A TRIBUTE TO MY MOTHER, MY INSPIRATION
On April 19th, my world as I knew it, changed irrevocably !
My best friend, my confidante, loyal supporter and biggest fan – my mum passed away. It was unexpected and traumatic.The grief that I’ve been experiencing since, has been intense – because it is difficult to conceive a world without her. Since her death, I’ve found it incredibly difficult to write. Words somehow seem inadequate, but I need to acknowledge what an inspiration she has been to me and to our family. Much of who I am today I owe to her. This is perhaps my little way of paying tribute to a wonderful woman.
Quiet, dignified, unassuming, with an air of regality, SURYA was an incredible woman.
HUMBLE BEGINNINGS – My mother grew up in small town, raised in a loving but strict environment. Born into a large family ( sixth in the line of eight sisters ) my mother’s childhood home was always bustling with activity. My grandfather was a writer (of several published books), teacher and a freedom fighter during the Gandhian era – his daughters were in awe of him. He was often away for weeks during the struggle for independence, leaving my grandmother in charge in his absence. My grandmother with true matriarchal spirit, managed to support her eight daughters during these turbulent times, with grit and determination. It was this strong foundation in her developing years, that gave my mother her courage and convictions.
HOME MAKER – Moving to the city from a small town, with the support of her much older sister and guardian angel, my mum graduated from college. She met my father soon after, whose luck and fortune (his words) changed after he married my mother. My Mum’s world revolved around her family. She was home raising and caring for her children – never failing to wipe our tears, mend a broken heart or nurse us back to health.
Naturally creative, a perfectionist and a keen gardener. My mother’s garden was her pride and joy, winning her many awards for her landscaping skills and incredible blooms. Being shy and not big on emotional displays, my Mum found different ways to express her love. Food at our home was not just for sustenance, it was an expression of her love and emotions. She was an incredible cook – I have many happy childhood memories of filling jars of home made jam, baking cakes, squashing purple grapes for juice, making incredible fig and honey ice cream – the list is endless. There were constant divine smells of home made ghee, coconut barfi and other delicacies wafting from the kitchen. The festive menus during special occasions were always vast, complex, creative and delicious – the dining table heaving with a lavish spread fit for a king. This was her special way of bringing family, friends and a community together.
ENTREPRENEUR – Naturally gifted and talented, my mother had an innate sense of style and uncanny eye for beauty. She soon discovered her love for antique furniture and traveled extensively collecting and restoring incredible antiques – which she ultimately turned into a successful business. Some of her labours of love, I proudly own and will always treasure.
FRIEND – My mother was popular with people for her unpretentious style, her calm, loyal and caring personality. She was described by a close friend as ‘ a lady with a smile that can light up a room’.
MUM – My sisters and I may not have inherited all her creative talents but to quote my sister “we have all in our own way been blessed with a natural aesthetic instinct, and hopefully in some way her strength too. She may not be here with us in person today but her spirit continues to live on with and within us – she is in our core, our DNA !! “
There are so many emotions to process when a loved one passes on. A feeling of despair, disbelief, anger, pain, grief – but the one recurring emotion I’ve had over the last few weeks is an overwhelming sense of Gratitude. Forever grateful -for her indulgence, quiet strength, support and her unconditional love.