Life… Learning and Loving

Mom was unwell some months back…She had to be rushed to the emergency room… As she lay there on the hospital bed, a tangle of IV lines fed her body with a concoction of life-saving medicines… I spent hours by her bedside, taking turns with other family members in rotation.

Sitting alone with time to spare, I started sketching the complex IV pole and the various bags of medicines that hung from it…

The highly skilled and professional nurse came along and peeped over my shoulder, her curiosity piqued at seeing what I was drawing…We had a conversation… Below are the images of what transpired and what took me completely by surprise as I opened the unexpected courier she sent me months later… πŸ’•
I realised that no matter where one is, it is important to stay true to oneself and ones observation of happenings around … Our perspective can give someone else a new way of seeing… πŸ™πŸ˜Š

#LifeLessons #artmatters #heartmatters #journaljourney #travelogues #asketchaday

Knits and Knots of LoveΒ 

Some of the most cosy additions in my winter wardrobe have been knitted for me by my Mom in law 😊.

There are booties in various colours and shawls in brilliant red and emerald green. I have entire woollen bed spreads made by Mom one patch at a time, at the bookshop that she manages ever so efficiently. She loves keeping her brood warm and we love this about her.

The recepients of her woollen creations range from foreigners who visit the shop and fall in love with what she is giving finishing touches to, to distant relatives who keep reminding her that they are still in queueπŸ˜ƒ.

Mom never says no, and nor does she hasten. In her own pace, with her own joy, she just labours away calmly.

Bit by bit she has created entire bedspreads plus cushion covers for all her grand children. They lie beautifully wrapped in her meticulously kept cupboard, waiting for the time they can be gifted. 😊

She has been known to undo ten inches of a sweater because she spots an aberration in her knit 😢. Restarting something is never an issue with her. But living with a less than perfect creation, is.

In the winter, when I wrap around me, a beautifully perfect shawl knitted by her, I am instantly warmed, not so much by the wool as by her love that I feel surrounding me… 😍

#mom #love #warmth #knitting

Vintage Love… 😁🌼

I remember chiffon in pastel shades with roses in Lavender and Mauve…strappy footwear to match, and perfume… exotic and luxurious… impeccable, coiffeured hair and a regal carriage. That was my mom going for an officers party with my dad. An effortless head-turner who wore her charm like a cape of elegance. 

When age demanded that she give up her pencil heels for Doctor Scholls slippers, she fought tooth and nail with her doctor, it didn’t help that she had an Orthopedic surgeon for a son😊.

These were her vintage purses. She put a dainty, fragrant, lace handkerchief in it, maybe be a lipstick, but I cannot be sure.

On a recent visit to her, I became the proud, albeit unworthy recipient of her gorgeous purses. I have neither the charm nor her panache to carry them.

She told me to keep them safely for the one person who could do justice to them… And then I got a surprise call from my daughter asking me if ‘Naani’ had left something precious of hers with me, and I couldn’t help thinking, Yes! Her genes! 😁

Mothers and Mothering πŸ˜Š

I was fifteen when we shifted into our own home. My mom and I. 

I had a room to myself for the first time and I was given enough choice and freedom to choose my own colors and decorate it the way I wanted 😊. 

I painted my bathroom wall with this sprig of flowers. Even today the instructions to the cleaning lady is to just dust it and never use a harsh detergent on it. It looks the same as it did when I made it three decades ago! 

My mom’s home is full of my paintings, but nothing gives her more joy that this one, done spontaneously by her teenaged daughter, who had stars in her eyes, a deep love for nature and painting and no idea what to do with it. 

This one wall reaffirms for me just how much someone’s faith can give power to us…

Everytime I have an exhibition I think of this wall and relive my journey… My mom never rubbed it off, given that she is a stickler for cleanliness, somewhere she saw in me, the seeds of something that I was unaware of… And she nurtured it, without saying a word… 

In believing in me she gave me the greatest gift she ever could…. That of believing in myself… 😊

Mothers… 😊

Just the simple ritual of hand-beaten coffee before the moms leave for Doon has an unusual sanctity…. We all wait for it…The tray is laden with their favourite snacks and mugs of coffee dispensed. They sip, we discuss myriad topics, their gentle presence adding to the serene atmosphere of the room where they have been room mates for a few days 😊… I admire them unabashedly.. Their beauty, their comfort with each other, their honesty and their strength…

And then they leave. Neat bags all zipped up, smart handbags well arranged with their daily needs, and off they go in a whiff of some floral perfume that they love!


She took one last look in the mirror to make sure her hair was in place, smiled and turned to leave. I observed her immaculate attire. Everything was matching to perfection. There was nothing in her demeanour to suggest that she was headed to the hospital. A new day had to be accorded the respect it deserved, she always maintained.

We were driven to the nursing home where mother was to have a small procedure to check the working of her heart. Palpitations some days back had got everyone worried. While the cardiologist was optimistic, so was mom.

I`ll be back in ten minutes and we`ll have a hot coffee together, she assured me as she was wheeled to the OT. We clicked some pictures of her in the smartly tailored hospital outfit. She liked the style and might get some night suits stitched when she got back home.

My mother has been a walker most of her adult life, an independent walker, one who depends on no one for company but herself. She has scant regard for weather or season. Be it peak winter, summer or rains, she can be spotted somewhere on the road, post 5 am, humming her prayers, smiling at fellow walkers, a hello here and a Namaste there. She even pauses to ask the regular beggars outside the temple as to how they are faring, paying for their tea occasionally. She loves the way her day begins and how she welcomes it. The silence and the bird songs both enthral her in equal measure. She is a true lover of life, one who celebrates every moment with warmth and smiles.

The ten minute wait at the nursing home soon turns to two hours. News trickles out from the Operation Theatre that two major arteries are blocked and stenting is in progress. This is a complete shock for everyone. The morning is not rosy any longer. Everyone waiting for her can sense the tension in the room. She would have hated this atmosphere, I remember thinking. She, who loved joy and lightness of spirit over anything remotely serious.

Two painful days in ICU and mother’s back in the room. All the curtains are pulled back so that she can see the trees and relish the rain drenching them. Her only question to the doctor is regarding her discharge. As the last canulla is removed from her horribly punctured arms, she is eager to wear her freshly laundered clothes and head out, she takes a step out and then turns to me, she gives me a tight hug and says, β€œThank you for being there for me. I have to greet a brand new day with a brand new heart. Do you have a lipstick on you?”