Monday, November 14, 2011

Nothing compares to you,Amma...

She rocked my world: in all my time with her, away from her and now without her.

As hard as this is to write, it had to be written.For this day too has come ..

To describe one’s mother in a few paragraphs is all but a futile attempt ; how can a few words fully capture a life time of love, sacrifice and more love? What I loved most was that to Amma, her universe was not limited to her children and her husband: it ensconced her siblings and their families, her husband’s closest and farthest family, all her friends and all the less fortunate people who managed to cross her path, with the same circle of love as it did her near and dear ones. She was as an equal champion of a friend in deepest trouble as she was of me, her daughter or her son. A strong willed woman and often opinionated, she stood her ground, on anything she thought was important, no matter who the person or what the circumstances were.
And she did it with such equanimity and quiet confidence. She gave her love, time , affection, counsel and compassion to the world around her. In generous servings; topped with a smile, wrapped in jokes and a twinkle in her warm eyes.

After nearly 5 years of battle with cancer and the way it took her away from us finally,I thought I would be a bitter person. Strangely enough, I am not. Heartbroken ,yes, at having lost my pillar of strength for the rest of my life, but not bitter. For I saw in that struggle two things that I haven’t seen much in the world: Grace and Hope. Grace in accepting all the pain,suffering,discomfort that was unceremoniously thrown her way till the very end; with a beautiful smile on her face. Her smile lifted us up ,constantly, from what would have been the darkest last few years of her life and the most painful ones of ours. She converted adversities into opportunities,setbacks into rememberable milestones.We weren’t her strength, she was ours. She was our rallying point. Her Grace steadied us in our battle with her disease.

And Hope that rainbows succeed a rainy day and that everything is possible when you have faith. A deeply spiritual but not often religious person, her growing and unshakeable faith surpassed that of many and shone through in her last year: and it is due to that she died the most peaceful of deaths, given her prognosis. She believed in a happy tomorrow, and lived the present in the most true sense of the word: childlike, jubilant and thankful. Every minute was carpe diem for her. It was so powerful that despite the severity of her illness and the abundance of statistics, all of us had charted out a full life ahead with her, strewn with happenings and non-happenings. Her Hope sucked us into a vortex of calm amidst the brewing storm and this Hope gives us courage for the road ahead, especially without her.

Flying in hoping to see her before she died, my father so beautifully told us to look for her among the clouds for there she would be: an angel. We already had, once we knew she left us. Where else would she be?

Umma(kisses),my Amma. Watch over us, our guardian angel.


  1. A solemn requiem to the only person who ever can love us without any equations- Amma.
    And lucky are the ones who know that for long.

  2. When your grandfather passed away, Molly messaged, 'My mobile will be switched off for four days." Later, I asked her, " How do you hold yourself together? These separations, your own health..."
    "There is lot of strength one gets from 'Prayer'. It does work. I am very sure," were her words.

  3. So sad to hear about her demise. She indeed was a truly inspirational teacher.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you all-KT Ms's family.
    RIP my 'sundari Ms' from Assumption College...


  4. I have been off the blogsphere for a pretty long time myself, madam, and returning to it today I find the first thing your post about your Amma!!!

    My father died in 1981. He differed from your mother in that he was all about detached love--he let things be. I now feel I had a silent kind of communication with him. We did not need to use words to communicate between us.

    I handled his death detached and, looking back, I know that was how it should be too, for he was a person who never had any space for distorting sentiments. He never worked up on sentiments, wanting things to be this way and that after a sentimental fashion... Madam, I do not know whether I am communicating what I wish to communicate.

    He was, in a different way, also the same as you describe your Amma--childlike, jubilant and thankful to be in this beautiful world with all its pains and ecstacies.

    In the recent years, after I had started spontaneously dropping out of the tumult and noice around me--it is, of course, part of the process of getting old--I am convinced he is still there somewhere close around me. Whenever there is a crisis in my life, I feel a silent communication passing between us,he reassuring me with his absolute impassivity, wherein is absolute love.

    When the flow of that communication happens, I feel there is neither any birth nor death. We are all here together and there is neither a beginning nor an end.

    Your post reached deep into me, although I know that much of what you wanted to say about your Amma was left unsaid.

