My thought stream turned as blank as the white page this was originally written on. What do you write in an obituary for someone who was the basic root of your very existence? It surely can’t be an objective piece. Yet, there’re several vertices that need to be connected. There’s the impact the person has had on one’s own life. There’s the impact their loss has caused to one’s life (which arguably, is not concise enough for this post. Find more thoughts in a future post). And then, there’s the aftermath that has been felt by all those that were near and dear to this person. So here’s a futile effort at an objective eulogy:
On the 29th of December 2016, Seshavalli Nagavarapu, my beloved mother, passed away in a vehicular accident near Kakinada, the city where she was residing with my father. Dad survived the crash but is still recovering from the long-term effects of his injuries. This surely was the biggest punch that knocked the collective wind out of our family’s sails. Mom was undoubtedly the one perennial soundtrack for the three of us – myself, Dad, and my brother. She was the reason we thrived, the one we banked on, and the one we did everything for.
From the whiff of incense sticks that woke us up in the mornings, to the feel of crisply ironed clothes that were a given, to the countless mornings and evenings spent listening to wonderful music, to the sumptuous food that she’d often give up so we could have more, to the neat categorization she brought to every aspect of our lives, to several other such little details that enlivened our times together – we had her to thank for. More so: from scrambling strength in troubled times, to banter, humor and humility, to love and chemistry, to whatever meager altruism we can fathom, to beams of mustered positivity - we have sought inspiration from her.
Mom was an intensely naïve woman. I mean that in the best sense of the word – because to her, every person was amicable, every soul a friend, every moment an opportunity to be positive, and kind. The one resounding note that every person I’d met in the immediate few days after her passing remembered was how she was always smiling and ready for some friendly conversation. In a world where cynicism is a baseline, I can take naïve any day.
Humility was also her forte, centered around her argument of “let’s take what life has given us and make the best out of it”. That brought her to finding placid contentment and serenity. Also, joy and an endearing sense of humor. Even in her last few months, when she had to use a walking stick owing to arthritis, she’s often joke how she has sprouted a third leg. She was a curious cook, collecting hundreds of recipes for her often-successful experiments. Music was another passion for her, where she’d accompany cooking with renditions of so many songs. And to cap it all off was her definite place in the domain of archetypal motherhood – whose inhabitants so often choose to sacrifice everything they’ve got to provide for their spouses and offspring.
It’s hard to see where we’ll go from here. As one family member suggested, one would just have to take “each day as it comes”. On one hand, I’m thankful for the many moments I got to spend with her. On the other, there’s anger for a farewell that has come way ahead of its time. There’s always the knot deep down that every thought of her brings up. But then, there’s the deliberate contentment that she’s here: in notions, in conscience, in passions and quirks, in spirit and beyond.