But that was before we heard from mriga that my friend,Murali who is a close friend of Mriga's too, is planning to celebrate his mother's 75th birthday. She turns 75 on December 19th.
Indira Mami has been a loving presence throughout my childhood and I have great admiration for her. She, like others in her generation, married very young, and raised a large family--4 daughters and 2 sons-- and dedicated herself to them totally. And yet she managed to retain her interests, especially in music, because she has always actively encouraged my singing, and would often come over just to sit and listen to it. She has managed large numbers of relatives and friends, marriages, births, deaths, joys and sorrows, with such ease. She and Raghavan Mama are such a united couple, I cannot think of one without the other. They took the trouble to come over to Bangalore for my daughter's weddding...not an easy task considering the fact that they live here, in the US. She still looks replesendent in her 9 yards saree and her glittering diamonds, the traditional dress of an Iyengar lady.
It was our privilege and honour to have them as elders at the wedding. Neither KM nor I have parents living and it was they who represented our missing elders.
And true to his usual affectionate nature, Murali, my friend (his links with us are too numerous to mention; he and KM were also colleagues for a long time, and are both still in the same field, automotive ancillaries) has actually advanced the date of the celebration from the scheduled 24th to this Sunday, just so that we can attend. We are so touched by this... I do wish that my friend Anu, Murali's littlest sister, whom I knew as "the little tyke running around" then, and have got to know and love as a person recently, could have also joined us. I will miss her a lot. It will also be my privilege to sing for Indira Mami on Sunday.
So off we go to Memphis on Saturday afternoon. The priest will be picked up from the temple by 6 am on Sunday and the religious function will be held between 6.30 and 7.30 am. We hope to return by Sunday evening. Here's a prayer that Indira Mami and Raghavan Mama are amongst us, in health and unity, for a long time to come.