'In memory of my Mamma'

Shobha Shukla
It has been one year since you left us. And yet not a day has gone by when your invisible, but all pervading, presence was not felt by us. You had touched the lives of not only your near ones but even those who had never met you personally and had heard about you through common friends.

Strangely, during this one year I never ever felt the urge to mourn your loss, rather your remembrance fills my mind with peace and an indescribable calm.

You just seem to be here, there and everywhere, as always. You invariably pop up in conversations with people whose lives you had touched and transformed in different ways—someone who had confided in you a year ago about his girl friend and is soon going to marry her (his parents came to know about this only recently); another who would always pour out her heart’s woes to you and then feel relieved; yet another who wished you were there to put some sense into the fanatically traditional minds of his family; your colleagues who miss your sane advises in a world of chaos; your students who shared those personal secrets with you which they hid from their parents-- list can go on and on.

You taught us to celebrate life in its myriad forms, in a variety of ways— singing songs of the seasons with gay abandon; lending your ears to others; offering a cup of tea to strangers; enjoying the company of rebellious teenagers—and all this without even a whisper of your own (and at times intense) physical pains. Your zest for life was infectious and breathed new energy and vitality in distraught and distressed minds.

You lived gracefully all by yourself, despite a crippling arthritis, and never ever depended upon anyone else. It was others like me who looked upto you for solace and who were inspired by you to fight all odds smilingly.

On this day I pray silently and rejoice for having spent so many precious moments in your company. I indeed feel blessed to have had you and Daddy as my parents, even though I might have failed both of you somewhere down the line.


Shobha Shukla
11 September 2014