My mother

ladies and gentleman, she is loony. Completely bonkers. Her arguments with me end in “because I said so!” , but we don’t argue so much anymore. As I get older, I have a lot more perspective than I used to have and I have a whole lot more respect for who she is and why she is who she is.

And she has been hell of a mother. To all of us Peiris children. She has been an iron woman, a constant inspiration and source of strength and wisdom.

She has had better days though . She had once been young, just like me , but infinitely more beautiful. I feel a wistful sense of awe when I think about how petite and perfect she had been. And her art. Her paper art, the clothes she made, the curtains she did, the pillows she made, her food, the toys she made for me for show and tell at school , and did I mention the food she made?

I remember standing in the corridors waiting for her to show up for parent-teacher meetings in grade five. I remember her walking towards me in her blue dotted saree, and I distinctively remember how I thought “omg I have the most beautiful mother in the world!”. I remember holding her hand and hopping beside her in a semi dance semi hop child thing I did , while we went to talk to my teacher and my teacher told us how badly I had done in math.

It breaks my heart that she is getting old. Older. And wrinklier. She handled age as best as she could muster, but as her children are growing up and going away, she’s not handling the loneliness so well.

We’ve never lived in the same place with her for too long. That’s the other thing that breaks my heart.

But the things she’s given me. The person she made out of me. And the wings she gave me and how she let her children go , even when it was breaking her heart. That’s the most amazing thing about her.

Only the greatest of mothers are able to let their children go completely, without holding anything back.

I know this. Because  she let us go. She had to live without us, she had to cope , but she did.

And when she did, she trusted us to be good , and right, and never questioned our motives and set rules for us that we had to abide by. We made our own. We played by them, we broke them some times.

We haven’t always been good children. We have rebelled and argued and resisted them. And some times even resented.

But she believed in us. She let us make our mistakes and showed us how to get through them. There was never an I told you so. There were never a sense of perfectionism that we had to adhere to.

There were never any manipulation. (I despise parents who manipulate their children. Parents who give their children silent treatment as punishment. And feel the need to control every step and breath of their lives. Children being children know nothing else but to find their own way of voice, and they do .) To be a free person, someone with an open mind, you have to have incredibly strong and self-less parents.

Have you noticed how we are defined by how our parents raised us? Everything we do and we say , is a reflection of their love.

And that blows my mind.

ගමේ පොළ – Market in the village ( Pictures )

Over the weekend, me and Darling went to see my family back home (Makandura , Sri Lanka ) and my dad took us to the Sunday market which was quite a treat for me coz I had been dying to go back there.

When we were small, my father would take me to the Sunday market and I would trail behind him with a basket in my hand. My father would buy vegetables, rice,  meat and fish. I would stand under the huts selling goods and wait for him to finish shopping.

There would be sellers screaming the items they sell and their prices , there’d be a lot of people bumping into each other, saying hello how do you do or loudly haggling with the sellers. And then there would be me, watching , enchanted.

Those were the times.

After all these years, the Sunday market back home still stands and I couldn’t be happier my father dragged me there yesterday.

Here are some photos.

Shot with my most adored 50mm.

Personal Space

Weird thing.

When we were growing up, sleep overs were plenty. Now that I am too old to be true, sleeping over at someone else’s place with lots of people crammed into the same house , somehow turns my stomach.

I can perfectly well put up with strangers, in that their presence is not a big deal, I can still keep to myself.

But I feel all claustrophobic crashing in with a lot of relatives. The kids want to talk, the adults want to know about your married life, I already feel a little nauseated.

I am not too hot about crowds. I have a time limit at the end of which I get a mad urge to go home and get into my shorts and go to bed with a book.

I am not too happy about having to be polite and nice all the time , wondering if my attire or my voice offends them, or about having to make small talk.

I am in that period of my life where I can live in exile for  quite  a while without needing the company of a lot of people to comfort me. I could be a hermit and be perfectly happy.

Do you know what I mean?

 

Evening Post

I sit in a noisy tuk tuk midst the noisy dusty traffic and the city is engulfed in the strange pink of the drive time evening.

There is a trishaw sandwiched between a bus and a jeep in front of me, barely making it out alive.

I emerge from the book I am reading on my kindle without a back light, to this crazy.

About twenty minutes more on the road .

I bow my head down on to the Kindle, turn it towards the pink outside for light, and tune out the surrounding.

The only time I am able to hush my busy busy brain these days is when I am stuck in traffic, with the world tuned out, my head buried in a book.

I must read another chapter. Before the light dies out, and I am within the walls of love that has become my home, I must finish another chapter.

 

All in a day’s work

You’ve done what you can. Maybe not the best you could, but under the circumstances, you did all you could. Now take a deep breath, and move on.

Don’t forget ( Specially their faces ) that some people stabbed you in the back and some people bullied you, some people who said they’d have your back, actually did quite the opposite. While disappointment seemed to rule the day, you were also thankful for the strong ones, the ones who stood their ground, the ones who said ” this is what we can do, this is what we can’t , we are trying our hardest, but if that doesn’t work, we are sorry”.

On a day that seemed to go nowhere else but downhill, be thankful that you made some good calls.

You upset some people.

But you did what you could .

Just take a deep breath and move on.