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Maa tujhe salaam

12 May '24
3 min read


Trying to get my hair into place before i left for work , what seemed quite fine , looked dishevelled a tiny bit a lil later , a couple of strands proving bad hair days are as  prevalent even in the golden years . The whims continue ,  be it at  5 or 55 ! Trust me . 
To think of all the hair insecurities I had as I grew up and how much I hassled mom into plaiting and re-doing them  even at lunch time, when she came with lunch for me at school  , for some reason I wanted my plaits to be at their tightest best , maybe i thought they would just fall off ! For putting up with my strange whims each time , मां तुझे सलाम ! 
For going back and forth , dropping me , coming with lunch and again to pick me back home , मां तुझे सलाम! 
Amma , for the times you squatted on the floor with a newspaper spread out trying to get the soot from the wicks cleaned to get the kerosene stove running , all without a whimper , मां तुझे सलाम! 
For the almost everyday " Fanta " treats after school , without you even taking a sip , मां तुझे सलाम! Never was I even given an inkling that with a single earning member , this may have been tough on the purse strings .
For all my whims you gave in to , be it buying comics to read , or later , let me experiment with the camera , funding for the rolls and exposures without a hesitation , मां तुझे सलाम!
Those long walks you had to take to the flour mill for those days we didn't have the pleasure of an online order or even ready wheat flour , sometimes to get the ration rice polished to make it edible , मां तुझे सलाम! 
For birthing my sibling in your early forties ,  squatting down a day before the big day , churning buttermilk ,  मां तुझे सलाम! 
For dropping off chota Bhai to school , picking him up on time , for keeping dad's lunch ready in time before the डब्बा वाला arrived , मां तुझे सलाम!
मा तुझे सलाम , for accompanying me for my degree admission when the college conveniently goofed up , making my place of birth as out of state and leaving me a student of their very college , high and dry .
Wonder if you ever got your " me " time , a full packed day with family and children , doing the routine , day in day out with an occasional visit to maika at Mumbai . For being content , without any demands ever ,  मां तुझे सलाम!
For braving it out with a quiet strength , always,  in supporting your partner be the " family man" , taking care of his parents , siblings , their children ,  letting your partner give back  when time came , without enforcing , perhaps knowing all along he would someday , मा तुझे सलाम ! 
Both Bhai and I can't be vocal , we tend to  hold back , but you , despite having lost a partner of almost 58 years , have held on. 
For having held on , मां तुझे सलाम!



Category : Personal Experience


Written by Poornima Nalkoor