Pains me each time i meet her after a gap of months by telling me how my cheeks have gone from being crests to troughs on my face and how i need to move back in with her so she can feed me and set me back on the path to a 'healthy' shape ... :O
Sad that i only appreciate that feeding on the days that im shivering alone in my wonderful rented condominium, running a 102 temperature, shivering through it all and fantasizing about hot 'molagu' rasam and thick homemade tomato soup ... :-)
Puts me on house arrest everytime i visit home for a few days .. cringes at the thought of me leaving to visit friends outside home and not spending time with her to catch up ... drives me up the wall with her insistence on time that had 'better' be spent with family .. :O
Too bad it only hits me how much i miss her when the walls of an empty house close in on me and the pangs of having been away too long hit me with their vicious force inducing an impulse ticket purchase to Bombay :-)
Sends me shlokas to recite, for peace of mind, for good health, for a good life, for success, to ward off the evil eye and sends me running for the hills each time she talks about her favorite Lord Ganesha and the wonder of seeing an elephant on the road at the precise moment that she needed good luck for a task at hand... shocking me with how traditional she is ... :O
And in the same vein tells me i can choose who i want to spend my life with (color, caste and language notwithstanding), convinces her devout tam bram sister to let her daughter marry a North Indian guy, laments at a 25 year old friend who put up with a husband who beat her up on the 10th day of their married life together instead of walking out on him that very instant... amazing me with how little regard she has for useless biases that passed off as tradition for way too long .. :-)
Is smart, capable, efficient, highly regarded as an asset to her division, induces cheer wherever she goes, is popular with 25 year olds and 55 year olds alike, grew up in mind and spirit with her kids and took all their journeys with them, could've graduated from the best engineering colleges had she had the resources or the support and made it to the top echelons of corporate circles ....
And yet chose to decline promotion after promotion, coz they would mandate transfers away from her children and husband, and disrupt their comfortable lives (the comfort of which she never received any official thanks for jus for the record, no promotions, no recognition, no nothing) and continues to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day and keep in touch with two distant children (one literal, the other figurative)
Wakes up at 5 am, does morning yoga, cooks and cleans before she runs out to her 1 hour journey to work, keeps her train friends entertained with her incredible zest for life and sense of humor, keeps track of all of Mr. Boss' appointments without fail, is there for her sisters and their complicated lives when they need her to be, runs back home, cooks dinner, manages 30 minutes of exercise and an hour of television before she wearily trudges to bed ...
And through all this has the patience to put up with her daughter leading a cushy life far away whining on the phone about her 'issues' and calmly state "don't worry sweetheart, im here for everyone, if u dont tell me about whats bothering you, who will u tell?" ... :-)
If that's not aspirational, i don't know what is ...