It may be broken with dust
It may lost it’s beauty and strength
It is precious and too valuable to me
Cause it was her throne
She ruled this home
On sitting in that chair.
She loved that chair as her kid
She passed her leisures and passed orders from her throne
It is broken a chair and
It recollects my mother’s handicapped legs
To think her forever,
We will preserve
This chair forever.
I knew my mother
Had fed me her very blood
For all infants suckle;
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
After I relished the wonderful
Dish of spicy fish
That she had cooked in the day
And had waited without partaking it
To serve me first;
After I returned.
I spotted the wound
On her hand,
Where the fish-bones had drawn her blood
And now was hurting painfully
And I knew that for a second time
She’d willingly given her blood to feed me.
And then I sat in awe
As I realized
This may not have been
Just the second time.
It had looked to me always like some kind of a furnace
Designed for some kind of sacred ritual;
Before the noisy ‘pump’ stove that gave us arm-aches
Before the ‘wick’ and kerosene model that made our fingers burn with blisters
Trying to pull up the wicks through the metal tubes.
Before the sparkling stainless steel
‘Best Flame’ came to my mother’s Kitchen
After many years of a better income.
The simple firewood stove made out of bricks and cement
And a coat of ‘Gobi’*
Meal after meal she made upon it,
Ignoring watering eyes and pouring sweat,
Complaint-less, performing the sacred ritual of preparing
Food for her family.
Every year a day before the 10th of Muharram**
After her evening prayers,
The stove was given a fresh coat of red mud-paste
To herald in the New Year***;
The color stuck to her hands for days…
And in my memory
All these years.
* Gobi – Whitewash with yellow pigment in it; the overall effect is orange
** 10th of Muharram : considered the heralding of the Muslim New Year.
Considered an auspicious date for new beginnings
*** New Year : the 10th of the month of ‘Muharram’ marks the beginning of the
Muslim New Year in the Islamic Calendar
Mother, Dear Mother
You have given me life
From the time of my birth
To this moment of my life.
Mother, Dear Mother
I’ve always looked upon you
Wherever I am
Whoever I am.
Mother, Dear Mother
Come closer to me
So that I can
Just hug you with glee.
Mother, Dear Mother
Don’t ever cry
‘coz it is your smile
That makes me jive.
Mother, Dear Mother
Don’t ever worry
‘Coz I’m always yours
And you’re always mine.
Oh! My Dear Mother, I Love you
while I groan, she be with me;
her lovely hand goes through my hair,
Its feel, very serenity to my mind
She is an Angel of my way,
I love you – My dear MAMMA.
When I draw near with dead beat, she comes
and sit with me, as a ally.
There stars, that buffs on the Milkyway,
she, the vein of in my heart.
Her fairly affable,
and the radiance
that glows in my mind.
She is my vigor,
to reign in my life.
Every kick, the cause of pricking pain,
Treated, just as another assurance.
Every movement, brings tears to the eyes
Yet there’s joy, only meaning in existence.
Gathering all energy, all the strength
To generously bear kick after kick
Body shivering cold; eyes filled with hope
Clenching fists, biting teeth, as seconds tick.
Pushing hard against the wall of death
Laying claim to life, like thy own
Fear sets in, never of life; but
For life within life and all dreams known.
I took you to the jaws of death
Taking pains; to the world, you brought me in.
Forgive me, mother, I never knew
I had committed my first sin.
(I take fantasy flights to the higher world of planets and stars
and the lower world of bacteria in the virtual reality of print and electronic media,
and return, now and then, to Mother Earth and ask her,
to Give me a fistful grains of sanity for my survival.)
My Earth begins here
From the soil below my feet
Wherever when I’m there.
Up ‘n up the vision ascending
Round ‘n round horizons holding
High ‘n high on Himalayas’ cliff.
Here, the ego of rumbling cliff ocean
Dissolve, evaporate now and then
Vanish in the soil, in the air.
Enough is the warmth in heart
To embrace new horizons;
Expands my selfhood now and then.
Sound bond with the soil holds
Whole Earth in a quarter of a ‘roti’;
Recognition retained in a square foot
Soil below my feet.
(Translation from the original in Marathi by the author)
1. ‘Fistful of grain’: In my native village until fifty years ago there were no beggars.
Only the mendicants, ascetics, sadhus came to the households asking for alms.
They were offered at least a fistful of grains, not coins.
There was not much of currency. Now there are rich as well as poor beggars everywhere.
2. ‘Roti’: is Indian flat bread baked on burnt clay or iron plate, usually concave in shape.
Mother is the source and symbol of love for mankind;
Mother’s day helps to remember the value of her duty;
She does everything without expecting anything in return;
So, the image of mother is the personification of love.
Assisting Sri Aurobindo, Mira Alfassa became the mother
To materialise his philosophy for the salvation of mankind;
To set his life divine in action, she laid the foundation; and
Auroville, the city of dawn brings humanity to live together.
Before his mother, Christ endured torture before crufixion;
His body blood blotted out by her in the clothe bore his image,
To reveal his personality ever to the posterity in the world;
By doing so the mother has become the God first before God.
Lakshmi, Sakti and Saraswati symbolise wealth, power and knowledge
Only Mother Earth bears the brunt of war and violence of mankind;
For everything mother comes first before the realisation of man;
So, without the hen, how could the egg have come into the world?
