Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Happy Fiftieth To You

It’s your birthday today, the first one that you won’t be celebrating with the rest of us. Its funny how, as a child, I never considered the possibility that parents have birthdays too. I selfishly assumed that being born and being celebrated for one’s birth is a privilege accorded only to children. Parents were too old and worldly wise to need, or even to appreciate, such trivial things as birthdays. But today I feel the need to wish you a happy birthday, to celebrate your life, your love, all that you gave to me that I cannot even begin to understand. Its crazy how most of the time I don’t even realize how much I miss you. But sometimes that part of my mind that stays quiet most of the time catches up with me to remind me of the things that are important and the people who matter. The last two nights I dreamed of you, not as you were for the last two years, but as you used to be when I was a child. You always did have an unbelievable amount of energy and life in you, and such incredible bluster that the rest of the world never got to know how fearful you always were, of just about everything. It was only as I grew older that I saw your vulnerability and appreciated your grace. You taught me integrity, the importance of detail, the meaning of multitasking long before it became jargon, how to cook, how to love new clothes, how to be obsessive about cleanliness. You also passed on to me a complete disregard about what other people thought. It was quite an experience being your child, you know.

Then you became my child. I hated it, completely. I wasn’t prepared, and I didn’t have the capability to slip into the new role gracefully. I protested, rather ungratefully, and I know it hurt you. Kids are selfish, you know? They aren’t really programmed to think about anything apart from themselves. Sometimes I wonder how things would’ve been if I’d been a little older, a lot wiser.

Anyway, some time has passed, and the recriminations inside my head have mostly stopped. I think I’ve realized that thinking that I could’ve changed everything had I done something differently is being too presumptuous about my role in the larger scheme of things, that life and death are so much bigger than you and I and what we do or fail to do. When you were around I hardly told you how much I love you, but now I’ve gained perspective enough to say it. Last night in my dream you told me that you miss me too. I honestly hope that you meant it, I think I’m quite miss-able, don’t you think? Don’t worry about us, you’ve trained us well. We’ll manage to survive, and then some. You’ll see. I hope there is cake wherever you are, and lots of it. And now, something I think I want to dedicate to you. Its been preying on my mind these last couple of weeks, and till just now I didn’t realize why. It’s for you.

See the stone set in your eyes,
See the thorn twist in your side,
I wait for you.

Sleight of hand and twist of fate,
On a bed of nails she makes me wait,
And I wait without you.
With or without you.

Through the storm we reach the shore,
You give it all but I want more,
And I’m waiting for you.
With or without you.
I can’t live, with or without you.

And you give yourself away,
And you give, and you give,
And you give yourself away….

Happy 50th birthday, Ma.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

yo! words really fail me here.. honestly dunno wat 2 say.. well.. tc.. hugs! luv ya loads!

another brick in the wall said...

u hav the cake too sweets! take care.. hugs 4 u :)

heh? ok said...

@ anon/brick
thankee.

Anonymous said...

1. first here are loads of hugs
2. u don't need to say all the time 'i love you', love shows itself when its there, so dont feel bad about not saying it!she knew it!
3.there is cake where she is, and at the cost of sounding very corny, they are always there around you.
4. more hugs....
:) lou u!

ninkita said...

now i know.

btw, all those pranic thingys say that if you dreamt of her then she really was around, so if she said she misses you then she really does.. people who love you never leave you all alone. HUGGGGGGGGGGG you!!!

heh? ok said...

