Watching and rewatching a slide show of pictures from my twin’s birthday party, I noticed my GMail Inbox tab had a (1) next to it indicating a new mail. Smiling, I checked to see a note from my good old friend saying “Amma rocks!!! You must write a piece only on her.”
I was taken aback a moment. Each time I looked at the pictures I searched her out peeking in some corner looking as content and happy as I did. And it made me happy. So when this note came in, I knew I had to write.
The Amma I knew growing up was such a different person. Saddled with the identities of being a wife, mom, daughter in law and daughter, she made choices that seldom had her best interests at the top. As much as she was the epitome of what a typical mami next door would be there are some things that stand out in my mind. Even when my feminist views were at odds with her practical world view, I could sense she was every inch as spirited as I was. When her mom needed her, she quietly made space in our home for her. No drama. Just like that Paati was a part of our home one day.
In the two plus years since Appa passed away, I see a different side to Amma. One who is slowly discovering herself and her views. An Amma who seeks out an author she regards highly in some remote outskirts of Chennai. All because her writings had one day inspired her. An Amma who confidently trades stocks and manages her day-to-day life without depending on her children. An Amma who now feels confident jet setting between two worlds.
Late last year when I first shared with her that K and I would be adopting and the child will in all probability be of a different race, her reaction heartened me. She took a while to digest what I had just said and over the next few weeks became my ambassador to the rest of the family.
When Kay and Cee became her grand daughters, she embraced them slowly, falling in love with every passing day. I would smile when she proudly announced she had a new wallpaper of the twins on her desktop or express fears about if the girls would warm up to her. Fast forward a few weeks and then some, the girls now fall asleep on her lap or hold up their arms to be held. It amazes me to see the distance she has come.
So, here is my ode to the amazing woman who is my mom and the grand mom to my children. Amma you rock!