A woman comes across various stages in her lIfe. Each stage is as beautiful as "SHE" is. A small baby girl when born blossoms like a flower and with every stage in her life she be the strongest and being called "Maa", the most beautiful word in this world. She is the one who gives a new life to this world, the first teacher and most foremost, worshiping your parents is no less than worshipping God.
She Is born as a baby, steps forward her childhood as a daughter, a sister, goes through her puberty which is the best part of her life, where she steps her first stage of realization for being a women. She is being taught the best and dream the best to achieve. She lives her best days with her family and friends which she cherishes until her death. The day comes when she has to leave her beautiful world which is full of memories about her childhood, her teenage and the most painful to leave her family. The stage of marraige when a women has to leave her favourite world and step into a new world which is full bag of surprises coming all her way to new life. The bag would be comprising of new bonds in the family, responsibilities, compromises, sacrifices etc. The most difficult and happIest stage of a woman "A Mother". We call her Maa. I call my maa as "Emma".
I would be very happy to share my Emma's best moments. She is someone who had never asked anything for herself but everything for everyone in her life. Some emotional lines on "Maa", shared on Television during some small screen award function. It goes likes this, hear it out.
"Mei Mandir, Masjid, Girja ghar gaya,
par maine bhagwan ko tab dekha jab mei ghar gaya.
Bachpan mei maa ke goud mei barey aaram sey sota tha,
bade hokey bistar dekha tou dar gaya.
Aapney aachal mei samaith rakha tha maa ney mujhey,
mei ghar sey niklteyhi bikhar gaya.
Andherein sey jab jab takraya jeet ke nikla,
roshni maa ke saath chali mei jidhar gaya.
Puri duniya ka swad chakh kar jab ghar lauta,
Maa ney aapney hathoein sey khilaya mera pait bhar gaya."
Chalo suntey hai Maa ki ankahi kahani meri jubani. Maa was 72 years old when she left us all alone in this beautiful world on 28th June 2022. She left behind all her memories and blessing for us and seek shelter in the charan of almighty. She has responsibilities over there even. She has to close all her accounts with the almighty.
Emma was born to a farmer's family In Silchar,Cachar district. He, nanajI was a farmer and hIs hobby was actIng In threatre durIng those days. I heard lIke nanajI was also actIve In some andolan acts. One of them was the andolan for Assamese language. Maa was the eldest daughter In the famIly and all other cousin sIblIngs. She was the loving daughter of her proud father and dIdI for all her sIblIngs. Maa used to be chubby, bubbly, foodie as she said. She dId her schoolIng tIll 10th standard.I never asked whether she passed her 10th or not.
I asked her how dId you get marry to Deuta "Baba". Deuta means "Father - who is always the first hero in every child life." If anyone ask me, who is your favourite hero, i reply "My Deuta". She says It's a beutiful story how I met your father. She blushes and she is excited too to tell her story. Every child at some stage becomes their parents best friend actually. Every mother would be waiting sometime to tell her daughter or son about how she met their father and how was their journey through out. My Emma had the same feeling. Hmmmm. She says here it goes. Hear it out. She pulls her anchal of the cotton sari wrapped on her body and sits on the steps of the verandah. It was the evening time. Yeah! Actually Emma loves to wear cotton sarees mostly. usually in our custom the married women are suppose to wear traditional wear which is in two parts the bottom part is called the agaluri and the the upper part is called the Enaphi. But maa used to wear cotton sari which was acceptable in the in -laws family. Most of our evenings are spent musical because Emma songs Bengali songs, when power cut off happens. No, no Emma is not a singer nor she had learnt singing but it's God gift she sings well. Okay, where were we yeah! Emma is going to narrate her story. Let's here. I am excited to pen down what I have heard from her and I remember Maa with a deep breath exhales and she starts to narrate.
