Mom is a widow now. I feel so disgusted to use that word for mom, but I am left with no option. My dad passed away on August 4th, 2011. That day mom lost the man of her life. Since I am the only daughter, she kind of lost her home (we stayed in a rented house and she did not need it anymore), she lost her family (Only dad and She were a family, I am long married off). I did not know losing a partner would bring in such great changes in her life.
She had always been a simple woman. She never wore anything extravagant but she dressed neatly. She is very good looking but she never did anything extra to enhance it. She hardly wore flowers in her hair. All thanks to the ever lasting migraine attacks of hers. After dad passed away, she stopped wearing even those little flowers she seldom wore in her hair. I forgot to mention she had very long and thick hair. For her age, she still has good hair. I always have asked her to style her hair and wear flowers, but now I understand its never to happen again.
When I go to temple, it has always been a practice to bring home vermillion and flowers and give it to mom. But recently, when I was in the temple with her, I just noticed her not taking vermillion. It was a general practice to put vermilion in the parting of her forehead. But this time, I saw her pick up only viboothi. For a moment I did not understand why she behaved in the strange way she did. Within a flash of a second my dad thoughts came pouring back. He was no more. Mom was not the old mom I had always known.
In all the marriages and other festivals at home, she was the main organiser. She used to do everything, running around everywhere. Although she was shy of the crowd, she was doing everything in the background with great enthusiasm. Everybody talked about Malliga (my mom). She used to look so beautiful in her pattu sari and that bindi and vermillion. Now, she hesitates to come out of the house when a function is going on. One day I suddenly saw her briskly walk into the kitchen of the house. I did not knw why she was doing that? When I asked her, she said she had seen my neighbour uncle stepping out of the house and they were going to see a bride for his son. She did not want them to face her. I know most of you who read this would definitely feel, which century am I talking about? But these are the thoughts instilled in her. And she is silently putting herself through this. In a way even the society is responsible for whatever she is doing.
So many small things about her are so tough to digest. I am so used to seeing her the way I used to and now I am struggling to see her the way she is. Its just not tough, its really really tough. Even small festivals used to bring in so much energy in her. Now she has nobody to cook those dishes for. I cant promise to be with her during all the festivals. Sticking to the old school of thought, she is scared to come and stay with her son-in-law. She is afraid, she might have to hear something from the so-called society. I wonder what would be running in her mind now, when she thinks of all this. I can only pray, GOD give her the strength and GOD give me the strength to see this and endure it. GOD, please set things right for us.