  5. there is something your mom told me when i was going through a personal loss..."chin up"...probably two little words which might sound meaningless...but i think thats the only way... I know her as only a blogger..but i felt a sense of kinship which i rarely feel with other people...and i ll cherish that memories!!

    I think your post itself is reflective of how much strength she has given you..and I admire both of you for that..



    As she so perfectly said:
    You can kill only me
    You can’t touch my spirit

    Ammai's lived that by example.

    The brave don't live forever, but the cautious don't live at all.

  7. RIP KPJ ma'm.
    You'll be sorely missed

  8. I often thought of her these past months, checking every few days to see if she had updated the blog. It was purely coincidental that I suspected that she was engaged in a final battle with her cancer, just a day before she passed away.
    My deepest condolences to you and your family.

  9. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

  10. Deeply saddened. I will miss her writing. Her name used to bring a smile all the time(due to Manasinakkare).



  11. reading it with a heavy heart. I have her blog follower for long and always called her 'teacher'. Read the eNovel she wrote., kept checking this space. I thought she was in remission

    very very sorry to hear the news. condolenses her husband Sunny as we know him and you kids. God bless her and bless you too.

  12. If your mother's departure could make someone who has never seen her or even converse with her cry, I can imagine how painful it would be for those who knew her in real life, especially her own family.

    May the Almighty confort you all...I am sure she is up there among the angels.. looking down upon us...nd I am sure she is freely expressing her mind even now..

    shall miss your mother terribly....

    Was it not your mother's spirit expressing through you?

    Grace and hope.. how true!

  13. I bow with a prayer to this loss. Much admired and respected though we have only met in this space..

  14. Dearest Molimama,
    A woman of strength, courage and love.
    A breath of fresh air,
    A rainbow in the rainy sky.
    God has indeed blessed us by allowing you to be in our lives.
    The candle that was you burning brightly on earth til the very end, has been transformed into a star that lights up the night time sky.
    We miss you dearly, ammai and will forever hold your memories close.

  15. o dear friend, i thought madam herself had written this piece and it was about her mom... i am slow in understanding. i was worried by the long gap after her last post and on seeing this one was overjoyed my fears were wrong, thinking she is all right. just before her leaving TVM i asked of her permission to visit her at home with my wife. i just wanted to see the strong lady whom i had met on the blog.

  16. I'm sorry, so sorry to hear this. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.

    Loved reading the posts & the debates which followed. I had awarded her a Blog award a few years back & was so honoured that she gave it a place on the page.

    Maam I'll miss U.


  17. dear molly aunty,
    i still believe that you are here and i will wait for this blog to continue, full of verve and clarity, joy and restraint and smacking sharp wit. i will wait for your comments and likes on FB and I will continue to be inspired by who you are ....i love the tribute that heads this page ...amma..through renu, through should always be here

  18. dear renu and mathew
    i am a friend of your aunt anita and live in washington DC. i knew your mother and have spoken with her too, but i really got to know her through anita and now in her passing, too, i grieve with and through anita who is a very old and dear friend. thinking of you both, your dad and the rest of the family, who must each, in their individual ways, come to terms with this loss. im attaching a poem which i think she would have liked. it seems to me to embody her never-say-die, fearless spirit, which is an inspiration even to those who never knew her.

    Dirge without Music
    By Edna St. Vincent Millay

    I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
    So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
    Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
    With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

    Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
    Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
    A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
    A formula, a phrase remains, --- but the best is lost.

    The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
    They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
    Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
    More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

    Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
    Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
    Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.

    I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

  19. Molly Aunty you will be missed forever. Our family with our Four Kids were fortunate to see you and Sunny Uncle as you were preparing to leave for the US to visit your children and specially your grand daughter.The very short time that we spent with you now looks and feels like it was a memory for eternity.

    We saw the determination and strength along with the calm poise that you extruded as you started this last trip to say your good bye's. We did not expect it to be this soon . However we are all very sure your passing away peacefully and gracefully is a great source of consolation for us all.

    The lives that you touched while here on earth will continue to carry forward the grace and hope that you embodied. We all pray that the Good Lord provide comfort and Strength to all the family members that loved you so dearly and when our time finally comes we hope to see you in heaven with the same Grace and Hope that you embodied while here on earth.