Oh my mother your children fights for your crown
They are blind when the crown shines brighter
They fight each other when they’re blind
They try to gouge out each of their eyes in vengeance
They fight for their own mother’s crown
Mother looks helplessly at her children
She wanted to bequeath her crown to her children
But alas she got only one crown but many children
To whom should she hand over the crown and put him on the throne?
Mother got this dilemma and children started wrangling
None of her children thought it looks much better on their mother’s head
As it decorates their loveable mother
One day thereon mother said to her wrangling children
Do away with this crown and threw it in a turbulent sea
In the midst of the preying eyes of their children
The sea swallowed it at one stroke
They started cursing their mother in one voice
Mother is happy as they forgot their fighting for a while
I have more precious thing to give you than the crown
It is invaluable than anything in the world
If you invest it more your returns will be more
It is more powerful and never fades
I can share it to all of you my children
What’s it? What’s it? Children asked in one voice
It is flowing in your body invisibly
It is there in all your body in your veins and in your blood
That’s my love to you my children
The purity of which you cannot measure
I share with you my love and you share your love with me and every one
It has gone to the deaf ears
Her children said in one voice
Do away with what you got
Keep it with you and we don’t want it
And all of them jumped into the deep sea
In search of the mortally precious crown
None of her children returned back with the crown
All of them drowned in the sea with their greed
They forgot the invaluable possession
The mother’s immortal love
That’s the precious thing than anything else in the world
She is waiting for you
She want to breast feed you
And tell you in your ears the mantra of love
Nothing else but mother’s love
Long live mother’s Love
Ma, you have been silent
all these years
suddenly you are talking to me
I don’t know why.
All I have of you
is a framed face
in black and white, taken
you were so indisposed.
I thought of placing you
amongst Gods and Goddesses
but your smile-
subtle and mystic
looks so full of life.
The eyes, ever so conversant
eagerly tell me stories
of forgotten times
like when I came to you
pregnant with my first child,
and you laughed at me
the way I talked to the newborn.
It isn’t easy to know
looking at your eyes
you were in pain.
They convey to me many things
But, Ma, I don’t understand these signs.
Don’t leave me mixed up
with the matters of dead.
I am still alive.
O lovely home-maker;
The soap of joy she lathers,
Whilst the sinister fire she smothers.
It’s his goal, yet SHE ran,
For behind every man is a woman.
She may fondle, she may chide,
Only to be an eternal guide-
By the day she works harder and harder,
Just to prove none but ‘woman’ is the best manager!
The sun came in from the same window,
pale peach dawn on her still face.
People moved in and out of the room
in hushed hesitance.
I did not know if she was aware,
that I sang
her favorite bhajans of Meera,
and expected her to nod in approval.
She was still breathing. I was sure
the notes trickled in with her breath.
As Meera sang to Krishna
in spiritual frenzy
my mother must have slipped away.
Her journey took a few hours,
but it gave me some respite
singing to her one last time
what she had taught me…
in emotive, modulated voice.
Musically it sounded so correct,
and the moment was just.
Only, I yearned to know if she had heard.
Once the rose among the thorns,
You are now the ‘Rose beyond the wall’ my Mother,
Where now you are walking so tall,
Wise and confident,
Instead of head bowed down, so small.
I remember you my Mother,
Electric shock treatment, cigarettes and all.
The fire poker which beat you so small.
The shoes that battered and bruised your head to your soul.
The hours, the days, the years that were stolen
By all that destroyed
Your love, your life, your dance, your smile,
The bride in you, the dancer in you,
The woman in you, the mother in you,
Joy, once robbed, has now been gained,
Where now you walk so tall,
There’s a sudden vacuum
An unprepared for absence
It had to happen ,we all knew
But who expected it this soon, just now?
I feared making long trips home
At unexpected, importunate hours
But mom quit life so soon
Even before I made the first long trip.
I may lose many loved
Even bosom friends so dear
But none will I miss so much
As entirely, totally devoted mother.
Home is no more the same home
It’s charm is gone, it’s no longer so warm
Folks at home will still care
But a thin veil has dropped from above.
Mothers deliver us at birth on this earth
After sheltering us for long, heavy months
And when they leave for their eternal home
They carry a part of us as baggage.
It’s hard to believe that you are entering your seventies soon
You still seem to me the sweet mother of yore.
You’ve sweat blood for us, for me and brothers two,
With father by your side, as a pillar of support, true.
Even now as I think of the way you’ve toiled
Balancing your work between office and home,
My eyes turn wet for the care so perfect.
At the expense of your health you have worked for our best,
Caring not for rest, duty always first.
And now that you are old, your children well-settled,
Each leading their own lives, in the way they think is best,
It makes us proud to feel that shattered dreams of yours
You’ve never thrust on us.
Bad times you’ve tided, with all the courage in the world
You’ve always been for us, a friend, philosopher and guide.
Your zest for learning things, with age being no bar,
Has always inspired us, me and brothers too.
And now at the zenith of your life, you are the guiding light of our life
Basking in the warmth of your love, we’ll walk the path you have laid
Remembering one thing in our minds-
“How famous to become, we will think not of that,
How best we make of life, is what will matter most.”
(A tribute to my mother – On her sixty-ninth birthday)