@ anon
1. thankee!
2. saying it sometimes is nice, especially on birthdays.
3. i know.
4. aw, thankee again!
:)

@ nin
i know baba, i just needed to talk, so i did. Huggg back!

raghu said...

i think ill start wishing my mother happy birthday. start buying her gifts. i always took pride in the fact that i did not remember her birthday (which in fact i never did).

you know it, they are always there,with us, within us, sometimes we'd just do things to please them.. the best part is when you know your right and the world says no, you hear a faint voice that slowly gets louder and claims you to be right. that feeling makes life worth while. the fact that someone still understands you.

they i feel are now our conscience, our heart, our innocence, our shadow. one can always reject their presence and move on, that i believe is unfair, not just on them but on ourselves too, id love to be with them and let myself feel their presence. i wont deprive myself of it.

and the mistakes you think you've made.. the times you've hurt them.. i cannot comment upon.

many words you've in your poem, the storm, the shore, thorn , stone, fate.. all must be having a personal meaning to you.. thats what makes poetry so encrypted.. and thats what makes vague poetry fun.
but a passing reader may fail to understand the significance of every word.. he may take it for well romanticized words.. used buy eminent poets, explained by teachers.

each word may mean different to you.. than what it means to me.

anyway i can't believe you blogged about it.

and i'm glad you found me.

heh? ok said...

@ raghu
i can't quite believe it either, but i'm glad i did. and you're too deep for a 17 year old. as far as the poetry is concerned, i think we should give u2 a lil bit of credit for writing the song, na? :P

as far as finding you is concerned, you found yourself, i just happened to be there.

raghu said...

deep?
no. I am just 5 cm thick! :P

how on earth did u figure out why u2 wrote the song?

Quicksilver! said...

This is a very touching post, S. The words are saturated with overwhelming love, regret, gratitude and so many more emotions.
Happy Birthday S’s Mum.

heh? ok said...

@ raghu
its common knowledge actually.

@ quicksilver
thankee, from both of us. :)

arunabh said...

touche :)
There is actually nothing in the world tht can substitute a mother's love.
You actually used the Joshua tree song to provide a perfect ending to the post.Btw the song has been used in the most weird situations... i remember it being used in the movie Blown Away when they were making a bomb

heh? ok said...

@ arunabh
making a bomb? hmm, that's not even being weirdly creative, just weird. and i'm on a bono trip right now, everything he says connects with some part of my life or the other.

dobereinerr said...

A Mother's love, is a Mother's love. Unspoken, undemanding, unending. There truly is nothing like it. And you aren't the only one, who'd taken it for granted, you know... So don't be too hard on yourself. She does miss you, just as sure as she loves you. And she's there with you still, in her loving spirit.
A Happy Birthday to her, and redemption for you.
A tight hug. Take care.

raghu said...

btw, Sangys mom, Sangy dont just take care of her selves and survives but she teaches others to live as well!

and also i bet your moms takin bath in cake now :P

Atul said...

Hi Sangy
Well she will always miss a wonderful kid like you..
I know we are not programmed to do what our parents have done for us but yes sitll we do it in our own ways..We may look to be very rude from outside because it is something very unexpected that we have to handle at times but at the end of the day we do it because we love them and that is what you did for your mom, but yes in your own way..
You also must have been very sad from your heart which may have made you a bit rude at times but at the end of the day you were the one who took care of her..
I know we can never repay what our parents give us but yes we can always make them feel proud of ourselves by doing good thing like maybe writing such beautiful blogs for them..
I bet she will be reading your post somewhere and feeling very proud to have a wonderful kid like you..

heh? ok said...

@ dobereinner
you're right about how moms are, and i hope you're also right about everything else. thanks for the hug :)

@ raghu
bathing in cake? i doubt it :P

@ atul
well, i just wanted to give her something beautiful that day.

Anonymous said...

thanks for revealing such an intimate part of u sangy...respect u ever more for what uve faced...and yet having retained ur sweetness and cheer - geek

heh? ok said...

@ anon
thank you, i like the 'sweetness and cheer' too, hehe. one can be in despair for only so long i guess :)

Atul said...

Believe me Sangy you have been successful in that. Its probably the best gift someone can give to a mom...keep it up lady..
God will bless you for true and innocent feelings and you should not think again that you were not a good daughter as from what you have written it shows that you were what many of us can't be..

raghu said...

very few people have read this actually.. its a little weird concept.. but i like it.

http://abbeblah.blogspot.com/2006/06/rebirth_17.html

Atul said...

