Aruna M

There are a hundred things that would come to my mind regarding my Mom but one I want to highlight today would undoubtedly be the event related to my own son’s birth.

I had one of the most complicated pregnancies. I had a condition which necessitated complete bed rest for the most part of my pregnancy.   My parents were to come to be with me during my delivery at Nasirabad in Rajasthan.

The day they were traveling from Kerala, my father had a sudden cardiac arrest en route. My mother was widowed in a totally unexpected sudden cruel manner.

I was not informed of my father’s demise but told that he had fractured his leg.

After the rites on the 14th day, my mother traveled to Nasirabad. On arrival, my family felt that it was a better idea not to break the news to me till after my delivery.

So my mother wore her Bindi and  “thali” (mangalsutra) before coming home.

I still cringe when I think of the number of times I forced her to talk to me, watch TV and nagged her not to “mope” so much. After all, Dad had only injured his leg being my contention.

To me,  she also appeared paranoid that something would happen to me. As a doctor, it made no sense and I would often be impatient not knowing the reason for the fear.

Finally on the 32nd day after my father’s death, on the 10th postnatal day, I was told the truth.

Till then my mother had to put on this mask in one of the most critical and emotionally challenging times of her life. Unable to share it with her firstborn.

I can’t think of the pain she underwent and remain indebted to her for life.  

Aruna Menon

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