"Hello, amma, Savitha here. How are you?"
Revathi became very excited on hearing her daughter`s voice. As any affectionate mother, she always got excited and elated each time she saw or spoke to her. Unlike many of her counterparts in the same age group who had married off their daughters and sent them away to the US, she was very particular that Savitha should be in Chennai after marriage, so that, she would be able to see her daily. She was able to find a Software Engineer at Chennai for Savitha.
But after about a year of marriage, the son-in-law got a better job in Bangalore and Savitha moved to Bangalore. Giving her daughter in marriage to a member of another family, itself had created a sort of vacuum in her mind, even though she knew pretty well, that it was inevitable. Now the separation had become unbearable.
"Why am I so odd?" Revathi used to ask herself. But she was also aware that the emotional attachment to her daughter was so much that the daughter`s marriage left a psychological void in her mind. Her husband, Krishnamurthi tried his best to show her the reality of life, but in vain.
She vividly remembered that day the day after her daughter`s marriage. That day, she recollected, she was casually talking with Savitha`s mother- in- law. Some other relatives from both sides saw Savitha approaching them. She naturally thought she had some message for her. Savitha was coming closer, calling `amma` and started talking to the other `amma` her mother- in -law!
She could not tolerate this, her daughter calling some other new face `amma`. But decorum prevented her from openly breaking down or making a scene.
Krishnamurthi noticed the change in her face and called her aside and comforted her. "Look at Savitha," he said, "that girl is in her early twenties and is able to identify with the new family. See the blossoming face of her mother-in-law on being called `amma`. Try to shed off this emotional barrier and be happy as our Savitha is in safe hands!" he concluded.
All this flashed through Revathi`s mind as she was talking to Savitha over the phone. "Amma, a good news. I have come across a good alliance for our Raju. The girl is also in the US. The people appear to be good and they are also distantly related to my in-laws. The parents are in Chennai. Take down the phone number......, Ask appa to talk to them tonight." Savitha was enthusiastic.
" Savitha.....," she wanted to tell something more but Savitha was not in a mood to hear. " Let us go ahead amma," she continued, "We should find a bride before Raju chooses his own," she joked. "Don`t worry, I am only kidding. Anyway let us not delay a pleasant issue."
" O K, I will tell appa" and Revathi closed the conversation by hanging the receiver. She was a little upset with Savitha. We should not give room for Raju to select one, she mused.
When Krishnamurthi came back from the office, she mentioned Savitha`s call. Krishnamurthi laughed. "You see Raju is only twenty two or twenty three. What if he loves someone and marries? Let us not put pressure on him."
" No, no I cannot digest all those things. I think the earlier we conduct the marriage, the better it is for all." Revathi raised her tone.
"OK, ok," Krishnamurthi replied. "Let me call that number. Let us ask Raju also tonight of his opinion."
Quite contrary to their expectation that night Raju agreed to the proposal. After all he only mooted the alliance and his natural saviour was his sister Savitha !
Krishnamurthi and Revathi did not expect things would move so fast. Raju came to India the next month and so did the girl. The marriage was conducted ina simple yet dignified manner and all their relatives had been present.
Just after the muhurtham, Revathi heard someone calling `Amma` in a soft voice. Revathi turned her head. It was the young bride addressing her. "Amma, appa is calling you. We both want to prostrate before you and seek your blessings!"
Revathi was now elated. She felt as if she had conqured the world. She felt ashamed of her reaction when she had overheard Savitha calling her mother- in-law `amma`! "How she has identified herself with me!" she thought.
Krishnamurthi knew what was in her mind as he stood beside her, while blessing the young couple. "This is the reality and this is true relationship," he whispered into her ears!
Mrs Vasantha Parthasarathy