My mother was a simple lady with a zest for life! For me, the youngest of the siblings, she was, well, greatest mom on the earth. She was a housewife, never went to college after school (She completed her SSC with my elder brother!!) and had an interest in everything.
She was an avid reader, and her list included Marathi magazines, newspapers, English and Marathi novels and hmm. Mills & Boon. I had asked her once how come she was interested in Mills & Boon and she replied that because of her early marriage she never had the opportunity to read such stuff and she really enjoyed it.
She had a group of friends who would meet every morning in a garden. They would exercise a bit, say prayers and would await a speaker for the day. They would invite doctors, engineers, accountants, judges and so on. Their requirement was simple, ” tell us something on your subject of expertise in the language we understand”! After the speech, they would ask questions and discuss the subject further.
She was a very keen watcher of Cricket, Football, Tennis. The day before she died, I was sitting with her in the hospital. Luckily she did not have any inkling of her imminent death the same night. This was in 2003 and Cricket world cup was going on. She told me ” Now that I will go home tomorrow morning, can you please be at home so that we can watch New Zealand India match together?” I said, “of course” but …..
She had another group of friends who met a week thrice to play rummy and the per point amount was ten paise. Whoever won would get chocolates with that money the next time they met. She also had one more group who would meet once in a week and sang bhajans together!
She lived alone till her death but would want to try different foodstuff when she came to stay with us. Her favourite stuff was pizza!. ( In India few from her age group would venture into Pizza but not my mother)
When we travelled on holiday, she would plan weeks in advance what to do, where to go and so on. She was not very strong, but her enthusiasm would see her through.
She would get friendly with other people very quickly and would like sharing things with everybody. She had great humility and empathy for others.
She was never rich, never owned any property but was a billionaire with her zest for life. Thanks, mom for teaching me how to live life with enthusiasm, humility and empathy.