Friday, August 10, 2012

An ode to my Big Mamma

My mom’s mom, who is called Ammama by all the 13 grand children ( their spouses, wherever applicable) and 4 great grand children is a very important part of my life and is a central focus of my childhood memories.

She is 93 years old and lives with her son’s family. I dedicate this poem to her and her perseverance.

Holding on to your little finger
I have roamed around the ancestral home
I remember the strong hands, smell of soil,
the hugs, love, care, concern and
most of all the treats to my palate
with your simple yet amazing culinary abilities.

You gifted me my best childhood memories
of Joy, happiness, safety and warmth
in my truly nascent years
along with those countless happy
and carefree days of pure bliss
that’s an inseparable part of my Summer holidays.

You could understand my need, my worry
my happiness and all my myriad set of emotions
as a teenager, just from my voice and
you disciplined me in your old conservative ways.
Even when I rebelled against them
you loved me unconditionally.

When I grew up to my big day, my wedding,
you were there to bless me with the priceless
gift of your presence
never forgot to get back to me
to nurture me during my gestation
and for post natal care.

You embraced my better half
with a love that he had never experienced
making him part of your brood in no time.
When my son was growing up
you showered the same love,
you once smothered me with.

Today, I look into your eyes to draw a blank.
You do not recognize me, my voice.
I still hold your hands
I still talk to you,
silently cursing the demon Alzheimer’s
That is slowly but steadily devouring you

But then,

Just, once in a while,
I see a spark in your eyes
And I instinctively know for that split second
You know who I am
And I can go on for ages talking to you & waiting
for that one flash of a moment.

Love you Ammama, Loads and loads.


  1. intha poem padikarachay i was reminded of my own paati...naan avangalta kathai kaetathilla...never pestered her for anything..and she is no more..but en lifela oru sila major life changing eventsku she had been a major reason..and one of the very few who i am sure really loved me...romba soagama aaidichi intha post padichitu :(

  2. Lovely evocative lines.

    OMG -that's real tough. Alzheimer's is an awful curse. May God be with her give her comfort at this tough time. Even though she may not recognise you, and your family's love and affection will be her source of strength

  3. @Gils I guess for most of us our Paati's are special. I am sure your paati loved you truly, and sometimes there is a sugam in soagam :)

    this poem was quite emotional for me too. I wrote it at one go and when i finished i realised my cheeks were wet. Just didnt realise it was flowing.:-(

    @Ramesh - when Alzeimers was diagonised for her, the doctor did mention that for this disease, i need to treat you all ( the relatives ) more than the patient. Its truly a curse.

  4. Beautiful lines....reminded me of my grandfather who lived till 101, physically so strong but mental facilities were giving up one by one. It was heart-rending.

    1. Thanks for your compliments. lovely to get it from you :-)


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