Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy birthday Amma!

I have tried many times before and failed every time. I don't think it is easy to write about any mother; your own is far more difficult. As she turns 50 tomorrow, I will try to attempt it.

Ain't she pretty? :-)
Amma, as we call her, is a remarkable woman. She is calm, yet fierce. She is kind, yet not naive. Our relationship was on the rocks for a long time. After years of fighting and reconciling, we have found our little corner where we can talk, laugh and just be. She visited me in Bangalore and stayed for a week. Professionally, the week was miserable. Personally, it was a discovery. I discovered my mother's strong faith and her love for travel. Both of which I had already come to see in her. But this week was an up close, personal discovery. I saw her put up post-ids in my house of slokhas to protect me; I saw her climb 600 stairs to go to Shravanabelagola; I saw her crave to travel to Talacauvery.
A few years ago, this feisty woman had a bad fall. Travelling a lot in the seated position gives her body aches. But she bites her teeth, does it anyway and then sleeps with a hot water pack. How does she do it, I asked her. She said, life is short. I have too much to see still. Even after she returned from her vacation in Bangalore, she is busy making plans to drag my Dad to a temple in Kerala, if not Badri. Remarkable right? I wonder which one is more powerful in her life. Her faith in God, or her love for travel. Somewhere along the line, the two streams of thought have blended into one tough river that keeps her happy and sane.
They say, you get a lot of your parents qualities. I look at her and I want so many of her traits. Her kindness: She used to visit an old aged home to serve lunch. A couple of times we did it together and I saw how much the old ladies, the nuns and even the volunteers loved her. It made me love her a lot more. Her love for teaching: Oh so often she will offer to teach children for a minimum amount and take as much interest in their education as she would in mine. Her giving nature: I snap a lot. No wait, A LOT. Especially with her. But she gives and gives and gives. I want this trait of hers. I want to be that giving. Change: I don't think I have ever met someone who has accepted change like she has. My dad used to travel a lot when we were kids. He moved cities and she went with him. Even there, he travelled a lot.  Somehow, she got used to it. She tells us stories of how it was hard at first, but she adjusted and found friends around. I can't imagine being that way. I tell her that and she says, it will happen with time. Reading: She loves to read and often asks one of us to buy her some books when we go shopping. Recently, she was complaining that she cannot find Tamil books in Hyderabad. I hunted online and much to my surprise we found books on Flipkart by her favourite Tamil author (YAY!) I went ahead and bought her a few books. :)
I have hung out with my mother in the past few years much more than before. We have had deep conversations about life, marriage and love. We have had pointless conversations about people. We have laughed and laughed. It is hard to imagine another relationship like ours. It is hard sometimes to think the same two people fought like rat and cat just a few years ago. But our relationship has matured and I am eternally grateful for that. 

I love you Amma! For the woman you are and the woman you make me want to be! :)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! May the years ahead have lots of travel and lots of encounters with the force above!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Once, on that street: A play by Dramanon - Review

Despite having lived in Bangalore for 5 months, I was yet to see the much talked about Rangashankara. Finally, I booked tickets for my mom and me to see the play 'Once, on that street' by Dramanon at Rangashankara. The play came recommended by my dear friend and also by my sister. The blurb described the play as a story of failed love stories, three friends (two males (Shekhar and Karan) and one female (Maya)) and a decision. The suspense was built and I was extremely excited. (Be warned: Spoilers ahead!)
The play starts with Karan and Maya having a casual conversation about love, life and friendship on the balcony of the apartment they share. The jokes were 'new age' as my mother called it but even she agreed that she found them funny. The story line was based on an event one drunken night that led to a serious decision for the characters. The non-judgemental tone taken by the play was refreshing and allowed the audience to take away their own sense of the theme. However, the reasons behind the female character's decision were not portrayed well. I do believe that part of the reason for this was to allow the audience to think for itself. Maybe her decision was convincing enough for me but my mother on the other hand failed to see the reason and sense behind it.
What I liked most about the play was that the actors were very comfortable in their skins. It was a casual exchange of dialogue which gave the play a very natural ring. There was just the right amount of drama, laughter and reality to make an hour and twenty five minutes fly by. 
However, the seriousness of her decision (which affected not just her life but the men too) was not given enough screen time to develop and felt lacked maturity. Karan's character continued to bring a sense of seriousness to the play. For me, his was a role that could have turned out really badly and didn't. His good acting skills and sound presence on the stage gave the play a grounded touch.
Barring a few awkward scenes of kissing that I felt (and my mother agreed!) could have been avoided, the play is worth watching and comes highly recommended by me!

My rating: 3.5/ 5
Mom's rating: 2.5/5

Comment: If it is coming to a city near you, go watch and let me know what you think :D