Posted in Drops Of Life

Fragrance Of Memories.

I have decided to add my personal stories in a section here. Most of them are like miracles. Whatever could be grand coincidence I have decided to share here.

Today such a thing happened.

I was buying flowers from a street vendor in Mylapore. I got the three greatest and sweet smelling flowers for my Puja (friday Diya puja) Marugozhundhu, Manoranjitham and Shenbhagam that form the base for many perfumes. Today the woman who sold the flowers said she knew me. I was surprised. She asked me whether I lived in Adam street, Mylapore. I said I could be familiar because I frequented Mylapore my birth place and mother’s home. Of course I grew up in Mylapore.

Then the woman conclusively told me, ‘your paalkaara aayaah was my aayaah. for years she worked for your family. you were young. i used to come to your house with her. you are two sisters. you lost your mother early.’ The woman also called me by name and mentioned our family name – how we are referred to in our community. I was stunned. Then the face slowly became familiar to me. Not familiar actually. I could make a quaint or faint connection that’s all. I remembered the very old lady who fetched milk for us every morning. She had a hunched back. I was too young but her daughter Sokkamma with a polio leg was our housemaid before Kanniamma joined us. Sokkamma was the flower woman’s aunt. I went to Sokkamma’s marriage also somewhere near Tambaram with my parents. My parents got two of our housemaids married. The flower woman said her name was Mahalakshmi. She told me my grandma gave Sokkamma a gold chain for her marriage. Sokkamma’s husband was an alcoholic. She died soon leaving behind a daughter. That daughter Thilaka is now married and well settled. My mother and my grandma used to feel bad for her fate. They were only our house servants but my family deeply cared for them. Mahalakshmi said, that gold chain was with their family for a long time and it helped Sokkamma’s daughter when getting married. I was stunned by the flower seller’s memory. I was also moved to hear about my mother’s and my grandmother’s kind gesture. After Sokkamma, a girl called Kanniamma worked for us. My mother got her married too. In fact she named her daughter, the eldest born, after my mother.

My mother taught hearing and speech impaired middle school girls until the last day of her life. She had a kind of empathy for the lesser fortunate which was unheard of in those days. She was neutral and unbiased. She was far ahead of her times in many ways.

Today is my mother’s 40th death anniversary as per English calendar. I recall this only now and somehow forgot to get it when I was with the flower woman. My mother reaches to me directly. Nobody will believe if I say this. My Mother Goddess reaches to me in a way too that I cannot describe.

Now the time is 11 pm. My mother passed away around 10.30 on July 14, 1982. I observed the thidhi as per Hindu/Thamizh calendar. My sister observed it as per English date today.

Why should of all the days, months and years, I have to meet someone from my past who recalled my mother and grandmother today of all days. Exact day. I have been buying flowers in Mylapore for years and years. Not once have I met this woman before. Never have our paths crossed in 45 plus years. Mahalakshmi said she is 59. Look at her flowers. Her recalling of my name is unbelievable.

An Ambal upasakar told me that my mother did not have rebirth. Today’s incidence is surprisingly having a calming effect on me. Nowadays vibes are getting replaced with a peace in my case. For years I have received strong vibes in waves. Of late as I get older, I have an understanding in my heart that’s all.

This is the second time in a matter of three months, my mother has reached out to me. I don’t even know her really. I am learning more of her through third parties.

My mother was a flower girl who filled our terrace with potted plants such as roses, jasmine, hibiscus. december, kanakambaram, saamandhi etc., that we had no space to walk. Very interested in gardening, she would frequent the Horticulture society that was in Gemini, where she would board her bus back from school. We also bought so much of flowers everyday from street vendors. Roses especially. In the house that my parents built (which is perpetually leased out), my mother planted seven Ceylon (red) coconut trees, mango tree, curry leaf tree etc., and roses and hibiscuses.

My mother helped at least two poorest girls get married when they had nothing. In return Karma saw to that we two daughters married well in her absence.

Years after someone is gone, this is what stays behind. Our good Karma. Thank you so much for reaching out to me Amma. You just told me you are there always for us.

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