Sunday, May 11, 2014

500 Rupees

My mother is an architect. She worked with the Gujarat Government before she took voluntary retirement some ten years back.

Today morning she received a call.

One Haseenaben had passed away.  Haseenaben was the office peon. (I'm not sure of a more polite word)  Haseenaben's daughter in law called to inform my mom of her passing.  She was remembering my mom on her deathbed.  She wanted to thank her for her kafan.

Back in 1995/96, Haseenaben was going on the Hajj, the pilgrimage.  She wanted to take her burial shroud with her.  She said that in their customs, the shroud is provided by the deceased woman's parents' side of the family.  She had no family. (she possibly came from Pakistan during partition or lost her family during the partition, grew up as an orphan)

She was disheartened that she will not be able to keep the tradition alive.

My mom had then given her Rs. 500 to buy her shroud, "I am like your younger sister. Please take this money for your shroud and think that someone from your parents' side gave it to you."

Haseenaben called upon my mom twice after my mom quit.  Mom had offered her financial and other kind of help she may require during 2002 riots too.  She was safe, thankfully.

Few days back when she passed away, she died peacefully. 

"Ammi often talked of you.  Of how you gave her money for the shroud.  Thank you for fulfilling her last wish." her daughter in law told my mother today.

Her last wish, to be covered in a shroud she got back from Mecca was fulfilled.

Happy Mothers' Day, Mom. You have touched lives of many, many people than you give yourself the credit for. I wish I could be even half as selfless as you are.

Thank you for teaching me an important lesson today.

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