over the amnt to her!
She single handedly went and bought a house next to the Srirengam Temple,in West Uthara Street and decided to live a lonely life!I used to visit her often but she never ever bothered to show the Registration documents of that house and I used to make fun of her that ‘ it is certainly Not in her Name!’
My mother used to always wear’ Madisar ‘and preferred to lead a simple lonely life in Srirengam for 25 yrs.but I used to visit her atleast 4 times in a year with my kids!
Those were the happiest days in my life as I used to take my kids to Kolladam River, after buying vegetables on the Roadside for an excellent bath and by the time we come back,my mother wd have made a very tasty Kuzhambu and Rasam Satham in her ‘Kumutty Aduppu!’ I used to have a great sleep after lunch there!
Once, as the CEO of TTKs Tantex,I came from Tanjore factory in my car.We used to have a well Dressed Chauffeur, Dressed in White with a British style Hat too and I thought my mother wd be so proud, to receive me! My mother’s house was inside the West Uthara Street at a blind end and I parked the car and greeted her.She came from the backyard and to my surprise,she wasn’t too happy to see the car!She asked me to pay the Chaffeur and send him back somewhere,which I did!First thing before dinner she said :”See Don’t bring the car hereafterwards here!I am living a very very simple life and all my people shdn’t know that my son is a Big shot..it doesn’t help me as I can’t afford to pay the servant maids if they raise their demands.So Never do that!”
I said ‘Ok Ma”Thereafterwards I never used to bring Tantex car but occasionally I wd drive in my car all the way from Madras!Every time I used to visit,she used to be so affectionate to my kids,as her Love for my kids can never be Quantified! When my elder Daughter, Charu got the prestigiousCecil Goshin Shieldfrom Trinity College of Music, they gave it in Style at the British Council, Madras. I wanted my mother to be present which she was reluctant initially but on my insistence she attended and was seated along with the Britishers !When Charu received the Shield and came and hugged my mother,one cd imagine her Happiness!
Charu,Sharmi after an award ceremony at British High Commission
Both won man awards from Trinity college London in Piano
(Please see my mother behind looking at us)
In 1986 when TV was just getting introduced,there was only one TV if I remember correctly, EC TV and during that visit,she asked me whether I cd get a TV for her ?I said “For you I do anything Ma!”I got it delivered and during my next visit I saw almost all her neighbours along with their kids watching TV,to the happiness of my Mom!She said “I got this only for them as they want to see Movies and watch Cricket!”
She used to visit me atleast once or twice a year,without any notice!We had a Dog in our house,and she was dead scarred of Dogs.On the very first day,Shadow,my Dog understood her command and always used to sit in the Balcony,whenever she was around and my mother used to admire:”Such a brilliant Dog!I wish some humans have such brilliance and affection!”
Sharmi and Shadow
She used to scold me with authority…but she always used to say while entering my house..”I am coming here not to see you,your wife,Sarasa only!”as she was most affetionate to my wife who cared for her and took care of my last two sisters, after my Father’s demise!
One day we drove to Srirengam after a Diagnosis that she was suffering from Throat Cancer!While we were leaving(normally she refused to come with us in the Car to Madras)she told me :”Keep my bag also in the Car!”
“Are you coming with me Amma?”
“I have already decided that I wd die only in Sarasa’s hands!”
I used to make Coffee for her everyday in the morning and sit by her side and spend a nice time,cracking jokes!One day she wanted me to go and see the Srirengam house and she quoted a figure which I laughed it off!When I visited to decide a Buyer,I saw virtually a long Queue from NRI’s to Jeer’s representatives to Retd IAS,all begging me to fix any price but give them the house…There was one Kannan Iyengar who met me and said “Sir,we are basically Cooks.I am settled in Madras and we cook for all TVS groups.This is my son who is here!My Grandfather used to make ‘Puliyotharai’ and”Thayir Satham’ and go and sell at Rockfort everyday!This fellow is looking after that business and we think he shd have a house of his own to continue in that Business!I was moved by their Frankness andfinalised the deal,to my mother’s immense satisfaction!
One day when I was taking Coffee, in the morning, with her I wept uncontrollably looking at her sufferings!
She told me :”Why are you Weeping?Do you know how much I suffer!If you imagine, a room full of the Hottest Chllies and I am sitting inside,that much agony, I am undergoing!So if you REALLY LOVE ME,PRAY TO GOD TO TAKE ME IMMEDIATELY!DON’T THINK ABOUT SENTIMENTS!”
That was a Thursday!I sincerely Prayed to Mahaperiyava to spare my Mother from all the sufferings! She passed away peacefully on Monday Morning,the 29th Of November’1999!All my staff from my Co FLORENTIA FASHIONS Ltd gave a nice send off!
I can never forget her special love and affection for me and my kids! She used to Systematically send New Year Greetings like this every year:
Amma’s New year Greetings
If I have built the OP Ward Block at the Hindu Mission Hospital,Tamabaram in my parents name,it is just to perpetuate their memory, for the Great kindness, showered by them, not only on me but on many more deserving Poor!
Kamala Rajah Iyer Block,Hindu Mission Hospital
Rajah Iyer Block,Hindu Mission Hospital,Thambaram
OP Ward Hindu Mission Hospital,Thambaram