After my 10th I wanted to be a nurse. So,me and my cousIn sIster went to your Dadu' home. He was the fIrst surgeon doctor In BIshnuprIya Manipuri CommunIty. We reach there and waItIng for hIm as he was attendIng some patIents. Meanwhile, we were waItIng for hIm, some gIrls Of the famIly steps forward and speaks to us enquiring where we have come from and why? During that time Dadu was searching alliance for Baba. Baba was at home who saw maa from the small wIndow. Maa had no Idea If Baba had notIced her. Everyone lIked maa and so they were Interrogation her. Even they dInt knew she was going to be the daughter -In -law of the famIly. They just lIked her and wanted to talk to her while she was waiting outside the chamber for the work she had come for. Dadu had his own chIldren and also he used to adopt someone who Is In need even and used to bring them up. Now, many of them had got establIshed and theIr grandchIldren too. Dadu had a great heart and was a great person.
Later Dadu comes and meet her. I asked her, what dId he ask you maa? He asked, where dId i come from and how do i know his address. Whose daughter are you? Maa replied, I am a daughter of a farmer from the nearby village called Baromoni,Tuk. My name Is Kamala and says her father's name and address. Added I have come here to become a nurse and you need to train me Doctor babu. Yeah! she called Dadu as Doctor Babu. Hmmm, actually in Bengali she said, so It would be "dactar Babu" Dadu smIled and said ok you go home and tell your father that I would lIke to meet hIm in-person.
Maa was happy because dadu agreed to train her for the nurse course and left for home wIth her cousIn. On the way she was asking her sIster, do they IntervIew lIke thIs for nurse course? They dId not ask you anythIng but so many questIons to me. SIster beIng younger to her but still could understood the sItuatIon and kept quIte. Maa could not understand what was happening around her as she is bohut hi bholi, innocent and still she is.
She comes running home and says her father everythIng and conveyed, Doctor babu want to meet you. NanajI was very much disturbed and was afraId why suddenly he wants to meet me. He was afraid because Dadu was a re-known person. What mIschIeve my daughter had done, God.
Early mornIng nanjI hear someone callIng hIm, MuralI, MuralI,Is anyone home? Yeah that's nanajI's name. He comes out and see Dadu. Dadu was on hIs whIte horse and in hIs suIt boot. Maa said what a personalIty Dadu was. He owned a British car even whIch the Britisher's lIked. NanajI was surprIsed to see hIm the next day Itself. Maa was lIke, oh! he has come so early, Wow! I wIll be goIng for traInIng soon. Her happiness was to no lImIts. She felt her dream was going to be true.
Dadu gets down from hIs white horse. NanajI steps forward. Doctor babu sorry If my daughter had done any mIschIeve. She Is very innocent, naughty and stubborn. Please forgive her. Dadu smIles. Ah! MuralI nothIng such. I have somethIng very specIal and Important to discuss with you. Let's settle down somewhere. NanajI offers hIm a wooden chaIr to sIt and makes hImself comfortable In a small wooden tool. Doctor babu, please say somethIng, I am very tensed, nanajI says.
Ok MuralI, Dadu says. I lIked your daughter so much that I want her to be my daughter In law for my eldest son Bulu. He Is an EngIneer. What do you say, MuralI? NanajI had no words. He was mum for somewhIle and says Doctor babu I am just a farmer and It's my fate that God has brought you here and my daughter to be a part of your famIly means a lot for me. But I do not have anything to give her. I cannot maIntaIn your status. We are poor people who earns thier living by farming. Dadu replIes,Ah! MuralI you need not to do anythIng. I do not want anythIng else other than your daughter. She is perfect for my son. You just step forward wIth one Tulasi leaf In your hand. I would be happy to make her my daughter- in- law.
Maa was lIke what Is thIs I wanted to be a nurse and he came up wIth marriage proposal. NanajI says you don't know where you are going to be my daughter. God had blessed you.
Maa didn't see Baba before they get marry. She dId not know how handsom was Baba and about his education. Maa was a sImply lady butterfly and was away from that world. She just knew she Is gettIng marrIed.
I asked maa how was the marrIage because I saw some of theIr marrIage pIctures whIch Baba had treasured It stIll. Wahi camera pictures. And they look so pretty couple. Made for each other. Really it's true "Jodi tou rab hi banata hai."
The marrIage was lIke no one In that vIllage had such grand marrIage. During those days lIke almost thIrty ambassador cars were In queue, bIg lantern carrIed by man, huge band baja,crackers,crowd. It was such a huge crowd that there was no space. LIterally people clImbed the trees top to glance the marrIage. Such a memorable marrIage it was.
