This is what she said to me when I told her ”Amma don’t worry I am here , you take rest” . Little did I know at that moment that Amma is going to rest forever and these would be her last words. It is 10 years ago today she said these parting words to me. I am not sure if I should call myself lucky as I happened to be in India at that time or unlucky that this should have happened at all.
Amma with dad
When I look back and think I could not have got anyone better than her. Today I think I could have been a better child :-). She is patience personified and everyone tells me that they have not seen her being angry even once. Amma is a very special person not only to us but to the entire town she lived in and to the people she knew. She was a doctor by profession and she only knew to give and give and just give. If I had to go for a walk with her, we had to stop every 5 meters as there would be people greeting her and talking to her all the way, some even following us through the walk. I distinctly remember being impatient with her , for always going out of her way to help people. If there was need in the town– she was the first one to be there. I was impatient that she was giving too much of herself (may be I was worried that she should take more care of herself ). But I realised on that day the Sept 2nd 2001, what she gained. There were tens of thousands of people wanting to get the last glimpse of her. I remember atleast 5 to 6, 90+ year old women who could not even barely stand, came all the way from far off villages being carried in chairs and cots to bid her goodbye. Some crying why God had been so cruel that he had to take their daughter away and not them.
Amma and me
A lady from a well known family in the town approached me that night ( the cremation was on the 3rd) and asked if she could sit by my mother along with us that night. She sat all night there and told me that when she was in labor and admitted to the hospital , she was scared to be alone and asked amma if a nurse or someone could be by her side. Later in the night when she woke up she saw my mother sitting in the chair holding her hand and just smiled at her and said – "don’t worry I am here". She wanted to be with amma that last night.
After the 11th day ceremony I called the cook to clear his bill. He just burst into tears and told me – to be able to cook for amma is the least I could do. If not for her I and my family would have been long gone. She just knew what we needed and was always there to help us. He said I am her son , please don’t insult me by offering to pay.
I had several such touching experiences that day. I am more than fortunate to be her biological daughter but then she has earned many of them by virtue of her deeds. More than a doctor she was a mother , daughter, sister to the people of the town and half of their disease would run off by seeing her.
Amma I know you are always with us but I miss you and I miss you dearly.