  20. I have followed your mothers blog for some time and even prayed for her ( from reading about the the return of the enemy) when there were no posts. I was relieved at first to see a new post.
    Her writing made me, a person who has never met her, feel she was a friend. Condolences to you and all who knew her personally in a great loss.

  21. She was the one who consoled me with a smile, i will never forget that. Mam, i know u admitted my talent when all denied.

    This prayer is for you
    Hail Mary, Full of grace, the Lord is with you, Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen

  22. I have always wondered at such a day, when I would miss someone from the blogosphere one day. Your mother was charming and gracious in her writings and generous in her appreciation of other writers. We had shared a love for the English language and great authors.

    I will deeply miss her words.

    My heartfelt condolences to you and each of your family.

  23. Beautiful words. Heart felt condolences.

  24. I am so sorry for you loss.
    I have heard she had a blog, did not read it, but will soon.
    I am sure she is the hands of the Heavenly Father, safe and proudly watching all her family from above.
    Sending condolences to you and your family.

  25. i dont understand. I thought KT was writing about her mother.. is this her son writing about KT? Please tell me it isnt. You dont have to publish this comment - if you have time, please leave an email to
    - Cris, a friend of KT.

  26. Molly Aunty, I was counting the days to seeing you in December and spending a few weeks indulging in juvenile jokes and sitting at the dining table waiting to be served whatever food I wanted to eat that day – that was the command the last time I visited, and I was very happy to oblige. I never saw a trace of self-pity or heard a single word of regret – on the contrary, we had as much fun as always. You were an uncommon person, and I think you would fully agree that it was also because you had an extraordinary person at your side all the time. Regardless of the circumstances, and whether he agreed with you or not, Sunny Uncle had your back all the time – how many bold women who are unafraid to speak up and hold their ground in any circumstances can claim that kind of unqualified support? Even if it was something as silly as singing in the back of a public bus (with Uncle sitting there frozen in embarrassment but smiling gamely). Although your time was cut short, it was fully lived. Both of you are so fortunate in what you shared. I hope we can all take a leaf from your book.

  27. KPJ was the first blog I started following.I learned the basic lessons of blogging from her.I always admired her style and her exemplary language skills. She was always there to console me at times of despair and grief.This is a personal loss to me,like my own family member, a sister has left me.

  28. Mother of innumerable children,
    bestowed upon guidance and sacrifice.
    Gifts humbly offered for the knowledge sought,
    harmonious smiles brought soulful delight.
    Woman of a new age with decency.
    (Jenanian poetry)

    *one of the best you maam*

  29. I often heard sweet things about a beautiful lady, in all its sense. She was this that and everything else..
    then I heard that she had the dreadful illness..and she went through the best part of five years graciously enduring its course instilling hope in everyone near and dear to her..
    then I heard that she was   coming to my town..I hoped to meet her, this wonderful lady whoever she is..oh I am lying..I have already met her through her blog. Yet I wished to meet her in real life if I may say so..
     Of course, life has its strange ways..I had to be away from town and I missed the opportunity to meet her. 
    Now she remains a mystery in my life and I am trying to imagine her in my head or is it in my mind..
    Has she influenced me ? I am not sure. But I know that she has influenced many others...
    All I know  is that she has most certainly touched my heart..with that very same softness I once heard about.....

  30. Dear Renu,

    I have lost a dear friend, someone I possibly spent only one-one half years working with, but a friendship I shall cherish a lifetime.

    We share(d) our birthday and I shall miss wishing her.

    Molly is one of the most courageous women i have ever met. Her take on life was always so practical and no-nonsense, you couldn't but dismiss off all your worries having spoken to her.
    I grieve with you and Sunny. I had spoken to her in July before she left for the US and i know she was disturbed. She wanted to meet Emma. I then chatted with her too while she was in US and meant to call her up in early Oct. By the time I caleed she was in hospital and then it was too late.

    Shall miss her ever.

    My deepest condolences to you, your brother and father.


Dear visitors, dont run away without leaving behind something for me :-)
By the way, if your comment does not get posted at the first click, just click once more.