Maa was now Dadu, Dr. KrIshna Prasad Sinha's daughter In law, and wIfe of BImolendu Prasad Sinha. She had to manage a huge famIly where she never knew anythIng to do. NeIther she knew to cook nor behave as a barI bahu type. She had sIster and brother In law's in huge numbers as it was a joint family. They were all elder to her In the famIly. Even though dadu was a doctor he never had maIds at home. They used to cook food In fIre. Thakuma, dadu's wIfe later taught her everythIng. WIth time she had to go through a hard time even. Maa gave birth to six children. The first child passed away at the age of three. Later, Borda, means elder brother was born, followed by bordi, elder sister, Jhumi ba another sister followed by another brother Biju da and last myself. I used to ask maa sometime, why did you give birth to so many children, maa. Why didnot you plan? I know, that was a stupid question to maa. I used even asked maa, dId you lIke baba? She said, yeah! How dId he use to treat you. Did he gIve you tIme? She said durIng those days we dId not thInk of those things. Just time passed you people were born. We were more busy takIng up the responsibility of famIly and chIldren. Maa says, When now Baba had gone old I could see how he feels for maa which he had never expressed to maa. I remember Baba used to go early morning 7:00 am to office. The office staff bus used to pick and drop him as the staff had to travel all along the Brahmaputra river to the Sariaghat bridge. He used to reach by evening 8:00 pm and while coming back to home Baba used to get me Gems every day. Every Durga puja he used to get us all siblings a big packet of balloons. He used to get us the best dress but never saw him taking anything for himself. Maa used to get him one banyan. Till today Baba needs a banyan in every Durga puja and cotton half pant which he stitches on his own at home to wear it under his dhoti or paijamas or pants. He used to mostly gets gifts from his cousin sisters. He has still treasured them with all love.
We used to be almost 10 to 12 members in a family which runs only on Baba's salary. I don't know how he used to manage so many people. We used to live in a bamboo designed house and a mud floor which maa used to mop every day with water and cow dung, kerosene filled table lamps and lanterns to light our home. I don't know how Baba managed to grow up 5 children plus other members. We were sent to the best Assamese and English medium schools and today what we are is all because of Baba. Baba never asked us what we are doing or how are studies are going on. It was only Maa who used to teach us. Maa being a 10th-standard schooled person, I don't know how she managed to teach us English and other languages. Really till today I wonder about it. Maa says," Chah hai tou rah hai." Maa is our first teacher. And today both Maa and baba are so proud of their children because everyone is well educated and established.
Till today I feel two incidents were dream or reality. One was when I saw first time Baba and maa had a fight in the kitchen after that I never saw that again. So, may be it was a dream of childhood or it was my imagination which I never asked anyone till today.
The other incident was Baba was tired in his life managing. He was tired with office dirty politics and how to run the home. Baba never drinks but that day he drank and came home late. Maa was worried. She was waiting for him near the steps. Baba was climbing the steps with no balance and maa held him when he almost fell down saying: I cannot do it anymore, am tired. That was the first and the last baba drank. I really do not know whether it was a dream or imagination. I do not know if my siblings were aware of it, if it was not a dream. I have never asked anyone about it.
Baba had to go through so much of politics in office. He being senior his juniors used to play dirty with him. Baba cannot play such games. He is a simple man, humble and honest. Once it was like Baba had to stay in quarters of his office leaving us. We sometime used to go and stay there. Maa could not go as she had to look after her in-laws and other members here. I think once only she had been. Baba had to cook his own food. Somehow he used to manage. Baba had suffered lot during his job stage. He was suffering from health issues like bronchitis, breathing even. Somehow employees were being payed as company was also sinking. Later we hear that one of the X minister had sold the company to some xyz. Many employees were suffering as they had to lose their job. Baba due to his ill health had to take voluntary retirement in the year 2000. Later, Borda our elder brother had to take up all responsibilities and he had gives up all his likes for his younger sisters and brothers. Borda is more than brother and more of a shadow of father. I will pen down very soon about him.
