Being Women

Seeking Warmth In Ma’s Memories: Remembering 4 Attributes

It was a cold afternoon in November 2020 when Ma left us. All came to an end! What remains with us now is the warmth of her memories.

It was a cold afternoon in November 2020 when Ma left us. It has been three years since then.

She was a warrior—a cancer survivor once. We were so happy when she was finally declared cancer-free in 2018—she had survived uterine cancer and undergone all the preventive chemotherapy and radiation therapy for one and a half years. However, the Almighty had different plans. Our worlds came apart when the deadly cancer relapsed. This time, Stage 4 and in the stomach.

  • She loved life (much like me).
  • She loved to socialize
  • She loved talking to people.
  • She loved eating (a foodie like me).
  • And most important of all, she ensured that every day was made lively for all of us.

All came to an end! What remains with us now is the warmth of her memories.

Memories of Ma’s Cooking

For me, she was the best cook in the world. Her fame had spread far and wide, among the neighbours, my school and college friends, relatives, Baba’s friends, and families. They used to say, “Mejdir/Boudir hather ranna khete to bar bar astei hobe” (we have to come back again and again to eat the food cooked by our sister-in-law).

As we grew older, I saw relatives thronging our house only to savour Ma’s cooking. I would never get to my tiffin, as my friends finished it off as soon as I opened it. Her specialty was non-vegetarian food—mutton, fish, and sweet dishes.

With her gone, I find warmth in my sister’s cooking. She is the only one who comes closest to Ma in terms of her culinary skills. So, my every visit to her place is special as she pampers me and cooks dishes typically in Ma’s style.

My sister has taken over Ma’s role

Ma’s Sarees and Clothes

Ma used to be a style diva in her college days. Her sarees were one-of-a-kind and always very unique. She has left her beautiful collection with us. 

Even today, we find warmth in donning her prized collections. We have preserved them with great care and will continue to drape them.

My son still finds warmth in the soft shawl that his grandmother used to wear while doing household jobs. My son’s early years were mostly spent with my mother as she was his primary caregiver. The child has learnt to live the bond through the shawl.

Ma, during her hey days

Ma’s Smell

Ma loved perfumes. Whenever I went on a trip abroad, the only thing she demanded was good fragrances. She used a particular brand of Himalaya moisturiser and a lavender perfume. I continue to use them today.

These fragrances remind me that Ma is still there with us.

Ma and her grandchildren

And Her Constant Chattering

Her constant complaint used to be that I did not chatter like her. Though I listened patiently to all she said, I spoke much less than my sister.

I miss her constant chattering around the house—with the maids, with my son, with the neighbours—because she had never-ending topics to discuss.

Now I speak silently with her and find warmth in the long tete-a-tete with my sister.

The three of us!

A word of advice for all.

Please value your parents and spend more time with them while you still can. Once you lose them, you will only be left with memories, and your lives will never be the same again.

As my eyes grow hazy with tears, I look up and say, “Ma, you are still there with us and will always be as long as we live.”

“I chose not to lose my mom, and instead to gain an angel. In my mind, my heart, and my life, she is still completely present to this day — and as wise, compassionate and stubborn as ever”
― Kevin Hart – I Can’t Make This Up


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2 Responses

  1. It’s so heart touching article Manjusha!! Beautifully Expressed. Brought tears in my eyes.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

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