Memories Churning | A Few Things, Big and Small
“Jyostna Masi would get 20 paisa from Saita(Savita) Baa to use it for herself, but she would save it and bring something for all of us each day. Kaik nashto lai avey. Enu pella thij dil bau mottu.”
These were the words I had heard from my mom(Jaimati, or Jailu as Masi would call her with love) while growing up.
We all remember the summer vacations in Mumbai and the movies and ice creams and the Aanando nu doodh. Nobody can forget those incredible days, but today one distinct memory returned.
This was the time when I had met Masi for the first time in Mumbai. I was about 6 then. The strict looking Masi took us downstairs and walked to the garage with us(Mom and I) where she then unlocked the beige colored Premier Padmini parked next to Masa’s Hindustan Ambassador. She asked me to get inside the car with Mom.
Once we were on the road, we took off. It was a smooth ride and all I saw was that this lady(Dear Masi) wasn’t scared to drive along side the cabbies. She switched on the little fan on the dashboard and talked to mom while driving towards Kemps corner. And then she let me toot the horn, too. She then bought me a magnetic compass box from Amarsons. The real deal. She seemed serious, but I thought maybe she was good after all.
“Tari maa ne kem hairan kare che tu! Hindi ma matlab-matlab-matlab shu kare che!” She would say and laugh.
And then again, she would give me a Toblerone or a 5 Star from the refrigerator and would often hug me and then again shout at me if I was part of the next problem. She would pretend to be strict, but affection would often ooze out.
Growing up, I (read She) had made a bond with her(read me).
She would give, and I would take. That was the bond. There wasn’t a time when I didn’t get something from her from the cupboard (be it NiravBhai’s clothes or his toys or KetanBhai or SamirBhai’s belongings).
I would hang around the cupboard just to get that “something”, and she would dig it out for me.
Be it “usual amazing stuff” or the postage stamps (Magyar
Posta / Hungary and Espana) that I would fight for. She got it for me. If I asked for triangle stamps, I got it the next time. These were just things, but I also could see the love that she had for us (Bhai and I).
During our last few conversations she told me that she wanted to get something from my cupboard some time.
I remember the time years later when the radium shoe laces were a fad, and so I got florescent orange ones from Fashion St. She shouted at me and told me that I had wasted money on “kachro”.
She got florescent green ones for me that evening. “Ley aa! Pehrto nai aa bijo kachro!” She shouted.
Affection won over fake anger, again and again.
This is the time when Masa and Masi visited us at Bhopal. We went to Saanchi, a day trip.
“Bau saras hato Saanchi no Spoot” She said after returning.
“Saanchi no Stoop JyostnaBen.” My dad corrected her, laughing.
“Mane to spoot aj khabar hati. Pan samjhi gaya ne Girdhari!”
Every time I read or watch something about Buddhism, I remember Masi and I laugh.
Her words. After the Bhuj earthquake in 2001.
Each time I spoke years after 2001, she told me about how she missed my Mom and Dad. She repeated this because she very deeply missed them, and she couldn’t get over it.
A hard hitter who could floor anyone with her wise cracks. She was a fighter to the core.
Never missing a beat, bearing all the pain, come what may, she was always game.
She was my mom’s best buddy, and she is with her now.
MAY HER SOUL REST IN ETERNAL PEACE.