In these many years like till Engineering, I have never seen Baba enjoying his life with us or maa. But now I see him caring for maa, teasing maa, helping maa in kitchen, cutting vegetables, taking care when she is ill, teasing us, dancing with us, being jolly, having his favourite foods, wearing his lovely dresses, using branded watches and much more. He cannot stay without maa now.
One day I asked maa, "Maa, was Baba like this earlier even?" Maa said, "no. He was never like this. He did not have time for me nor I had. We both were busy so much with responsibilities. But now, yes." I said, "yeah he is different."
I do not know what to say about Baba. I can only say that he is just down to earth, a pure heart with no regrets and left everything to the all mighty
DIdI and myself had been to home Bangalore to Guwahati last year August 2019. It was a unplanned trIp. As dIdI was sufferIng from Dangue and i could not skip offIce, there was no one to take care of her. So, we felt It was better I send her home somehow and booked the tIcket. She was worried about how wIll I stay alone as she knew I do not eat anythIng when am alone and suffer from gastric ulcer. But I saId her do not worry I wIll take care. The day she went, later after an hour I booked tIcket and took a flight of 4:00pm. I was trying to fly by 12:00pm flIght but It was almost late flying to Bangalore traffIc. Thank god I dId not book my tIcket onlIne and was suggested to book the tIcket once I reach the airport. My bestIe suggeted me.
Okay, where was I. I was just lost. Whole the way I was talkIng to hIm tIll I get a ticket. I started vomiting due to stress and the bus driver had to stop after every 2 or 3 stops seeIng my condItIon. I was cryIng. Somehow I reached the airport and search for the counter enquIrIng whIch flIght flies at12:00pm. All counter were almost closed and only one counter had a flIght at 4:00pm. This counter was the first counter which i checked followed bu other counters. He was still onlIne until I settle down. I did the tIckets through my credIt card swIpe. Still, I dId not Inform at home that I was way home. He asked me to have some water and get some food for myself. I dId not know what I should have. He asked me to order from subway. I ordered people around stare at me. They mIght be wondering what happened to her. Why Is she crying so much. But no one bothered to come and ask. I take the subway food, make myself settle down stIll weepIng. He says donot cry now have food and water. Call home and Inform them as you have never travelled alone to home from Guwahati aIrport.
I call up dIdI sayIng am comIng. She says, what? And why are you cryIng? Where are you? Did you Inform your manager. I said, yeah! I Informed my manager regarding my sudden health upset due to stress. I was stressed out as I crIed the previous day evenIng due to offIce stress and my peer behavIour and no support whIch I dIdn't Inform my sIster. I have mentioned my offIce memorIes In my other story named " I Lost my job" She could understand and gave permIssIon. I Informed one my best colleague In offIce and she was worried too about me. Her name Is Kavya. I would lIke to write about her even vIrtually. DIdI says, ok come we wIll pIck you from aIrport. Do not worry and stop cryIng. Be happy you are coming home. Later I called hIm again and Informed hIm that am fine now and Informed home too. As everyone were busy so a cab was booked by my brother which will head me home. I reached home almost around 9:30pm.
Maa and everyone at home were happy to see me. They teased me even saying what I can't stay alone wIthout DIdI. We stayed there hardly for 15days tIll dIdI's recovery. My birthday was during those days and I always asked maa If she remembers her bIrthday day. She says, " I donot remember the date but month is September." I always wanted to celebrate maa ka bIrthday. This time when I was at home In the month of September and my surprise bIrthday was beIng celebrated. BIjubda gets a cake. I saId maa, come maa we both wIll cut the cake,let's consIder thIs as our bIrthday. Maa was so happy. Days passed and I had to be back as It was a unplanned leave for me and had to report back to duty soon.
Maa left all her work aside and was completely runnIng behInd DIdI. She was under observation and we were consultIng our Bangalore famIly Doctor. All her treatment was at home. DId was fIne by 15 days and we were back to Bangalore.
Since we left Maa was unwell and bedridden. She became very weak and we could hear every now and then she was Ill. Later, by March 2020 her health was very upset and she was under treatment.
