Good times are short-lived; good times fly by ;( reminds me of the Kingfisher Airlines advert here, ha!!).Talking about times that are good and cherished, the week’s journey to back home and amongst familiar faces, while refraining from the less desirable only enhanced the time spent with the rest( a few, importantly C & A may comment on my being brusque and candid for comfort).
Well there was plenty of spirit, the cherished and the enchanting Glen Livet Single Malt and the lesser cousins of the desi variety; plenty of food especially the daily lunch- the bewitching dishes of the Mallu kind that was cooked by one of the most favorite- mom!( chembavari choru,ayala curry, erusheri, avail, chura vattichathu, netholi curry, pullinkari……”).
Tucked in at the corner of the sprawling lawn of the TVM club and in the much cooler air of the night fiercely protected even from rains by the thick overhead canopy of the huge mahogany trees twice my age if not more, I sat and reflected back at the years and stared helplessly at the fact that, a decade and few years more from now, I will be a septuagenarian. Insipid or is it helplessly hastening fact? The less comforting matter of commencing a life midstream or when towards into the rapids- changing course midstream and more perilously because it is closer to the falls!
“(a + b)2 = a2 + 2ab + b2.” He said aloud and I was startled from the stark dream- thought I briefly had slid into. He did refer to his late mother even the previous day when he dropped by at home after knowing of my being in town. I could sense some controlled emotion in him when the topic of discussion was about her and the mess the super-specialty hospital in Thpuram ravaged upon her and in the bargain certainly hastening her passing.
“The difficulty is that I miss her much more amongst the seven of us, perhaps more because of the fact that since I was little I was living with her. The void is quite sore even though she died at a good ripe age.” he said. “The amazing fact was her knowledge of math and her adroitness in algebra even while she was bedridden. You see she was from the old school education and thorough in what she learned that she often used to correct my son in his homework. She used to answer in a trice to our question in jest, what is (a+b) 2.She would say with a wry smile a2 + 2ab + b2.”
“Well she was quite fortunate, she lived a good life, she bore seven children, reared them well and also traveled a fair bit outside India – to Rome in particular where my sister took her once.” He was pensive.
“I guess she lived fairly long after you father’s demise?” I asked.
“Yes, yes she did thirty five years!” he replied.
And he continued, “She sometimes reminisced with satisfaction what father told her when she expressed to him once her fear of her old age, that since the Christian succession laws disqualified married Christian women from inheritance- assets of their paternal or maternal family, she may find it tough in old age from the lack or deficit of financial independence. It was a tough task for them as you can imagine, bringing up seven children and of which there were three girls who had to be married away.He told her this that proved reassuring and a fact, 'I have given you seven children and if not all seven at least one of them will take care of you till your last day', She was indeed taken care by all!”