MAA THE MAHAA
ईनॄ पोज़्हुदे पेरीदुवक्कुम तन महनै
सान्द्रोन एनक्केट्ट थाय - तिरुक्कुरल ६९
पुत्र जन्म के समय माँ को कितना आनंद मिला था, अपने पुत्र को सुयोग्य सुनकर वह उससे कई गुना अधिक आनंद पाती है।
“Great is the joy of the mother when a child is born unto her. But far greater is her delight when she hears that he is a wise man”.
That morning I got up early, though it was a holiday. I took a shave and was getting ready to move out.
My wife moved around on her bed and questioned “Why so early darling? Are you expecting your college days’ girl friend?”
“Ya! My girl friend older to me by ten years and the mother of a young man is arriving today”. I said this moving around and whistling.
“Sorry dear! I really forgot”. She jumped out of her bed and went into the kitchen straight to make a cup of coffee for me.
I called up the airport again and checked the flight arrival time. My special guest was flying to Ahmedabad from Coimbatore by a premium private airline seated in club class.
I had introduced this special guest to my wife immediately after marriage and on returning to my village, about 45 km. away from Coimbatore. She remembers that day even now, though ten years have lapsed from then. She is a very special guest for several reasons.
She is very special because, till the age of 35 she could not read or right any language. She is very special because her son, is an Engineer from a premium college for technical education, and is getting his post graduation in management from the no.1 business school in India with honors. On the basis of his consistently high score only. No caste based reservation.
She is very special because, she lost her husband in an accident when her son was just 5 years old. She was left with nothing, not even a formal education. She had only one big possession with her - an innocent blemish less young boy.
Saroja didi is very special to me because, she was a maidservant in our house. Her son Ravi used to study sitting in our verandah. Even when I was in my college education, and later in a job, my mother will show Ravi’s progress report to me and recall the poor marks I used to get. Poor when compared to Ravi’s.
She was one of the earliest to exit from the airport. She spotted me quickly and shouted “suresu”. As I ran towards her she almost hugged me and said, “You have become very thin and dark, you are not taking care of yourself. Next one week I will cook for you and make you fat”.
As she sat in the car next to me, she opened her bag and took out some sweet box and said “see I have brought your favorite Mysore Pak from Grand sweets”. She took a piece and put it in my mouth. My eyes were filled with little tears.
After my mother, the only other person, who gives me the same mother’s affection, is my dear Saroja didi.
Next day, we were in the management school, for award function and later the convocation. When Ravi, got his best outgoing student award , he told the felicitator to hold, excused himself, came down from the stage and took his mother on to the stage with him.
Saroja didi’s eyes were filled with tears. She felt happier than at the moments she delivered him.