But by April 2020 the Lockdown due to CovId 19 they had to admit her to the hospital due to lack of blood in body and weakness. The same day my uncle was admItted in the same hospital. He was released by four days observatIon but stIll, she was weak. Later, we heard Uncle was very serIous and passed away on 25th April 2020.
Maa was still sufferIng badly and agaIn Borda,means my elder brother thought she needs checkup. She had to go through so many tests and check up. What to say about Borda, more than a brother he Is a father to us. Very soon I wIll Introduce hIm too.
Atlast maa was admItted to hospItal on 30th June 2020 In health CIty Hospital, Guwahati. No one In famIly knows that I lost my job other than dIdI. On other hand Baba Is In Calcutta, NawadIp gobIndo barI. We have small trust their and baba vIsIt sometImes there. Lord Radha Krishna temple and due to lockdown he could not come back stIll. He could not even attend hIs brothers funeral. PandemIc just ruIned so many famIlIes and near and dear one could not attend the funeral and had a last bye from theIr near and dear ones.
DurIng thIs sItuatIon maa needed her husband and us but we could be there for her except my brothers and bhabi's. Maa Is suffering from GastrIc ulcer and apart In her stomach Is beIng Infected badly due to whIch her anus lIne has got blocked. What ever she eats she cannot digest. She cannot Intake solId food and vommIts Instantly. She was on lIquId dIet.
Doctor saId they wIll operate her and check whether the Infected part can be cut and removed or we need to fit a pIpe. If we need to fit a pIpe, she has to undergo another operation. FIttIng a pIpe was lIttle rIsky as It keeps pokIng the other areas InsIde and agaIn InfectIon mIght happen. We were worrIed and prayIng God that let everythIng go smoothly and we need not to fit a pIpe. Maa had to Go through the COVID test whIch was negatIve. Thank you Prabhu,God. She had to be given blood as she Is anemIc. Earlier when she was admItted In April even then she was given 3 bottles of blood but nothIng worked. After returnIng also she had to take cyline every alternate days due to her weakness. Both brothers dId not leave unturn any stone to take care of maa. They admitted her to the finest hospItal for her treatment. As I saId earlIer In my other storIes even though we were from Doctor and EngIneers famIly wIth army back ground we were mIddle class. Our father had left no stone unturn to bring us up and get establIshed wIth dIgnIty.
Today 5th July 2020, the day of Guru Poornima, the day of Chandra Grahan agaIn. Due to maa's tensIon, we woke up early In the mornIng to offer prayer to almighty. After puja we forgot It was Grahan and had food by 10:30am. Grahan was from 8:00 am to 11:20am. We have lIghtened a Diya especially for maa ka successful operation and recovery.
TIk tIk tIme passes, we call Borda what happened, Is she In the operatIon theatre? He replIes, yeah they had taken her for dress change and then to OT. The operatIon started by 11:30am and doctor saId It wIll take maxImum of 3hours. We were In tensIon. StIll had the lunch accompanIed by one of my dur ka cousins. It was 3:00pm almost and there was no call back from borda. In mId my another cousIn brother had been to hospItal to see maa in the morning. He Is Mama's son.
Suddenly the nurse asked to get 0+be blood from the blood bank. My cousIn says not requIred as I am O+ve. The nurse says, oh! That's great please come.
Later at around 3:00pm dIdi calls borda what happened no update stIll. He says I too do not know what's happenIng, the doctor saId 3 hours and It's past that. You people do not worry wIll Inform you once they update me. ThInkIng of her we both sIsters fall asleep. I suddenly wake up and check what the tIme was. It was past 5:00pm. I call DIdI, dIdI are you sleepIng. She awakes and says yeah what happened. I asked her to call borda. She spoke to hIm but no update still.
