I call my mother ‘Amku.’ I don’t know how I came to call her that but I find joy in calling her so. I usually smile as I call her, ‘Amku’ in the long tone. She looks at me and laughs. In that laughter she holds me enchanted. That laughter is pure; there is no trace of malice, no trace of insincerity. I feel like breaking down, just because in that instant of joy, I feel the stab of pain of losing her. Few days back, I was telling her that if she had been sent to school, she would be a Dasho now. And I was serious. I know she would be. But that is not what I wish. I am so happy she and my father raised me up, implanting in me values as they sowed seed in the field. If there is a reason for me to wish she were sent to school, it would be to let her know how I would write to her my feelings in a letter:
Amku, no words will be able to tell you how much I love you. For the numerous reasons you must have been born as my mother, I wish I could just take these reasons now in a bag and store them so that I can use them again in my next life to buy you back to my life. For the simple reason that I want you to be my mother forever, I feel life should have had no death. Even while the stark naked truth of impermanence stares at me, mother, I want to hold you and wish that it would take only a blink of an eye for a wish to fulfill. I wish, I could just hide you somewhere.
I know every mother is the best mother to her child. But because you and Apa worked so hard in the field to raise seven children, I feel, two of you went through more hardship than many others. Forget that, I know how hard it was for two of you to decide to send four of us to school, when you knew very well that you needed as many hands as possible to help you at home. Amku, I see you getting up before dawn and preparing breakfast. I see you having prepared more than three bottles of ara before daybreak. I remember you working in the garden before I even opened my eyes to get up. And I see Apa whistling and already on his way to sell the fruits in the nearest town.
If I had one question to ask God, it would be why affluence blinds rationality. But right now, no, I don’t want to ask any question. I want to thank him for being so kind to me in giving me the two best people in my life and making me see through them how kind and loving people can be and how kindness and generosity can inculcate values beyond any textbook.
Amku, if carrying you around the world was a way to tell you what you mean to me, I would. I wish you were a demanding woman so that I would have the opportunity to give you what you want. I wonder at your humility and contentment. I wish just like you, I had no wish to own another set of kira until the one I wear wears out. I wish just like you, I had the determination to read volumes of prayer books, and finding joy in that like talking to a friend. In all this and more, mother, I find invaluable lessons and I thank you all the more. There isn’t any word I know that will tell you exactly how grateful I am and how much I love you. Amku, you are more than the world to me.