anbuLLa ammaavukku,

2606461619_75c01a86e1_oThis is a letter from your daughter. I have never written a letter to you, well not specifically addressing you anyway. You cannot read or write. I was your scribe, whenever you needed to write to my father, while you dictated. It is not that your limitation of reading or writing that has limited me from writing to you. There are people who can act as your scribes. You were always overshadowed by your sister ever since she took over your family. You were the invisible person. You took it fine. All for the children you said. I have confided as a cry for help that it is not the same. I would never be able to shout at her with the same honesty and same cry for help in the way I was comfortable with you, I did explain. I was always made to feel obliged to her and rightly so. But that for me, came with a little bit of distance from her. She was not you. She can never be you. You will tell me off for saying this. You gave away your position, yet you did all the sacrifice you were conditioned to believe that you should do. It all looks as if that I am a monster for not having you in my life at all now. You are pretty much absent in my life now, yet you are still alive in the part of the world that is dear to me. It is not that you don’t know the reason. I am sure I have told you only a million times. I have always been vocal. Never hid my feelings. I didn’t feel the love of a mother from you. I felt as if I was treated like your equal adult. May be because you were merely 21 when I was born. By the time you were as old as I am now, I am sure I was your equal adult. You never liked my arrogance. I never liked your love for your son. They still remain the same.
That doesn’t take away the fact that you are my mother and I am your first born. You do not know how many times I talk about you and my time with you when you worked in the farms. Every time I smell the earth, every time I feel the rain, you are in my head. Every time I make fire in the garden as an indulgent family time, I am in your kitchen cooking with you. I rejoice the world that spreads out transporting me to the gullies of the mountains fetching fuel wood to keep the kitchen alive or the peanut farms for some family indulgent snack time of roasted peanuts, or our coconut farm, the only time we had the hopes to have comfortable food on the table (can we use the word table, as we never had one?) or the scorching sunny seenithai aachi’s kaadu or even our grandfather’s estate. Some bring the same pain, while some bring immense indulgent pleasures. I am sure my memories of me being a toddler left with your neighbour when you worked in our grandfather’s estate (he didn’t own it, I know) could not have been my own, sure. Yet I do have a vivid memory of myself in that unfitting grandfather’s vest with runny nose and mud all over me and you coming back with all your love to take me back from the neighbours babysitting me. Exactly how you described. I felt the same love when you told me not to go on my own when you saw how lonely the countryside roads in England are. A child’s need for the mother never stops no matter how old we get. I don’t have any such feeling for my father. I couldn’t care less whether he existed or not. His loss. He doesn’t exist anymore. The only times I feel the loss is when my children do things that he would have talked with so much pride. He would have loved how my children are growing up. Not sure how you would be on that front. You have your son’s children, perhaps you adore them. I can’t have you around my daughter. I can’t have you telling my daughter that she is dark compared to your adorable son’s daughter. I cannot have you feeling and showing jealousy that every time my daughter does something nice. I saw you doing it to her when she sang nursery rhymes. After all, you treated your brother’s daughter with so much importance than anything I got from you. Sure, I look like my father. That is not the reason. I know now.
It is both our loss. I still wish to share my time with you when I dig in my allotment. I would love to share my time with you when I pick the chillies in my greenhouse for cooking. I will believe you would love that too. I am here if you decide to be here with me. I won’t bother pushing you to be with me. I don’t have space for more hurt. When you are finally tired of the abuse, please come here. You had enough. Not sure you have grown to accept the abuse. You shouldn’t. If my genes are from you, we don’t accept, ever. I will be here. Always. Living in hope that one day you will knock the door.
Thank you for all the masal podi you send over regularly that my every day food is still cooked by you.