Nuts and bolts

I found this box in my mother’s bag. My mother passed a year ago and while goinggoing through her bag found this box which was once packaged with nuts served on domestic indigo flights. On one of my travels many years ago, probably from trivandrum to bangalore, I had bought this box of nuts for my parents. 

It’s contents span a lifetime and attributed to people she holds dear to her heart. 

There is a passport size phot of my brother in Bishop Cottons uniform. The struggle she went through to get him an admission at bishop cottons is something best forgotten. She paid a donation of 5000 rupees way back in 1989, at her own intuition and will so that my brother would get the best education possible.

The passport photo of me was taken for my engineering college admission, in 1995. Getting me into MIT, Manipal was a big step for her. Payment seat with a fees of 40,000 rupees per year. I can only imagine the jitters she must have had thinking of this colossal amount she had to make every year along with my brothers bishop cottons fees. I got the last computer science payment seat that year. Was she worried about sending me away from her nest, I don’t know, I was engrossed in getting that last seat. 

The picture of her and a boy, is before her marriage. She had come to bangalore to help her sister take care of her son, my cousin, Manoj. He remained her first child always. This was probably 1972..

The next picture is of her, Manoj and his younger brother Babu.. she learnt her first lessons of motherhood from them. They were very dear to her. 

The dice is something I got for her when she came to visit my family in the US, and we went to Las Vegas. Oh! How much fun she had at the slot machines.  By then my elder son was born and this memento says “Grandma’s casino, Las Vegas”.

The kushtex fabrics book is her phone and address book, her link to the world. This was a complimentary gift from a company whose fabrics my uncle and aunt sold in wholesale at Bangalore.

Then her bank card, hospital cards and some papers.  She has carried these with her for innumerable years, adding to the collection over the years. These little things mattered to her. Today she carries them in her heart, overseeing each one of us, visiting us, assuring us that she is here, somewhere around us.
Lots of love, to the woman, because of whom, I am, who I am..

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