Hi Raghu

This (http://abbeblah.blogspot.com/2006/06/rebirth_17.html ) was not weird, it was good stuff buddy

raghu said...

weird concept cos i wrote that we have a little fight even before we are actually born.. also.. many many things like the rope , the satanic roar and the cushion are actually misinterpreted by the child on many occasions.

btw, i wrote that! :D

Ranjit said...

Beautiful post...

Its taught me a thing or two...

zypsy said...

Sangy, this is JUST BEAUTIFUL!!!

And you are lucky, especially the "You also passed on to me a complete disregard about what other people thought" part.

Living according to what other people say or think about you; that's a HUGE thing for a lot of people, and LIFE for some others.

sunaina said...

oye yaar thanks 4 dis.now i feel much better.u wrote dat day n i tried distractions...workrd too to some levl but smtim..dunno when it caught up with me,still does suddenly whn i least expect it.i tried to suffocate my emotions to numbness dat day.dont know y.i know its wrong.still do it smtimes but i was never strong like d rst of u,cant change i guess.but a part of my brain is breathin easier now aft readin this...sorry to say dis but m glad ur goin thru dis..atleast m not alone.thnx again n keep it goin.love ya.

bindiya said...

hey sweets i believe its ur best post so far. why not? its about a ma from a daughter who is extremely innocent, caring and affectionate.
A tight hug for you..

the guy who typed this. said...

a part of being a kid is that you always think your parents are superhuman, they don't fall sick, don't need advise, and are always right...Only as we grow older and do we remember when she bought a cheaper brand of tea so that she could get you a toy with that saved money.. when there were 3 pieces of cake for 4 people and she said that she never liked the cake any way... You are really lucky that you can open up with this article... irrespective of whether you expect just your mom to read it or allow posterity to delve into you... I really hope i can tell my parents how much they mean to me...lovely post :)

raghu said...

just commenting to say that I'm missing you.

heh? ok said...

whew...alright, i've been away for a while. hmm...let's see now.

@atul
thanks again.

@ raghu
awwww!!! i miss you too!! :)

@ ranjit
:)

@ zypsy
you're right about me being lucky.

@ pinkerton
we're pretty much in this together, don't worry. and you're way stronger than you give yourself credit for.

@ bindiya
a comment! finally! thankee, for the post and the hug :)

@ the guy who typed that
hmm, it was a relief to write it.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know what to write .... so i didn't comment ..... that's ok, but whatever happened to our prolific blogger.

Idiot.

Anonymous said...

this post of urs moves me everytime i read it

heh? ok said...

@ idiot
i'm back, thank god..

@ anon
:)

new age scheherazade said...

I love the post like hell. There are very few people who love you unconditionally. Which makes it so precious that you're never the same without it. You lose many things.like faith.like hope. like security. but then, you gain some strength.(maybe you do.maybe's a nice word.)
loved the post. I've been trying to write out exactly those things and it helped a lot seeing it here. I really, really like you.

heh? ok said...

@ new age scheherazade
thank you, i like how much thought you put into the comment. and i like you too, but don't tell raghu, or he may start to feel left out :)

chandni said...

hey...

juat chanced upon ur blog...and I am in love with it already!

will keep coming back :)

and btw, this is my fav U2 number!

heh? ok said...

@ chandni
thankee, i like people who're in love with my blog, gives me hope for a prospective writing career later on. :)

Priyanka Khot said...

This is the post you were telling me about and I, in my ignorance, thought I had read the posts that would make me cry and you could not make me cry any more. But the old soul that you are, you knew from the beginning that these emotions I'll understand and the tears would not stop.

I wish I had met aunty and uncle. I wish I could thank them for making you the person you are. I hope they are happy to see you surrounded by a bunch of awesome colleagues who have the capacity to become family sooner than anyone can imagine.

The lines that I'll take away from this post:

"Then you became my child. I hated it, completely. I wasn’t prepared, and I didn’t have the capability to slip into the new role gracefully. I protested, rather ungratefully, and I know it hurt you. Kids are selfish, you know?"

Sangeeta, I am sure aunty had a wonderful 50th birthday!