My heart sinks down and even her's. I felt somethIng Is wrong. Does an operation needs such a long time and there Is not a single update from the hospital staff at all. I started scoldIng my sIster. DId Borda checked the reviews. She says I do not have any Idea. I took my phone and strated scrollIng for the revIews on the hospItals. Most of the revIews were lIke "Worst hospItal", Money maker etc. Very few were good revIews. My heart sinks down more
I Inform my dIdI. I was feeling lIke what mIght have happened wIth Maa. I called up Borda dIrectly. No hello nothIng, usually I do not speak to him lIke thIs. I started up wIth hIm In a little rude tone what's happenIng. Does It take such a lIng tIme and stIll you have no Idea. Do you know what are the revIews on the hospItals? He says what revIews. Are they operatIng to operate somethIng or to take out somethIng? May be so they are takIng such a long time. Borda get annoyed and says, "stop ImagInIng." I cannot go InsIde to check what' happenIng other then relying on theIr reply or awaItIng for theIr reply. I just say fine and he dIsconnects.
I just sIt quIte rollIng the Instagram page and start to chat wIth my cousIn brother whose father passed away recently.
After sometimes around 6:15pm borda calls dIdI and says, nurse Informed It wIll take another another half an hour and no much update. By 6:45pm borda calls up agaIn and says OperatIon Is successful. They dId not fIt any pIpe God had heard our prayer even though It took a long time. They are shIftIng her to ICU. I could not ask the Doctor much as I could see hIm so tIred. But Doctor said, the operatIon Is successful and she was so strong to fight such long hours even at her age of 71. Her heart was so strong and It was she who made me successful. We took time because It was a delIcate case and she beIng old we had to handle wIth much care. Borda thanked the doctor and saId you please take rest Doctor. I can understnd how tough It was for you. I do not want to disturb you. We would speak tomorrow. The doctor says Thanks.
Borda and Biju da went to meet maa. She was back to sense. She said lIke a small chIld my stomach Is paInIng. Please heal me wIth Hare Krishna chant. Borda does It and says maa not to worry. EverythIng wIll be fine and you wIll recover soon.
DIdI conveys the news to me. I was still under suspect. DIdI says aren't you happy? I replied, " I am doubtful stIll". She says what? I saId please leave me alone. I wIll waIt and reply based on her recovery. She leave the hall In anger. I pray to God seeIng the Diya whIch we had lIghtened for maa today. God you made It successful but stIll, I have some doubt. But I believe In you so please take care of her.
I Informed my manager and other team members as they were prayIng for maa and were happy to hear about the successful operation. MeanwhIle i see a message from my cousIn In Insta Oye, sucessfullllllll! Give me your number. But I dId not. So, he calls dIdI. He asked hIm why dId It take a long time for the ooeratiin. He explains what happened and how It happens. Everything Is Fine.
Thank you Lord.
Thank you everyone who prayed for maa.
AwaItIng for her recovery soon and awaItIng to hear she started wIth solId Intakes and she is healthy as lIke earlIer. A strong Women always.. Maa recovered very soon and doctor had dischanrged her on 12th July 2020. After 3weeks she has to go for the check up. We need to take care of her now.
Bordi was saying that in hospital every patient in the ward was appreciating Borda and Biju da for the way. They took care of maa as a child and their bond was awesome. Where both my bhabhi's were busy at household work, other side both brothers along with their family responsibility they maintained their professional life. Jhumi ba could have flied but due to this pandemic everything has just made life hell.
I came up with a bad news today dated 20th July 2020. Yeah! Maa is going through 3rd stage of cancer. Actually borda knew it day one but he did not inform us. Today Boudi had informed us about it. I have nothing to say much. It's all faith. What is written in your faith cannot be changed. Now when maa need us more, we are not able to be with her. At least if pandemic was not there we would have flied without thinking anything. Only can pray God do something Good.
18th Sept 2020 Maa had gone for her 1st chemo. She had to wait for long in the queue for her turn. 10th Oct 2020 she had her 2nd chemo. I did not ask her how she is feeling because didi had already asked about her health. It was paining for her as she said. Later i called maa and asked her how she feeling. And you know it's so hard to hear from A mother saying and crying like a child saying " it's paining". I did not have any words to say her back. In my whole life i have grown up, Maa never said that she is tired or its paining. Even though she is tired and she used to prepare food and feed us.
Love you Emma.
I would lIke to thank one of the person who had drawn a beautiful drawIng on Maa word In Hindi. I saw that In Insta and trIed to draw It. I. GoIng to use It as my cover page of the story. Nothing could be better than thIs.